Yahoo Search Down, Did it Make A Sound?


Yahoo Search was down for at least twenty minutes this morning. Did anyone even notice?


It was down?

I generally don't go to the toilet areas of the Internet.... LOL

Kidding.. seriously I didn't even know it was down..



It was...

meh. I use dogpile.

Where are you

Where are you searching from? I am pretty sure I used Yahoo today while checking ranks..


Searching from Berkeley, California from about 10:30 to 10:55 PST, when I noticed it was back.

Screenshot is available at

A colorful friend told me

A colorful friend told me that you get that screen when you do too many queries too fast.

Yep, now we know, ROIGUY's

Yep, now we know, ROIGUY's actually, gasp, a bot!

Not a bot

maybe occasionally running a rank check. Same software for over a without seeming that error and I wasn't even checking anything at the moment.


Hey Roiguy,
You, your company, your school, etc. may have been funneling a lot of queries through Yahoo at one time and probably tripped a filter. Or it could have been a temporary outage as you mention, however I was using Yahoo all day today and did not see anything like this.

Sorta funny, you know how Google bitches about scrapers and how they're bad and don't use them... Well, really, Google is the biggest scraper of all. In the past, when you performed searches on combinations of the keywords "Yahoo!, 999 Unable to process request at this time, error 999" in Google, it would return all sorts of Yahoo error pages that were indexed by Google as it's scrapper... err, spider, went through and indexed pages from Y! stores, sites hosted by Yahoo, and official Yahoo pages because Google's scrapper was getting flagged and shut down from scraping Yahoo based pages.

If you have a tin foil hat, it may be time to put it on, it may be that Y! decided that Google's IP range could be allowed to scrape Y! sites (kinda like how major security companies ignored Sony's Rootkit installation until it became a big issue). It could be that Google throttled down their scraper to look more human. It could be that Google simply programmed their algo so that pages that came from Yahoo and had X text, are simply not returned any more. After all, there use to be thousands and thousands of such pages indexed. In the past, you could even click on the cache option next to a 999 result in Google and see the same 999 error page that you mention rather than just the excerpt blurb that Google usually shows in the results pages. Obviously something has changed in the past few years. What exactly, I don't know.

That error is quite easy to

That error is quite easy to avoid, once you know the trick.

Yahoo! responded to within hours

I was contacted by a fairly senior yahoo manager within hours of my original post.

It's possible that your rank checker is triggering our defense
mechanisms. ...We've been getting a lot of DDoS attacks lately, so we've had to take a
more defensive stance recently. I'd recommend using the API to avoid any
possible problems.

Thanks Yahoo! for the quick and informative response.

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