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Yahoo Upset About X-Rated Flickr Sites

September 6, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, flickr.com, Policy & Law, world intellectual property organization, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Upset About X-Rated Flickr Sites

Company files complaint over sites that use its Flickr brand.

Yahoo has turned to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to help it shut down two X-rated sites that use Flickr in their domain names.

The company filed the complaint with WIPO over the domain names nastyflickr.com and nudeflickr.com, each of which lead to a web site containing adult photos. They each contain a logo that looks similar to the Flickr blue and red logo as well. They are owned by a Tacoma, Washington man.

This isn’t the first time Yahoo has gotten into a fight over the Flickr brand. In 2009 Yahoo sued AshantiPLC, which is owned in part by domain investor Sahar Sarid, over the domain name Flicker.com (without the missing ‘e’). Yahoo said that Ashanti had purchased Flicker.com for $55,000 in 2006 and had been flaunting the domain and the traffic it received. The company allegedly turned down a $700,000 offer for the domain.

Yahoo eventually settled the case and got the Flicker.com domain name.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Google Kills URL Forwarding as Yahoo Caps Some Non-.Com Domains

August 17, 2011Domain Parking, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google, namedrive, trafficz, yahooComments Off on Google Kills URL Forwarding as Yahoo Caps Some Non-.Com Domains

Domain parking ad providers make changes.

There have been two announcements from the big domain parking ad providers over the past 24 hours that may affect your domain parking company.

According to an email from NameDrive, Google is banning URL forwarding as of October 1. The parking company says clients need to switch to DNS parking, although it says it’s also working on other solutions. [Update: DomainSponsor just sent a notice to its customers as well.]

Partners have known about Google’s plan to ban URL forwarding for a long time.

It will be interesting to see what effect Google’s move will have on domain parking split-testing platforms such as Above.

TrafficZ sent an email to customers yesterday informing them that Yahoo is “capping” revenue on .biz, .co,
.info, .tv, and .us domain names. If the cap is hit, Yahoo will no longer show ads on the domains for three days. However, parking companies will likely display ads from different ad feeds during this period. From my experience, some of these secondary feeds perform quite well on certain TLDs.

Both of these moves address challenges with domain parking; namely fraud. URL forward is frequently abused and limits Google’s insight into the traffic it is monetizing. Domains such as .biz shouldn’t get much type-in traffic, which may be the reason for the cap.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Warning: Your Yahoo Search Traffic is Going Away Next Month

July 15, 2010bing, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, yahooComments Off on Warning: Your Yahoo Search Traffic is Going Away Next Month

Yahoo to transition to Bing search results very soon.

It’s time to stop talking about Yahoo search rankings and the traffic the search engine delivers to your site. Starting as early as next month, no one will care how well you’ve tricked Yahoo into ranking your site well.

Today Yahoo! sent out a communication to its advertisers telling them about the transition of organic search results to those of Bing. According to the email:

Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.

If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change.

I often see people brag about how their minisites or mass-produced web sites rank high on Yahoo and get traffic as a result. As soon as the changeover occurs, all that will matter is how well you rank in Bing and Google.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Yahoo-Microsoft Ad Transition is Going to be a Cluster…

July 1, 2010Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, microsoft, yahooComments Off on Yahoo-Microsoft Ad Transition is Going to be a Cluster…

As we get closer to advertising transition, scope of changes become apparent.

We’re getting nearer to D-Day, when the Yahoo and Microsoft ad deal starts to affect advertisers on the former’s platform.

Here’s just one example of the headaches ahead for Yahoo advertisers. Today the company sent out an email telling all of its advertisers that it will need to cut their ad headline length to no more than 25 characters. Yahoo currently allows 40.

This means that existing Yahoo pay-per-click advertisers need to login and adjust all of their headlines. Otherwise they will be truncated for you when the transition occurs to Microsoft Adcenter.

You really don’t need 40 characters, but still. Consider Yahoo’s own ad headline for the keyword “domain name”:

“Yahoo! Web Hosting – Build Your Website”

If the company doesn’t do anything, it’s ad might look something like:

“Yahoo! Web Hosting – Buil”

Advertisers are also going to have to deal with changes in how keywords are mapped to each other and in minimum bids.

The search alliance will obviously lose some advertisers who don’t want to deal with the headaches. But these will probably be smaller advertisers. Most advertisers will find the combined reach of Yahoo and Bing too much to pass up, even if it creates a big headache.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Yahoo Settles Lawsuit and Gets Flicker.com Domain Name

June 14, 2010anticybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Settles Lawsuit and Gets Flicker.com Domain Name

Yahoo now has Flicker.com for Flickr.com web site.

