nell - 8:33 am on Feb 28, 2002 (gmt 0)
Virtually every database driven e-commerce site using a mySQL or Access database is now worthless in terms of getting ranked. Typically, one would have html doorway pages redirecting to the (detail.asp or detail.php) pages of those products a customer wanted to rank and sell.
Likewise, a pure html version of a large e-commerce site for the purpose of ranking is impractical. Product changes (prices and descriptions) are impossible to manage and customer details cannot be gathered and executed.
Since PPI requires page optimisation, PPC is the only option left. Yes, the large e-commerce sites have no other option than to revert to Overture. When a number of competing, deep-pocket, e-commerce sites start bidding for the same top 3 competitive business keyword positions in 8 months time (next Xmas season) watch those PPC bids go through the roof. If that holds true, goodbye Overture PPC and hello MSN PPC when the Overture contact expires at the end of this year. (I wonder what project is MSN currently working on?)
The only option left for the SEO is to have their own e-commerce site using the profits made from whatever products they can get ranked to pay for the clicks everyone will need to stay in business. That will give the SEO e-commerce enterprise the leverage to compete against the big boys who have to pay for every visitor to their site.