Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Big Yahoo Scam the Federal Trade Commission has just Ignored


By: Tom Forrest
Email: tomforrest@htpcompany.com

Yahoo puts in paid sponsored results in with the free merit based non-sponsored results for every search results page. This is why in my opinion Yahoo is misleading and deceiving consumers and is violating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. Please read the background and details below.

I was contacted by some major news organizations about my previous article and they asked me to cut out the nerd talk so they could understand it better. Below is that non-nerd version.

I am angry that the incompetent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ignored the biggest Internet advertising scam of all time. It has been perpetrated by Yahoo for many years now.

Some people have reported this Yahoo scam to the FTC. However 99% of the general public do not know and understand what Yahoo is doing. Once people do understand it they think that it is wrong what Yahoo is doing and that the FTC should not allow it.

Do you understand the Yahoo Scam?

Do you know what Yahoo is doing?

I mean at a very basic level, 99% of people do not know and that is why it is so wrong and evil. Yahoo puts in paid sponsored results in with the free merit based non-sponsored results of every search results page. This is why in my opinion Yahoo is misleading and deceiving consumers and is violating FTC regulations. Even though they have separate sponsored (paid) and non-sponsored (free) sections on any search, some percentage of the so called merit based non-sponsored (free) results are really sponsored (paid).

From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
"Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers."

So if Yahoo does not tell consumers a search result is paid for and Yahoo deceives the consumer and pretends like the paid search result is there based on merit only, then Yahoo advertising is not telling the truth and is misleading the consumers. Then if the consumer makes a bad decision based on Yahoo's deception, isn't that wrong?

Yahoo is deceiving the general public.

The below is from Yahoo's web site:

Where are sponsor results shown on the Search results page?
Sponsor Results: Sponsor Results are sites that pay for placement in search results on keywords that are relevant to their business. These listings participate in the Yahoo! Sponsored Search program and appear on Yahoo! Search results pages and other sections of Yahoo!. You'll see Sponsor Results when they're relevant to the specific search terms you used. For example, if you search for "digital cameras," you'll see Sponsor Results for web sites that provide information about or sell digital cameras. Sponsor Results are separated from other results on Yahoo! Search results pages so you can tell them apart.

Now if the above was always true, then Yahoo would not be deceiving the consumers. However since Yahoo is putting paid sponsored results in the free results section, Yahoo is deceiving consumers and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) needs to fine Yahoo and make them stop this evil dirty trick against the general public. Don't you want to know what search results in Yahoo are being paid for and what results are free?

Furthermore Google and the Microsoft (MSN) search engines do not do a scam like Yahoo does, not because they could not make a lot of money doing it. The reason Google and MSN do not do it is because they know it is evil and wrong and they may have problems with the FTC if they did what Yahoo is doing.

Since Yahoo maybe in violation of the FTC regulations Matt Cutts has been promoting lately, I ask everyone who reads this article to write to Matt Cutts asking him to enforce Google's guidelines and the FTC regulations by completely removing all of Yahoo's web sites and all of Yahoo's web pages from the Google search engine. Yahoo is in my opinion the biggest violator of Google and the FTC guidelines in the world. Also, ask Matt Cutts if the Google and FTC regulations apply to all web sites, or just some web sites?

The other sad part of this is how Yahoo treated small webmasters when they started their paid inclusion scam. This was right after they purchased Inktomi. I think I may still have the email Yahoo sent me. It basically said pay us for every click to be in the non-sponsored natural listings of Yahoo or we will kick you out. So I refused because I knew this was totally evil and perhaps a violation of FTC regulations. One of my web sites is still not in Yahoo because I refused their evil attempts to make me pay. The reason it maybe a violation of FTC regulations and Google guidelines, is that when web surfers see these listings in the natural non-sponsored rankings, they are not marked that they are really paid for. This is deceiving the general public.