Have You Been Banned From AltaVista?
By Damon Marturion
New Business News Staff Writer
WWW - We have been getting a slough of e-mail from readers, Web site owners and operators, small businessmen and Internet users about the banning of Web sites and deleting of selected domain names from the AltaVista search engine, index/database.
At first glance it seems as though AltaVista has taken a monopolistic view of itself after climbing from the number seven most popular search engine to number two.
All these reports of sites being deleted and/or banned raises many questions:
Has Alta Vista taken upon itself the position of World Wide Web censor?
Who determines which sites are banned?
What is the criteria for a site to be banned?
Is it possible that if your site is banned from the AltaVista search engine index/database to appeal the banning?
The e-mails that we have received from concerned individuals seems to lean towards AltaVista's Big Brother approach to censoring the Internet (although we are still collecting data) . . .
Those who have e-mailed us, report that their phone calls to AltaVista are unreturned. I have tried to contact AltaVista concerning the matter and phone calls have also been unacknowledged.
It appears that AltaVista is not going to be addressing this issue at this time, except for a blanket statement, that domains are routinely excluded for allegedly spamming AltaVista's index.
Of the e-mails that we have received to date, many of the domains house a variety of web pages that are owned or maintained by many different individuals. An example would be an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that offers its clients free hosting for a personal Web page, etc . . .
Let's say, for instance, that you have (a modest number) 200 clients who have Web pages hosted on your domain, one of which offends someone at AltaVista . . .
Then all the web pages of all the clients' and the ISP's own pages are automatically eliminated from AltaVista's search engine and any future submissions from that domain are rejected via the banning process.
Other emails represent individuals who have quit their day jobs to persue an online venture after achieving a certain amount of success. Sales and traffic that relied heavily on AltaVista's search engine . . . forced into bankruptcy with a single push of a button . . . irrevocably.
We are attempting to gather as much information as possible on this topic before publishing an official story. If you have first-hand iformation or know of someone who has been banned then please email us at email@example.com with your story or any information that you might have.
. . . watch for more stories coming soon