While the Web is still a great place for free advertising and
promotion, there are some times that you simply have to put out...
money, that is.I hear a lot of whining about how the Internet is meant to be FREE.
Why should we have to pay to be listed on a search engine? The answer is simple. Money.Not your money. The search engine's money. As in payroll, rent,
servers, insurance, computers and so on.
Do the math. Assume it takes even as little as 3 minutes to process
a site submission. That means an average employee can review at most
20 sites each hour. Or only 160 sites each day.
Let's pretend that Yahoo! only gets 200,000 submissions per day. That
would require 1,250 employees just to keep up with the reviews, not
counting supervisors, managers, support staff and all of the other
needs that 1,250 employees would have.
That only takes care of the new submissions. What about all of the
maintenance required to a database as large as theirs? URL changes.
Dead links. Name changes.
So what it really comes down to is this: the people that say the Net
should be "Free" really mean that it should be free to them, as in
somebody else should pay for it.
Unless you want to wait a long time to start getting traffic from
search engines advertising, you are going to have to pay a few fees. Consider the
following four directories and the solid value they offer in return
for very reasonable fees.
Not being listed in LookSmart is like being the Invisible Man. Oops.
I guess that should be the Invisible Person.
The reality is that LookSmart reaches a larger Internet audience than
any other entity. Because they supply search results to such portals
as CNN, MSN, Excite and AltaVista as well as through their own search
site, LookSmart is able to expose your site to over 77% of the
Internet population, or in round numbers, 58 million people. That's
an impossible market penetration to ignore.
If your site is non-commercial, you can submit your site for a
listing at no charge. However, there is no guarantee as to when, or
even if your site will get reviewed.
If your site is commercial in nature, or if you want to get listed
quickly in order to start your traffic flow, you have two options.
Option 1 allows you to submit for a review that is guaranteed to
occur within 8 weeks. The fee is $99 US.
Option 2 costs $199 US and you are guaranteed to have your review
within 48 hours. This is the fastest path you will find to long-term,
free traffic as the fee is one time only.
These options do not guarantee that you will be listed in the
LookSmart directory, but rather a guarantee that your site will be
considered with the stated time frame.
GoTo.com started the whole business of paid listings. Their model was
unique when it launched. Site owners don't pay for listings - they
pay for each visitor GoTo sends them as a result of the site's
When you set up an account on GoTo, you select as many keywords as
you want that are relevant to your site and you enter the amount you
will pay for each visitor. The more you pay, the higher you are
listed in the results. Some keywords only cost two or three cents to
be listed on the first page of results. Some are well over a dollar
per visitor. The cost is determined by all of the people bidding for
traffic through that keyword.
In the past my advice has been to only bid enough to be on the first
page of a search result. That way you were assured of getting a good
flow of traffic without paying to be number one in that category.
Times have changed and I now suggest that you bid to be in the top
five results for your primary keywords. GoTo has begun supplying
results for other search engines, but usually they are only supplying
the first five results and the search engine then uses its own
database to supply the remainder of the results.
This makes it a better investment than ever before to have an active
account at GoTo.
Yahoo! is just what you've always heard - the largest single
concentration of web searchers on any search engine or directory.
You'll have a very hard time building your e-empire without traffic
The reality is that only a small percentage of free submissions even
get looked at by a staff reviewer at Yahoo! - the volume is simply
too massive to effectively deal with. You can keep taking your
chances for success by submitting and waiting, submitting and
waiting, submitting and...
Or, you can pay the modest $199 US and be guaranteed that your site
will be reviewed within 7 business days. If traffic is your goal,
this is an offer that is too good to refuse.
Again, paying the fee does not guarantee that you will actually be
listed in Yahoo! but your chances are better than submitting and
Similar in structure to GoTo, Rocketlinks has been growing steadily
over the past few months and is now generating good traffic flows for
many search categories. It has grown so much that many site owners
are reporting it as their lowest cost source of Pay For Performance
traffic. Many very good keywords can be had for one or two cents per
Rocketlinks has several new ways for you to participate:Home Page and Contest Page Featured Listings, Banner Bidding, Cost-Per-Click Banner Advertising, Email/Newsletter Auctions, Contest Sponsorship and Email Advertising.
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.