One day I noticed that my site wasn’t showing up on Yahoo when I searched for “Chairman Meow.” I knew that was a red flag, so I tried a few more search terms. Still nothing. Then, I checked my other sites under the same account. All of them missing. It didn’t take me long to realize that my site(s) had been dropped by Yahoo and their partner Bing.com, and something weird was happening.
I’m not part of any paid-linking or “black hat” SEO schemes, and I don’t really do anything “shady” online, so why was my site dropped by Yahoo?
Has Your Site Been Dropped By Yahoo / Bing?
Try doing a search for your domain name on Yahoo.com. If you don’t see your site come up, you may have been dropped. If it has, you’ll likely see your Facebook page, or an obscure page or two from your site might turn up in search results instead. So, was your site unfairly dropped?
If you’ve been paying a guy in the Ukraine to do your SEO work, or send out spam emails by the thousand, you probably aren’t an innocent victim. Your site was probably dropped for the same reason they throw certain characters out of bars and NASCAR events. However, if you play by all the rules, consider taking action immediately to get back in search results.
Site Dropped for No Reason? Your Shared Hosting Plan May Be to Blame
If you’re paying under $50 a month for hosting, (like most of the masses) you’re on what is called, “shared” hosting. With hosting companies like GoDaddy, your site is on a server with hundreds of other sites, all with the same IP address. (the unique 11-digit number /address of each server) When one of the sites on your server starts behaving badly, Yahoo / Bing will likely block the whole server.
That means that your blog about “knitting patterns” and “photos of kittens” will be penalized because it’s on the same server as “DonkeyPorn.xyz,” because to Yahoo, you look the same!
Oh, no! What Other Sites Are on My Server / IP Address?
Ever sit on a wet, sticky public toilet seat? That’s how I felt when I took a look at who else I was sharing a server with. There were hundreds of sites, and a few stood out as being shady. Clearly one of these dirty sites was the culprit, and to blame for my site being dropped.
You can do a reverse IP lookup online to find out who you are “in bed” with here. Just type in your site domain:
In my case, I got a message saying:
“It appears that the web server located at 123.456.78.910 may be hosting one or more web sites with explicit content. The web sites in question are highlighted in red below. There is a possibility that all of the web sites on this web server may be blocked by web filtering software. Search engine rankings for these web sites may be affected as well.”
Still in shock, I called GoDaddy to inform them of this news. “Do you realize you are hosting my website with a bunch of porn sites?” To which they replied that they have no control over what people put on their websites, and don’t have a screening process. What?!
Contacting Yahoo / Bing for Re-inclusion?
You might have better luck finding a personal email address for Taylor Swift than a helpful contact email on Yahoo.com. Before trying to contact them, I suggest you try to fix the root problem first. Paying for hosting on your own “dedicated” server is expensive and can cost $200+ month. So, to separate yourself from these bad actors, try getting a dedicated IP address.
Buy a Dedicated / Static IP Address
If you use one of the big hosting companies like GoDaddy or HostGator, adding a dedicated or “static” IP address to your hosting plan should be easy, and cost about $6/month. You should be able to log-in and do it yourself, and the transition should be simple. Contact your hosting company with any specific questions if it’s not obvious.
Contact Yahoo through Bing Webmaster Tools
Once you have a new IP address, you can either wait and watch search results, or contact Yahoo / Bing to tell them what happened. Yahoo’s customer support is notoriously bad, but since their merger with Bing, they offer webmasters a nice set of tools and help through Bing Webmaster Tools. It’s an easy sign-up, and let’s you look under the hood at how Yahoo / Bing view and index your site.
If you need to contact them, signup for Webmaster Tools, verify your site, and go to “Bing Webmaster help and How-to,” and click under “getting help & support” on “webmaster support.”
In my case, (not knowing why my site was dropped) I went through this process backwards and contacted Bing first, before getting a new IP address. They actually responded 2 days later. Within a week they confirmed that my IP address was being blocked due to spam originating from another site on my shared server.
Here’s the response from Bing Microsoft Customer Support
We highly appreciate your patience as we review this matter together with our Product Group. My name is Jenny and I will be providing you with the status of this Service Request.
We would like to inform you that the webserver that your site exists on is blocked by our bots due to Spam and the whole IP was crushed…
My Site Started to Reappear On Yahoo Search Within a Week
Bing webmaster support quoted that it would take “a week or two” to be back in search results, and as I type this, my site is slowly trickling back onto Yahoo search results a week after getting a dedicated / static IP address. This whole fiasco has lasted about a month so far!
Don’t Risk Bing Dropped By Yahoo / Bing; Get a Dedicated IP Address for SEO
Google doesn’t see to block entire IP addresses the way that Yahoo / Bing does, but getting dropped by Yahoo /Bing is serious. Together they account for a significant 29% off search traffic.
In my opinion, anyone maintaining a website or blog should have a dedicated IP address. It’s cheap insurance against being dropped because of the actions of someone else online. It’s also included with an SSL certificate, (which gives your site an “https:” url) and a layer of security if you collect information or take payments. If your site or blog is run on WordPress, consider managed wordpress hosting from a specialist like WP Engine Hosting.