As Michael Berkens pointed out today, Yahoo now owns the domain name Flicker.com.

But this wasn’t your typical domain name sale. It was actually the culmination of year long anti-cybersquatting lawsuit brought against the Flicker.com owner AshantiPLC, which is owned in part by domain investor Sahar Sarid.

Yahoo’s lawsuit against the Ashanti was filed in July 2009. Yahoo alleged that the defendants purchased the domain name for $55,000 on eBay in July 2006. The suit chronicles what the defendants did with the name after they bought it, including showing traffic stats and citing numerous rejected offers. (They even turned down a $700,000 offer.) It also states that the defendants placed ads to camera companies on the domain name. Yahoo alleged that the defendants responded to twitter inquiries about Flicker.com being down.

You can read Yahoo’s original lawsuit here, and the defendant’s response here.

The parties entered mediation and settled the case, with Yahoo dismissing it last week. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.


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Yahoo Files Patent App for Discovering SEO Link Spam

April 15, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, link spam, SEO, Uncategorized, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Files Patent App for Discovering SEO Link Spam

Search engine files patent application for methods of detecting link spam.

hyperlinkEver since people caught on to how Google used the number of incoming links to a web site in its ranking algorithms, people have tried to game the system. From selling links to creating link farms, SEO has focused much of its attention on link building over the years. As a result, the search engines have had to counter this by trying to separate good links from bad.

Yahoo has filed a patent for discovering abnormal link structures and demoting the rank of web pages based on these abnormal incoming links.

Titled “Detection of Undesirable Web Pages”, patent application 20100094868 (pdf) was filed in October 2008 and published today.

The patent describes a statistical method of determining when links pointing to a web page have been artificially generated. The method determines a normal range of links across a number of factors, and then looks for patterns that do not conform to the natural change in links over time:

As the value of the normalized entropy metric associated with a set of inlinks referencing the destination page approaches an outer limit of an acceptable range (e.g., 0 or 1), the likelihood that the set of inlinks to the destination web page is “unnatural” increases. In other words, there exists an inference that some of the inlinks among the set have been created for the purpose of artificial promotion of the destination web page rather than based on the genuine interests from a diverse set of independent users.

Some of the factors considered include:
-IP Address of link source
-Top level domain of links
-Language of each link (e.g. English, French, German)
-Autonomous system (i.e. a networked system of computing devices)
-Anchor text of links
-PageRank of incoming links
-Link age-attenuation weightings

Of course, many search engine optimization experts already try to skirt these measures by spreading links about in more natural ways. Further, I’d be surprised if some of Yahoo’s competitors weren’t using some of these same tactics before the patent application was filed.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Yahoo Gets Patent for Behavioral Ad Targeting

March 16, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, patent, Policy & Law, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Gets Patent for Behavioral Ad Targeting

Search company granted patent for delivering ads based on user profile and behavioral information.

yahoo patent'The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent 7,680,786 (pdf) to Yahoo! today for “Optimization of targeted advertisements based on user profile information”.

The invention covers using both behavioral and user profile information in combination with traditional keyword and event driven factors to deliver targeted ads. For example, a user might enter a search query for “Madonna tickets” on Yahoo. Traditionally, ads related solely to those keywords would be displayed. The invention adds an additional layer, taking into consideration user information (e.g. user profile data, behavioral data) to determine which ads to show to the user. This targeting isn’t limited to searches; keywords in the domain name or the content of the page being viewed can also be considered when delivering the ads.

Yahoo! filed the patent application on October 30, 2006.


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Yahoo-Microsoft Benefits for Domain Parking Closer to Fruition

February 18, 2010Domain Parking, Domaining, Domainnamewire, microsoft, yahooComments Off on Yahoo-Microsoft Benefits for Domain Parking Closer to Fruition

Yahoo-Microsoft payday for domainers is finally within view.

It’s getting closer.

Yahoo and Microsoft have announced they’ve cleared U.S. and European regulatory requirements for their search partnership.

The first change will be that Bing’s search results will start showing up on Yahoo search pages. That means one less search engine to optimize for.

