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PFI: Comparing players, products, prices..

Need in depth information, would appreiciate input

     

Cenedra

5:39 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm doing market research on all the players, specifically European, who are currently offering PFI or have recently launched PFI products.

The tricky bit is trying to understand the differences between European and US PFI products.

For example, Lycos.com *appears* to call their PFI products InSite.

In Europe at Lycos.co.uk, when you click on 'Add A Site', you get taken to 7 different packages (eg Express Submit, Bundle, etc).

Are these comparable products that are the same, just named differently? Also, the pricing structures of all the different offerings seem to be varying greatly. Is this intentional, ie there are obvious product differences?

Similarly, Yahoo UK have an 'Express Site' costing 199. Yet I can't seem to find the same product in the US. Has it not launched, or is it hidden somewhere else under a different name?

If anyone can point me to an updated chart of all the PFI products, charting both US and Europe, that would be great.

Thanks.

7:19 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Cenedra, welcome to the board

Don't know any such chart fully encompassing all PFI offers throughout Europe plus comparing those to the US. In the UK for example you'll find a different scene as say in Italy.

First thing to look at would be IMO the difference between paid inclusion to directories, as the Yahoo submission, and PFI to spidering search engines, as the Fast Partnersite, or the Ink PFI.

Some of the important PFI offers in Europe are similar throughout the countries, like the Lycos directory submission, the Yahoo submission. Prices and exact schemes vary between the countries.
But then you have in all countries locally important directories with their own paid inclusion scheme.
A good overview you'll find in the Euro chart [webmasterworld.com]

As to the paid inclusion into search engines the most important are Fast and Ink. Both are offered through third party providers.

Cenedra

9:40 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually I started my research based on that chart! It's been a great base, again only I realised that I needed to break it down even further to include US. Silly question: Why don't the SE's have the same provider powering their local and www searches? Why have different ones?

"First thing to look at would be IMO the difference between paid inclusion to directories, as the Yahoo submission, and PFI to spidering search engines, as the Fast Partnersite, or the Ink PFI. "

I forgot to mention an important factor: I'm pretty new to the SEO world - until about 2 weeks ago I thought search engines were simply that, not realising you had everything from providers, to portals, to Pay for Placement, to different offerings in different countries (eg Overture provides listings to Yahoo US, but Espotting provides them in Europe) etc. Not that it's a difficult concept, but trying to understand who is who, who owns who, who drives who, where do they drive them, etc when you've jumped in the deep end is a lot to process! And on a global level as well.

Ideally I'd like to have a 2 hour chat with an SEO guru :)

"IMO the difference between paid inclusion to directories, as the Yahoo submission, and PFI to spidering search engines, as the Fast Partnersite, or the Ink PFI"

This is where I'm getting a bit confused - probably because I'm still coming to grips with the setup of the individual SEs: If an advertiser wants to use PFI to a SE, for example Yahoo, why would it make a difference if that SE had a directory and search engine, or one, or the other? Is it a matter of how the listings are 'collated' that determines how they can be submitted? Is it an editorial thing, ie if they submit to a directory, it has to be in a certain format?

Also, for argument's sake - if an SE has both a directory and normal search engine, and an advertiser wanted to submit URL's to both - are there two different processes?

Finally... (I promise). Using the above example, is there currently a search engine that allows you to submit (PFI)locally, with the option of your listings appearing in all their global sites?

11:18 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why don't the SE's have the same provider powering their local and www searches? Why have different ones?

Well, fx. Jubii in Denmark runs their own directory with danish sites only. Their international search is FAST. They need a global player to cover the global searches. Spidering engines cover a much lager base of sites - that could also be the reason.

why would it make a difference if that SE had a directory and search engine, or one, or the other? Is it a matter of how the listings are 'collated' that determines how they can be submitted? Is it an editorial thing, ie if they submit to a directory, it has to be in a certain format?

Again, PFI to spidering engines gives you the option to get a lot of pages in and therefore a lot of keywords. PFI to directories is often only per "one URL" basis and therefore a much small ammount of keywords.

However this has changed a bit. Now fx Looksmart offers additional keywords on a PPC basis. ODP and Yahoo submissions is still one domain, one title, one description - few keywords.

if an SE has both a directory and normal search engine, and an advertiser wanted to submit URL's to both - are there two different processes?

Yes. Two different things. Take MSN, the directory is Looksmart. The regular search engine results are Inktomi.

Cenedra

12:50 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all the info so far.

Are all the SE's PFI programs powered by 3rd party technology providers?

What that means is.. am I right in understanding that companies like PositionTech and DecideInteractive 'power' the PFI programs, and in turn companies like Inktomi and Fast resell those PFI programs as white labels onto the Yahoos and the Altavistas? (or do I have Inktomi and Fast' roles completely confused!)

If so, why don't the SE's get the technology directly from the PFI tech companies?

Is it the case that all the Yahoos and Altavistas and Lycos actually sell their PFI directly to the public? Or does one have to go through additional 3rd parties to enlist?

Is there an all-encompassing company that allows you to sign up for all the (local and/or global) SE PFI programs?

10:01 am on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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To take your last question first ...
Is there an all-encompassing company that allows you to sign up for all the (local and/or global) SE PFI programs?

No, you will still need to go to different places to get included in all programs

... and then to the rest ...

I think you basically need to understand how it works:

Search engines such as FAST and Inktomi power a large number of portals with their search technology. Most portals in the world will never be able to afford the kind of technology development and infrastructure it takes to create a global web-index and run the search function. So, portals like Yahoo, MSN, AOL and others buy the search facility from one (or more) of these search engine technology companies.

Now, as you know banners don't pay very well anymore :)
Portals used to use search to get users to their portal and then made money from showing banners to them. It does not work anymore. So, both portals and search engines therefore had to find a new revenue stream - and then came PFI.

With PFI you pay to get included in the index that the search engine technology companies (like FAST and Inktomi) distribute to the portal partners. However, most search engine companies don't have a sales structure to support the sale of the inclusions to webmasters like you and I, so they have teamed up with reselling partners such as PositionTech and Marketleap. Through those partners you can buy yourself into the indexes the search engines create and make available to their portal partners. The search engine companies and the portal partners then split the revenue from the PFI-programs.

So, neither PositionTech, Marketleap or any of the other resellers/partners to the PFI-programs can feed the portals directly with what they have. The inclusions needs to be put into a search engine index to be searchable.

I hope this made it a bit more clear to you how things work :)