If you’re a non-American business with a .com web address, and your regional Yahoo ranking is important to you, then my story might interest you.
Recently my copywriting website dropped out of Yahoo’s Australian rankings. For quite a while, it had been at number 1 for my primary keywords “advertising copywriter”, “copywriter”, and “website copywriter”. But then it suddenly disappeared. I clicked through about 10 pages of results, and it was nowhere to be seen. I then searched for my domain, and Yahoo couldn’t find it.
Something smelt fishy.
I’d done nothing `naughty’ to my site to warrant a ban, and I still had heaps of links to my site (actually, I had more than ever before).
I’m an Australian advertising copywriter. I’m based just north of Sydney and I host my website with a major Australian host. But my web address is a .com, not a .au. I started thinking this might be the problem.
So I emailed Yahoo support, explaining the problem, and sharing my thoughts on the cause.
And all of a sudden, nothing happened.
So I waited. And I waited. And I waited. And finally, after about a couple of weeks, I received an email from a Yahoo support representative informing me – incorrectly – that my keyword wasn’t featured in my page title or description. I should remedy this shortcoming and re-submit my site to Yahoo.
Frustrated, I replied. I repeated the important facts from the first email just to ensure they’d listened. They hadn’t. They hadn’t even searched for my domain to confirm that Yahoo no longer recognised it.
When they got back to me this time, they had started paying a bit more attention. The support rep confirmed my suspicion that Yahoo had excluded my site because of its .com URL. Her very helpful solution was that I should change my domain to .au! She included some ridiculously complex instructions for how to do so, and sent me on my merry way.
As you might expect, I wasn’t satisfied. Nor was I merry. I explained to her that this was not an acceptable solution because all the links to my site on the internet are pointing to the .com and my email address uses the .com.
She was unmoved. She asserted that this was the best and only way to solve the problem. Oh. and it might help if I added my primary keyword to my title and description.
My laughter was not good humoured! I wrote back expressing my displeasure at this “solution”. I painstakingly explained how Yahoo had made a mistake, and that if Google was capable of recognising my Australian business despite its .com addresses, I would think it’s technically possible. I also cited several other .coms in the first couple of pages of Australian results.
The situation didn’t look promising.
If this sounds like a familiar story to you, don’t despair. A week or two later, I searched Yahoo Australia for my primary keyword, and surprise, surprise. My site was ranked number 1 again!
The moral to the story? Don’t be intimidated by Yahoo. Trust your instincts and don’t give up. If you’re an Australian business with a .com, and you’re not listed in Australian searches, this might be why. In fact, I would think this story is relevant to all regional Yahoos. (Of course, before making any accusations, it’s a good idea to make sure your site is properly optimised and that you have plenty of inbound links.)
Anyway, that’s my story. I hope it helps someone.
And they all lived happily ever after. So far at least.
Guest Columnist Glenn Murray heads advertising copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at email@example.com. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com for further details or more articles.