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Odd links cause stir

June 8, 2012 - Art Smith

This is a blog about a blog about a blog.

Say what?

Last week I wrote a blog about the fact that if you search for the name of the newspaper using Yahoo you get some odd results in the links that it returns. The blog I wrote was in response to a reader’s phone call. After giving some background, I basically concluded in the blog that I had no idea why there were links to year old stories included in the deep links that should have gone to sections of the site, not to specific stories.

Danny Goodwin, a blogger with a website called Search Engine Watch read the blog and proceeded to attempt to find the answer to the question.

He contacted Duane Forrester, Bing’s senior product manager, to find out why the links appeared. Bing handles searches for Yahoo.

Forrester acknowledged in the Search Engine Watch blog that it was a known issue and they were working on ways to fix it. 

More people must read Goodwin’s blog than read mine, because at that points things kind of blew up. Readers to his blog became very vocal, with more than 300 people voicing their opinion via twitter and other social sites.

Here are some examples:

Candybox Marketing ?@CandyboxMktg
Will Bing ever stop trying? This is getting embarrassing.  

SEO News & Tips ?@SEOnewz
SEwatch: Bing Deep Links Issue to Blame for 'Mysterious' Yahoo Links: A Parkersburg News & Sentinel blog post fe...  

Thomas Sullivan ?@TomSullivan
Seen weird Deep Links on Yahoo or Bing? You're not alone. Find out why... 

A hundred people also shared their thoughts through Linkedin, the professional networking site. Ten people recommended it at StumbleUpon, eight recommended it on their Google Plus accounts, and 16 people recommended it on facebook.

It’s darn near went viral.

When you search on Yahoo or Bing now for “The Marietta Times” you get links exactly the way you should. Search for “The Parkersburg News and Sentinel,” and it is a different story. You still get a link for a story about bullets hitting a house in January.

Maybe a call to Microsoft founder Bill Gates could straighten out the mess. Then again, maybe not.


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