We have a client. Alright, we have more than one but there’s one client specifically that I’ll be writing about here – let’s call him Bruce. Bruce decided one day to purchase a Featured Listing on Business.com. Now, by itself this isn’t a bad idea. In fact, in many cases it might even be a good one – but not for poor Bruce.
We noticed that overnight Bruce’s Yahoo! results tanked going from page one to … well … let’s just say “not page one”. We also noticed that the cache size of the page suddenly jumped to 89k. As an FYI, the page is NOT 89k and Google has it cached at a mere 16k. So we knew something was wrong but it took a few days before I decided to actually click on the Yahoo! result for the site.
The address bar flickered just a little too much and I tried again. Looking closely you could watch it go from the Yahoo! search address to the Yahoo! tracking URL to a business.com redirection address to the client’s URL with ?trackcode=bizcom tacked onto the end. About the same time all this happened (the site dropped in the results for most but not all phrases) the client also noticed an increase in the cost of their ad spend. So Business.com was profiting off of actions that hurt my client’s overall ROI and Yahoo! was a participant though I’d yet to figure out whether this was a genuine glitch or a revenue generation scheme that just didn’t work out.
The best information I’ve found on this issue thus far is on SERoundtable.com in their post at http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/002604.html.
A call to business.com did seem to get some results (i.e. “they’ll work on getting the site removed”) but I’ll keep you posted as to how that works out.
So take this as a warning. If you’re enjoying solid Yahoo! results and the traffic they provide – avoid a business.com listing like the plague.