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Pay for Play in Europe #1 [locked]

Getting a fix on the latest trend.

     
7:06 pm on Nov 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

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The purpose of this discussion is to try to collect the facts about the Pay-for-Play situation in Europe. Pay-for-Play means the new money making schemes from leading search engines, under which you have to pay them to get indexed or to attain a high ranking. There have been new announcements about this every week this autumn and the other forums here at WebmasterWorld are filled with cries of outrage.

But how much of all this concerns Europe and how much is just for USA? Here's what I have found so far:

Yahoo
Yahoo charges $199 for listings in their commercial categories, not the regional "World" category where European sites would have to go. The European Yahoo sites do not mention anything about payment. But if you have a dot-com address and want into the commercial part of their main index at Yahoo.com, then you have to pay. The requirement for a business based in an English speaking country has been lifted, but there is a bug in their payment program; When your credit card is reviewed, the program will not accept cards with a non-US billing address.

Altavista
Altavista has selected GoTo as their "exclusive Pay-For-Performance Search Provider". (Nov 16, 2000) GoTo will provide AV with "premium listings on select search results pages, beginning in November." There are "no plans" for Altavista's European subsidiaries, but "there may be a test in the UK".

Altavista will also use the LookSmart directory as their only one. LookSmart is free for non-profit organizations. Everybody else has to pay. See below.

Inktomi [inktomi.com]
Inktomi has just started charging money for indexing, with PositionTech [inktomi.com] as their general agent. The cost is $20/year for the first page, $10 ea/year for the following 100 and $6 ea/year for pages above 100. Inktomi has several offices in Europe already and is planning to open in Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Inktomi powers MSN Search, AOL and many other search engines [inktomi.com]

Lycos
Terra Lycos has announced that they will use GoTo in the same way as Altavista. It is unclear if this applies to Lycos Europe, in which Terra Lycos is but one of several owners.

GoTo [goto.com]
Goto charges per click in search results and site owners have to put in a bid for the search terms they are interested in. They are then ranked in the order of how much they paid. The smallest bid is $0.01 and there are lots of keywords left, even in the English language, where one cent will get you first page placement. GoTo provides "premium listings" for Altavista, AOL, Terra Lycos,Netscape, InfoSpace/Go2Net among others.

LookSmart [submit.looksmart.com]
LookSmart is a directory. They charge $199 for guaranteed review within 48 hours (but no guarantee that you will be listed.) For $79 they will review the site within 8 weeks, but still no guarantee. LookSmart provides the directory for Altavista, MSN, Excite and CNN.

That's how much I have found out so far. Looks as if Google and Fast are the only remaining no cost worldwide engines and this time. If you know more or have experience from this that you would like to share, please post a reply right here. Or just ask a question.

Edited by: rencke

12:44 pm on Dec 18, 2000 (gmt 0)

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>supplemental results to display UK ODP sites

I think that is a better way to do things. The most cost effective way for you to get noticed by UK SEO's is to show in the logs, there is a much better chance of this happening with UK filtered results.

>what you meant by the first 10

Just that to encourage webmasters to bid you need to lock them out from the top ten listings on the major keywords. If you can get the top ten spots filled with paid listings then some webmasters will have to pay.

Hi balthus welcome to WebmasterWorld,

>reckon to have done a deal with askjeeves.

makemetop reported that here [webmasterworld.com] presumably from an email as I can find no reference to it on the site.

Nathan Power

1:30 pm on Dec 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I just received a copy of this press release:

=======
NOW ASK ESPOTTING,
WITH ASK JEEVES!
Espotting signs deal with Ask Jeeves

Espotting.com, Europe's fastest growing search provider, today announced a deal with Ask Jeeves UK, the UK's premier online question-answering service.

Espotting's search results will appear within Ask Jeeves' meta search results, giving Ask Jeeves' 2.6 million unique users a broader search choice.

Espotting's search results are determined by advertisers bidding on search terms - in an online, real-time auction - that are relevant to their site. The higher an advertiser bids, the higher they are listed.

"We are delighted to announce yet another affiliate deal," commented Daniel Ishag, Founder and CEO of Espotting. "The editorial quality control inherent in Espotting's search model and the fact that we offer UK results means that there are strong synergies between the two search engines."

Will Harding, Director of Business Development at Ask Jeeves UK, said that the deal with Espotting added a valuable dimension to the capabilities of the high-profile search engine. "Our aim is to simplify people's lives by giving fast, relevant answers to their questions online. We approached Espotting to include them as a meta search partner because we believe they
can add real value to the overall experience we provide at Ask Jeeves" Harding said.

=======

Seems to be good news for eSpotting.com.

pobeirne

11:36 am on Dec 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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In reply to:
>Or rather, will the big SE:s accept GoTo listings where the advertiser has
>paid as little as 1 cent?

