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Can't afford to get into MSN
A question of fair practice
jaeden




msg:481241
 2:36 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

How many of you out there are in the same position? Every month I get this lousy letter from LookSmart stating that my $15.00 in free clicks ran out before the end of the month. Heck, they run out in the first couple hours. They think I should increase my monthly spend to $2500! After calculating everything out using current conversion rates and average order size, it would cost me around 33% of my total sale for every order that would come from MSN through LookSmart. With a margin of 50% and ordinary expenses on top of that, we just won't do it. As a matter of fact, NO ONE, I mean NOT ONE SITE that is in my major keyword is paying one dime to LookSmart to be listed in MSN. They are still the same old stale listings that have been in MSN for the last couple years.

I am serious when I ask this... is this LEGAL? Why can some websites get listed in a MAJOR search engine for free while others have to pay through the nose? It's not like at Google where if you work real hard and do what is "right" you can get yourself ranked higher. Another thing, I don't think the surfers on MSN have clue that what the results they are seeing are all part of MSN's editor buddy list (I don't think they care either).

Just had to vent!

 

OntheEdge




msg:481242
 2:52 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that, but I can't help but wonder when they'll realize they are shooting themselves in the foot.

I've seen the same thing with SE's using out data DMOZ dumps. You pay through the nose to get in with no guarantee that you won't drown in 1,000 free listings, most of which have little relevance to the search terms.

martinibuster




msg:481243
 3:29 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I paid Ink $49 bucks for one year. That's it.

MSN is in the business of making a profit, just like you. I'm not going to begrudge them that. Is it fair? A lot of things in business aren't.

You may want to ditch LS and experiment with INK.

Laisha




msg:481244
 3:58 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I pay only Inktomi too. I get the LS notice once a month (though I thought that was set to run out last December?).

I finally checked out BCentral the other day. Will this program get a site into MSN? (It says it does, but I am ever the skeptic.)

martinibuster




msg:481245
 5:15 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

What's the harm?

Not sure. If bcentral activates the spider to crawl for the free ink spider, then you might get a temporary penalty. I'm not sure if that has changed or not.

In any case, if you have links to you, the ink spider will find you, regardless.

The cool thing about ink paid submission is that their spider visits every 48 hours, allowing you to tweak your page and see the results within a couple days, instead of a couple months with Google/Fast/etc.

JayC




msg:481246
 5:39 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure. If bcentral activates the spider to crawl for the free ink spider, then you might get a temporary penalty. I'm not sure if that has changed or not.

My impression is that submitting through bcentral is essentially the same as submitting through any Inktomi paid submission reseller. I've never tried it, but come to that conclusion through my reading of the information on the bcentral site, and because they're listed among the "Search Submit" resellers [inktomi.com] on Inktomi's site.

skibum




msg:481247
 6:57 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

It appears they to like to participate in affilate programs. When taking on new clients we sometimes find that they are already listed in LookSmart with pretty darn good placements in LookSmart/MSN but don't appear to ever have submitted a site.

It's amazing how critical to relevancy a site can become with an affiliate program. If you have one, that could be a way in........

FrankWeb




msg:481248
 4:52 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is not for most people to pay that much to get in the msn search results.

Personally I have some really great results with ZEAL. This helped me to go up in the top 15 for a couple of keywords.

Plus also submit once in a while a page of your site to msn for free, because the more pages crawled and indexed the higher the rank...to my opinion.

Kimberly




msg:481249
 5:50 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

How much is any thing worth? Exactly as much as the highest bidder is willing to pay.

The CEO of the corporation that employs me has strong feelings that we will try to never pay for listings. The internet used to be a level playing field; smaller shops had as much opportunity as those with much more funding.

But, since some folks are willing to pay for exposure, eventually free exposure may be totally extinct.

What would happen if we all just decided to do business only with parties who wanted us, gratis?

Jillibert




msg:481250
 9:11 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jaeden,maybe the same old stale links as you say will not be there when MSN release their new site out of beta.

As for you and LS,simple go elsewhere.
You said its "free" clicks are working for you yet you will not increase your monthly spend.
If its working you can increase your monthly spend to suit "your" budget,if its notworking,go somewhere else,you will have too come December anyway when your "free" clicks run out......unless of course you want to be on MSN then you will have no choice but to use Looksmart or Overture.

The days of a free ride are nearly gone,you think Yahoo are going to let you list through INKT for free or for a one time fee,Yahoo more then anyone are moving to a user pays system.......the others are following just as quickly.

haystack




msg:481251
 3:10 am on Feb 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<The days of a free ride are nearly gone,you think Yahoo are going to let you list through INKT for free or for a one time fee,Yahoo more then anyone are moving to a user pays system.......the others are following just as quickly.>>

Jillbert, I disagree with your assessment of Yahoo's planned use of INKT. I think they'll largely continue to use INKT as it's being used today, which means you do not have to pay for a listing.

To have true relevancy is search you simply cannot exclude sites from your index. Yahoo will drive people to Google in record numbers if they only listed sites who were willing to pay.

MSN has shown how this works. By imposing low quality LookSmart results on their users, they've lost more searchers to Google than any site in the history of the web. I make that statement based on the fact that most web users start using the web with MSN as their default homepage, yet more users use Google driven sites than MSN today.

Marcia




msg:481252
 3:45 am on Feb 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I inherited a bCentral listing, and it was just a paid Ink submission that cost more than the other partners because they submit to others also. They never did allow URL changes even when the others did, and when I got live chat support on line she said it's not Inktomi, it's MSN. She did not know MSN used Inktomi.

haystack




msg:481253
 7:53 am on Feb 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<I inherited a bCentral listing, and it was just a paid Ink submission that cost more than the other partners because they submit to others also.>>

That sounds familiar. To me, one of MSN's greatest failures is capitalizing of the incredible market potential of bCentral. Search engine positioning is crutial for small businesses yet bCentral only provides misinformation on the topic.

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