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Looksmart - Dead Directory Walking?
Brett_Tabke




msg:1228005
 1:23 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it time to pull discussion support for Looksmart?

- 99% of the previous LS traffic is gone or residual that I can see. Most sites I've seen get more traffic now from freebie directories. In fact, there is one FFA that has generated more traffic today, than 8 LS listings have in the last year.
- The previous back door connection with Ink is now all but dried up.
- Even MSN ls listings are bascially dead on page.
- LS has lost most of the ISP associations it once had.
- After 500,000 page views from Wisenut the last year, there have been 12 referrals. Have not seen a Wisenut referral in 4 months.

There is a time to bring up growing engines like we did with AllTheWeb and later Teoma. There is also a time to pack it in when one goes so far off the radar (ala Infoseek) - I think we are there.

 

jeremy goodrich




msg:1228035
 11:11 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Charge, didn't you know that MSN re-allocates the Looksamrt search volume every six months?

It was in their year end filings, dude.

With the average cost per click at Overture rising, and them offering so much more money to MSN, LOOK will be allocated 0 from what I've heard.

The google bit - is exclusive. Did you know Eric & I had lunch last week? :)

Tell Thornely I said hi, while you are at it, will you?

Nick_W




msg:1228036
 11:16 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can I ask a question as a non-initiate of the love/hate L$ circle?

Who cares? - Boring boring boring. If you got stuff going on there, great. If you work there, great. If you're doing some kind of weird branding thing (LOOKSMART), great, but really: yawnarama guys!

Nick

Bobby_Davro




msg:1228037
 12:21 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Looksmart really are going to get zero allocation, then they are going to be in real trouble. What kind of distribution network will that leave them with?

The Looksmart "directory" itself is pretty poor, so I can't see many (any) people using it as a search tool.

If they do fall victim to Overture, then it merely ratifies what we said at the time of the switch; they managed to pcik all of the bad things from PPC and forgot all the good.

jeremy goodrich




msg:1228038
 12:26 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I was MSN, that would be the only logical decision. In 2002, MSN changed the LS contract from 5 years to 3 years or was it 2 years?

Either way, one of the privisios (when you read LS SEC filings) is that MSN can 're-allocate' LS search volume every 6 months.

Since MSN sells in house their own products / text links at the top, as well as Overture, it's a bit hard for them to 'commit' all their inventory to any 1 partner.

So, as we've been saying around here with the rising CPC of Overture listings, as well as the increased partner revenue share (up to 63%) that makes the Overture listings on part with LS in terms of EPC, even though LS may be comfortable giving away a bigger percentage.

The problem is the fixed cost model of LS - it just won't work for a company long term like MS, where they must grow & grow & grow...what are they at, 23 billion in annual revenue?

And their internal search team is up to 70 people - it's not to take on LS further as a partner, it's to replace them.

Bobby_Davro




msg:1228039
 12:31 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

63%! wow, that's a good deal. Most sites get the standard 40%. Overture claim 20% is costs, so that leaves Overture getting just 17% profit from MSN.

Can Looksmart change their system in time to avoid being dropped? And even if they did, would MS want two very similar PPC systems in use?

jeremy goodrich




msg:1228040
 1:01 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Comparing the advertiser base - Over at 80,000 (last official figure in their April press release) and LS at what, perhaps 1/3 of that?

Besides which, LS is KNOWN for driving their own affiliate revenue through CJ, Linkshare, to name a few of the big networks that they work with. Selling products through them, etc. That makes them compete directly with their advertisers.

Overture, afaik, doesn't do that.

And, Over is launching that new product to help advertsers get an even better ROI from them so what would MSN do if they *really* want to grow revenue?

There's no penalty clause in the deal, or else LS would not have included it as a foot note / warning in their SEC filings.

If I were those guys, I'd be looking for new work.

charge




msg:1228041
 1:11 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

You guys might be good webmasters but you really have no idea what the politics are.Overture work the top of the page
LOOKSMART have the rest.80%.No one else has a competitive PFI product although OVERTURE are trying.By OVERTURES OWN ADMISSION its 18 - 2YRS away not to mention the 200 odd million dollars there spending on trying to creat their own PFI.LOOKSMART contribute $10 mill per Q to MSN coffers.With no other PFI product who are they changing to?The answer no one.Truth is MSN and LOOKSMART are bed fellows and a 2 year contract will be signed by year end.Now jeremy if GOOGLEs contract is exclusive I will stop posting if its not you disappear.Care to take me on.
cheers charge!

jeremy goodrich




msg:1228042
 1:21 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>>Truth is MSN and LOOKSMART are bed fellows and a 2 year contract will be signed by year end.

that's a bold statement.

However, the current contract they have - is worthless. MSN can back out at any time.

Do you think, if MSN has that much power (and they do) that when they've already gotten everything LS has to offer, and a non exclusive, re adjust every six months deal, that they would change it?

Nope.

The situation for LS is still precarious. Nothing changes that fact.

charge




msg:1228043
 1:28 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know of no recently signed deal that is exclusive and everyone has a 6 month out clause.What do you think Yahoo is going to use when inktomi is fully ramped, to jettison Google.Still waiting for your answer on Googles contract with AOL.

martinibuster




msg:1228044
 1:44 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Who cares? - Boring boring boring.

That's what I was alluding to in message#4, when I said, "Leaving personal anecdotes aside,"

A lot of these threads can degenerate into a ping-pong match between those who think the search engine tastes great or is less filling.

I think if we look at the topic of the post, "- Dead Directory Walking?"

I firmly believe that if we all settle down, focus on the topic, limit the personal anecdotes to what is relevant to furthering the discussion of the topic, that we can all have a productive discussion and avoid boring Nick_W in the bargain.

:) Y

Domoz




msg:1228045
 8:24 am on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dead directory walking? Have you guys looked at how many paid clicks LS delivered to MSN over the last 12 months? OVER may give MSN a higher cpc than LOOK, but maybe it would be worth mentioning the proprortion of clicks that go to the PFI listings over the PFP listings on MSN? Last I heard it was at least a 5:1 ratio in favour of PFI, and rising. It was a strategy specifically pursued by LS, annonunced by Evan Thornly as they changed focus from the top-of-page realestate over 12 months ago. Dead directory? I think not.

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