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Yahoo! offers paid inclusion with new marketing program

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Yahoo! last week launched a new marketing program that features paid inclusion.

The Content Acquisition Program uses paid search technology Yahoo! gained through its Inktomi and Overture acquisitions last year. It includes commercial and non-commercial packages, offering content providers paid and free search options.

"Our overall goal is to crawl 100% of the Web for free," said Chris Bolte, VP-strategic alliances at Yahoo! "This is a value-added program. If [advertisers] choose not to [participate], we’d still like them in the base index for free."

The commercial side of the Content Acquisition Program features paid search options called Site Match and Site Match Xchange. Under these options, advertisers pay a flat rate or cost-per-click fee or both to have their Web pages crawled and be included in Yahoo!’s index.

What’s new is the ability to register multiple URLs, make sure the content is refreshed when it appears in the search index, control the relationship with Yahoo! and create reports.

Site Match is aimed at smaller companies that have fewer than 1,000 pages on their site. The cost to register is $49 a year for the first URL, $29 a year per URL for two to 10, and $10 a year per URL for 11 to 999.

In addition to the flat fee for registering URLs, advertisers must pay a per-click fee of between 15 cents and 30 cents, depending on the vertical industry segment, when users click on their search listing.

The Site Match Xchange program is aimed at larger advertisers with 1,000 or more URLs, and it is a straight cost-per-click model, ranging from 15 cents to $1 a click, depending on vertical industry segment.

Paul McAfee, principal of Exubrio, a marketing firm that does search engine consulting, said he was concerned about the new pricing model.

"If [clients] advertise, their costs may get out of hand," McAfee said. "If they don’t advertise, their listings may be pushed to the second or later pages due to the prime search space being occupied by paid ads," he said.

The non-commercial portion of the Content Acquisition Program, called Public Site Match, is aimed at non-profit organizations, with the goal of improving search quality and expanding the depth and breadth of content for search users.

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