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A ranking of "none" means that it did not turn up in listings. As you can see, since we signed up for Site Match, our ranking dropped dramatically. Yahoo only shows top 500-700 listings, and The Print Pot (which sells Epson inkjet refill kits) is not found at all.
This was my experience with Site Match, but it was only one experience. I doubt that I will be using Site Match again, nor would I recommend it to my clients. However, with only one test, it would be a mistake to conclude that majority of sites will drop in listings after signing up for Site Match. What is troubling is how Site Match affected all keywords that Print Pot was struggling to improve.
What happened? Was there a penalty? The site has no reason to be penalized as it followed all content guidelines listed by Yahoo/Overture at http://www.content.overture.com/d/USm/ays/sm_gl.jhtml. These guidelines were pointed out by support staff from PositionTech, a reseller of Site Match. So why did it drop? I suspect that Yahoo is still ironing out bugs from its Site Match program. The other possibility is that Yahoo changed its algorithm, and new one does not rank www.PrintPot.com highly. I have sent a letter to Yahoo and expect an answer in near future. I will inform you of their response in next www.RedCarpetWeb.com newsletter.
Should You Pay For Site Match?
The answer is wonderfully complicated.
Option 1) If you are already in database: The answer is a big fat NO WAY. The only exception would be if you change your site more often than once a week. Even then, Yahoo would only update description, title, and ranking of your site on search engine results pages. The link would still go to new updated site even if you don't pay, and even if it is not freshly spidered.
Option 2) If you are not in database because your site is new: It would normally take 2-5 weeks to be included in Yahoo’s database for free. If you are in a hurry, then sign up to Site Match. You should show up within 48 hours, and you will be paying $0.15 to $0.30 per hit.
Option 3) If you are not in database but your site has been online for over 2 months: Something is wrong with your site. Either your robots tag is wrong, or you have zero links in to your site, or you have a penalty of some kind. In order to resolve your situation, it is imperative that you need to hire a search engine optimizing specialist to inspect your site.
Unless you are running a site that gets updated on a near daily basis (such as a news site or a web log), my advice is not to sign up for Site Match. You would be throwing your money at Yahoo, and in return you would be getting a service you probably don't really need. If you are not listed in their database, there is probably a reason for it, and that same reason would probably keep you out of database even if you signed up to Site Match.
Shawn Campbell is an enthusiastic player in the ecommerce marketplace, and co-founded Red Carpet Web Promotion, Inc. He has been researching and developing marketing strategies to achieve more prominent listings in search engine results since 1998. Shawn is one of the earliest pioneers in the search engine optimization field.