Sneaky devils! It appears as though Yahoo is sneaking in some paid ads right into the regular organic SERPs. A fellow SEO alerted me to the possibility, but I agreed that I would attempt to find a different example than the one he showed me, since I didn't want to do anything that might harm his livelihood. It only took a few minutes to come up with another example, and there are plenty more to be found as well. But I'll present this one via a screenshot I took.
The image you see below is a screenshot of the number 10 spot when searching for [ontario massage therapy]. I've overlaid the source URL of the site that Yahoo uses (screenshot of View Source), which I've highlighted to show the interesting bits. See the ads.trafficleader.com part? TrafficLeader partners with Yahoo as you can see by this page, which states "TrafficLeader's partnership with Yahoo! Search Marketing provides advertisers with access to Yahoo! Search Marketing's extensive PPC network. TrafficLeader is also a Yahoo! Search Marketing Platinum Preferred Search Submit Pro Partner, providing advertisers with direct feeds into Yahoo!, AltaVista, and AlltheWeb indices."
Now, I don't know about you, but from the image below, it seems pretty easy to add up 1 + 1 and come up with 2. If this is true, shame, shame, shame!
Just to reiterate: There are results in the organic Yahoo SERPs that contain the words "ads.trafficleader.com" in the site url, and TrafficLeader is a Yahoo partner for advertisers. It looks as though some of the ORGANIC results are really PAID ADS. Are they?
8 thoughts on “Is Yahoo mixing paid ads in the organic results?”
Well, yes, obviously it’s paid inclusion. But that’s not the point. Ok, then, why not have just a standard nonpaid inclusion link to the url? Since inclusion supposedly has nothing to do with ranking, there’s no need to track it, right? It’s simply a way to be “in the index”. Once you’re in, nothing more needs to be tracked, eh? I realize that the pat answer is that this is just paid inclusion, nothing to see here, move along. But I feel this needs to be called into question. No?
And yes, this definitely falls into the conspiracy theory side of things…everyone get their tinfoil hats out…but just because you think everyone is following you, doesn’t mean someone isn’t. Really, what are they using those special tracking links for? What would it have to do with inclusion? How can we be sure they aren’t getting special ranking treatment? Because they say so? Just some things to consider.
This has been around for a long time.
Paid inclusion is to be included into the organic listings… once accepted into the organic listings, they are ranked accordingly, but the submitted no pays on a CPC basis for this service.
Lots of companies are using Y! paid inclusion and many are using Traffic Leader to submit the feeds to Y!.
I found a url that had “ads.doubleclick.net” in it. There is a screen shot on my blog.
RB – the salient part of those two articles can be boiled down to this quote from Yahoo: “It’s not a meaningful part of the equation. ”
That may be enough for you; I’m not sure it is for me.
For the few examples I’ve been able to see, there is the appearance of impropriety, with sites that do not appear to belong in the position they are in on a given serp.
If Phaithful is correct, to me it means one of two things (or both) : 1) lots of companies either don’t know how to get their sites and pages included in serps, or 2) it really does help their rankings.
And short of looking at the code for their algo, how can you say differently?
It isn’t a surprise to me, you can go to the Yahoo! site and see how to be included. You just pay a one time fee and then a fixed cost-per-click for every lead they send you (cost is based on industry).
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