See the thread I started in the PPC SE forum. Altavista does NOT list all my GoTo terms. Just some. Nothing to do with bids. 1c, 9c, whatever. I don't know the reason yet.

Patrick.

1:50 pm on Dec 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to the European forum Patrick.
I saw somewhere that Altavista's deal with GoTo does not cover the whole field, just searches where Altavista has no other deal going. But what these areas might be, has never been disclosed. Looks as if you may have stumbled upon one of them. A careful analysis of who made it to the search reply page for your GoTo kwds might reveal more. Keep us posted will you?
2:40 pm on Dec 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

There's some info in the Goto traffic center outlining the restrictions for AltaVista.

This is what it states:

Due to restrictions in our agreement with AltaVista, certain listings will not be included in "Sponsored Listings" results on AltaVista. Listings that will not appear include some terms or advertisers related to adult content, travel, real estate, domain names, credit cards and other search terms covered by exclusive agreements that AltaVista has with their business partners.

So it seems that the restrictions can vary depending on AltaVista business partner deals.

Simon.

9:31 am on Dec 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Now I remember - that's what I saw. Thanks Simon.

>adult content, travel, real estate, domain names, credit cards and other search terms covered by exclusive agreements

Pretty far flung, and not very specific. Does any of this ring a bell, pobeirne?

4:21 pm on Jan 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Now we have got in Germany a PPC-engine, too:
Cyberfind [cyberfind.de] says it is the first one, and I think itīs right!
5:34 pm on Jan 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I get a 404 when visiting Cyberfind!
5:50 pm on Jan 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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So do I. Maybe it is both the first and the last PPC in Germany? We all know that the search engine business is tough, but I didn't know it is this tough....

Traced the url, and the 404 comes from Kundendienst.de, which I think might be the German Nic. The second from last node belongs to Schlund & Partner Gmbh in Karlsruhe. Was Cyberfind one of their projects perhaps?

7:02 pm on Jan 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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The HTML is a full screen frame with this [shop.aware.de...] as the source page.

Strange! Perhaps a temporary problem.

Simon.

7:24 pm on Jan 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Well spotted Simon. Who but you would think of examining the code of a 404 page? That stuff in NOFRAMES appears to be some kind of a re-direct, but is it really correct HTML? I wonder. Temporary? I guess we'll have to check back again.
8:05 pm on Jan 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Ooops,
just a mistake with the URL:
Cyfind [cyfind.de] is its name....

intresting that this engine try to do both:
to be a normal searchengine because it offers to pick up your pages with a normal submit -
and to be a ppc-engine.
Look here: On the AddURL-Page [cyfind.de] you can read that - unfortunately in German.

10:49 am on Jan 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Aha! This typo will cost you four beers, oLeon. One for Rumbas, one for me and two for Simon (the famous 404 analytic) next time we meet. :)

Checked the site (snazzy layout) and noticed that you get 10 DEM for registering your url, which can be used to pay for clicks. Also noticed that the minimum bid is DEM 0.01. But I couldn't find any info about the auction procedure, just a reference that it is on the member pages. So one has to register for that. Anything you can tell us about that? IS there a keyword selection tool ā la Goto?

Do they have any traffic to speak of? Or are they likely to get it? Germany is a big place, and I would think that launching a new SE there may be nearly impossible in view of the fierce competition from all major international engines plus some very well entrenched local ones.

What do you think?

7:09 pm on Jan 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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"Aha! This typo will cost you four beers, oLeon. One for Rumbas, one for me and two for Simon (the famous 404 analytic) next time we meet."

-- hehe, perhaps I should get out more often!

"IS there a keyword selection tool ā la Goto?"

Speaking of keyword tools. We have just added at search term tool to UK Sprite. As we are still quite new and our UK ad campaign doesn't begin for a few more weeks, our search tool isn't yet as useful as those provided by some of the bigger ppc search engines - but it does work and is growing. It gives a good idea of how many clicks to expect.

4:39 pm on Jan 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Oh yes, next time we meet us we have to drink a lot of beer;-)

>you get 10 DEM for registering your url

Yes, thatīs right - and you only can do that on the member page. It looks like a Directory, you have to choose a section. But, I donīt understand why: you cannot see something like that.
No, there is no keyword-tool.
They say the auction would happen when you bid and you can see this immediately.
No traffic at all - because they have only their own index, for free or paid. (No backup!) But there isnīt anything in - not yet.

10:12 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I pronounced that Cyfind [cyfind.de] was the first bidengine in Germany - what they call out. But now there arise a dispute between Cyfind and Qualigo [qualigo.de] due to qualigo metioned that it was the first one...