The good news for domain name parking is that later this year — or perhaps in early 2011 — the Yahoo and Microsoft advertising marketplaces will merge. This means more advertisers bidding on the same keywords for a bigger slice of the search ad market. That pushes up bid prices and covered keywords, which should mean more money for parked domains. As Yahoo tells it, the combination “will create more advertiser competition for placement and broader keyword coverage, resulting in potentially better monetization for you.”

It’s been a long wait, and we’re not there yet, but it’s getting closer.


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Yahoo Files Patent Application for Method to Prioritize Cybersquatting Battles

February 18, 2010Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Files Patent Application for Method to Prioritize Cybersquatting Battles

Method helps brand managers prioritize cybersquatting disputes.

Yahoo has filed a patent application (pdf) for a method for prioritizing which cybersquatted domain names to pursue.

The application describes a system that generates a list of domain names related to a trademark (”seed” term), then runs calculations based on probable traffic to those domain names to determine which ones a trademark owner should pursue.

For example, if one of the domains generated is YahooMail.com, the system can use a variety of traffic data sources (search volume, ISP date, etc.) to determine how many type-ins the domain probably gets.

This can be helpful for companies that have thousands of domain names that infringe their mark, and need to prioritize their UDRP and lawsuits to focus on the bigger traffic domains. Even though UDRP is efficient and fairly affordable, it still usually costs a complainant thousands of dollars to file. Many of the domain names recovered may not be worth the cost.

This method seems similar to tools used by CitizenHawk, a typosquatting recovery firm. CitizenHawk takes all of the risk in UDRPs it files, receiving payment by basically monetizing domains it wins on behalf of clients for a set period of time. It therefore needs methods to determine how much revenue a domain can generate over that period of time.

The patent application was filed August 14, 2008, and published today. The inventor is Jonathan Matkowsky, who is Yahoo’s Legal Director, Global Brand Protection.


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Yahoo Gets Patent for Domain Parking Optimization

January 13, 2010Domain Parking, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google adsense, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Gets Patent for Domain Parking Optimization

Yahoo gets a whopper of a patent for domain name parking optimization.

Yahoo logoYahoo, one of the largest providers of advertising to parked domain names, has filed a patent application been granted a patent for optimizing the keyword links on “two-click” domain parking pages.

U.S. patent 7,647,316 (pdf) for “Link Optimization” was filed March 5, 2007, and issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday. It describes a system that optimizes the keyword links shown on parked domain names in many ways:

Number of Keyword Links – Yahoo explains that reducing the number of keyword links on a page may increase the total revenue realized per visitor. Its system optimizes both the number displayed and which keywords are actually displayed, as well as the order of the links. It is partially determined based on the click-through rate of ads delivered following the click of the keyword link (i.e., the actual ads on the second page of a two-click lander).

“The reduction of keywords is valuable to prevent cannibalization of user clicks. Underperforming keywords linked on a web page have the effect of lessening the overall monetization of the web page via a number of factors. One of these factors is the frequency by which users who click on an underperforming keyword wind up not clicking on perhaps a more valuable or likely to be monetized keyword. This may be due to the user, for example, deciding only to click on one keyword before giving up.”

User-targeted Keywords – The system can target keyword links based on a user profile. This may include the web site visitor’s location or browsing habits.

“For example, the keywords displayed on a particular web page may be keyed towards the particular keywords most likely to get a response from the user. A user profile for the user may be accessed in order to aid in this analysis. Certain presumptions may be made based upon this user profile. Additionally, metrics such as geographical location and time of day may be utilized as well.”

Mobile Optimization – Domain parking pages on mobile devices may show fewer links due to the smaller screen size, and may also be optimized for geo-location.

“As an example, a typical domain matching technique may be used to extract 10 keywords for a particular domain name. By applying various optimization techniques described above, the “best” 7 keywords may be displayed for users viewing the corresponding web page on a traditional computer, whereas the “best” 4 keywords may be displayed for users viewing the corresponding web page on a mobile device. In the mobile device embodiment, additional metrics may be utilized as well. For example, rather than using a user profile to determine geographical location, Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality built into the mobile device may be utilized for such purposes.”

Text display optimization – This is a dynamic optimization of font, font color, font size, and spacing to maximize overall earnings per visitor.

Yahoo’s patent notes that this optimization is not limited to domain parking, and can be applied to contextual ads as well, such as contextual keyword ad links on web page (think Google Adsense’ Adlinks, or even Google Adsense text ads).

Update: Thanks do a DNW reader for pointing out that I was asleep at the wheel this morning: the patent has been issued, not just applied for. The story has been updated accordingly.


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