Qualigo is a bidengine from a seo-company, have a look at Suchtreffer [suchtreffer.de]. Interesting because the engine has got its own backup-database but you only can submit to the pay-bid-service. They crawl the internet and follow all links they find, so they keep clean their index. (Unfortunately we havenīt experience with it yet.)

10:23 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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And not only those, oLeon. Have you checked this discussion yet?
[webmasterworld.com...]

These people must think that you Germans are made of gold. I remember a few years ago when Helmut Kohl made a bitter comment about Germany being the "Zahlmeister" (cashier) of the European Union. Apparantely a lot of people are taking that seriously.

Do you honestly believe that all these PPC schemes can succeed in your country? And was I right in your opionion, about the point of view that I voiced in my second reply to Alex in the thread linked above.

10:40 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Can a bidengine be successful in any country?
I really donīt know but I guess that itīs too much work managing the hole thing. (Have a look at Goto, they donīt earn a pence though they are as big as a mountain...)

Itīs normal thinking about paying for listing also in Germany of course. And your point that the SEs will doing the bid-thing by themselves, yes, that sounds stringent.

BTW: we are made of Gold (though gold.de is bankrupt) - we earn a lot of money and donīt know what to do with it, so a way is blowing it into marketing-channels like searchengines (when we have got the time besides our six weeks holiday a year).

11:04 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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A mental excercise: Take the total number of German websites. How many of these are optimized for search engines in any way even remotely similar to professional SEO? 1%? 1 o/oo? Would I be right if I said that for 999 German keywords out of 1000 it is perfectly possible to place on the first page of any German search engines, merely on the basis of good basic SEO practise? Not going into super optimized doorways or cloaking or anything else really advanced?

If you agree with me on that, then what long term future do the German PPC engines really have, financially?

5:41 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi folks
I just stumbled over cyfind.de. They are placed directly on the bottom of the addurl form of infoseek. Now what does that mean? Any relation between the two? As far as I know itīs unclear which course infoseek will take in the future, so might this be hint, that they are planning to cooperate with cyfind? If so a ppc-submit might not be such a bad idea.
Infoseek on the other hand has recently added new sites and on their sites nothing whatsoever is announced on new partners or any changes.
5:53 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

How are you reaching Infoseek? When I try I get taken to go.com

Simon.

5:58 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hello heini. Just checked and I got an advertisement from Carambole at the add-url page of infoseek.de I think Cyfind has just bought a place in a rotating banner scheme.

>Infoseek on the other hand has recently added new sites
That is interesting news in view of what oLeon wrote in this discussion [webmasterworld.com] a couple of weeks ago. Are you sure the pages you saw were new and not just re-spidered old pages that had been changed since last time?

Added: Simon, it is the add url page of infoseek.de ("Seite melden")

6:05 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I didnīt noticed that they may check your IP/DNS lookup - BTW when Go.com isnīt anymore, where should you redirected to?

heini,
very interesting - I donīt know if they sit together in the same boad. If they cooperate that might be the reason for no-spidering of infoseek in the past.
But I donīt think so (no bet at all...)

6:45 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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"I didnīt noticed that they may check your IP/DNS lookup - BTW when Go.com isnīt anymore, where should you redirected to?"

Maybe Infoseek.com will return - that would be interesting. I used to like that engine and I could never get used to go.com!

After Rencke pointed out my mistake I thought I'd check out infoseek.co.uk but there is no add url page that I could see. Does anyone know if it's possible to submit a site there?

Maybe it will take them a while to untangle everything from go.com!

Simon.

7:09 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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rencke,
itīs not the banner, itīs a link quiet under the add-form, after you have submitted a page.
8:57 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>under the add-form, after you have submitted a page

Aha! Well now, THAT is interesting! Heini may be on to something big here. But why, one wonders? The money in a PPC deal goes from the PPC engine to the big "free" engine. Not the other way around. So why on earth would they advertise a connection with Cyfind? Have you found anything at Cyfind saying that you'll get preferential treatment in Infoseek.de if you bid for keywords at Cyfind? I would think they would be the first ones to shout that from the rooftops.

>infoseek.co.uk

Simon: I think infoseek.co.uk = infoseek.com = go.com. So: no add url until Disney has found a buyer for Go. Infoseek.de has entirely different owners - 75% German.

11:56 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Iīve tried to get some infos about cyfind, wasnīt successfull. Interesting is, when you search for "cyfind" in fireball you come across LOTS of doorwaypages of cyfind. They seem to have bought domains and are spending some money.
About infoseek: I was unclear, sorry: I didnīt mean necessarily new pages beeing added, but updated results. Thats what I saw, though iīm not sure how this works. My sites at least were not updated, and I submitted in late december.
6:01 pm on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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The discussion on Pay for Play in Europe continues here [webmasterworld.com]
This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58