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I understand that "Sponsored Sites" on ninemsn are actually Looklistings, but what about "Web Directory Sites"? Do these still come from Looksmart (as they did in the US and UK until recently)?
Are the "Web Directory Sites (US)" and "Web Directory Sites (UK)" results, which plague ninemsn ahead of Australian results, the same redundant listings that have been dropped from MSN etc?
Web Directory Sites are still comeing from Looksmart, but there is no way, paid or free, to submit to them.
You can still submit to Looksmart. To be in the web directory sites part of ninemsn's listings you need to perform a Smartlisting or Zeal sumbission depending on whether your site is commercial in nature or not.
However you are right to wonder if the money is worth it with so much movement in the AU market right now. No use shelling out only to hear LS get dropped from their major partner.
Looksmart Paid listings first
Inktomi paid listing/submission
"Reviewed" or Zeal listings have either been dumped or seriously downgraded. Our Zeal listing is still showing in Looksmart.com.au, but is not even in the top 30 for a key search word.
Having said that, the results currently showing up for NineMSN don't have an Australia bias and look pretty rubbishy. Sorry, but I just don't like what NineMSN search puts out. MSN Japan is a much more balanced search result.
Doing a Google site search for "Smartlistings" shows a page that no longer exists.
The submission form is on the Looklistings.com.au site not the Looksmart.com.au site. Try a straight google search and you should have a bit more luck.
the results currently showing up for NineMSN don't have an Australia bias
Agree 100%. Late last year there was some talk about Inktomi geo-targeting their free listings to increase relevancy. All I saw was Australian content penalised on international Inks and Ninemsn stay the same.
I was expecting to see all the international content drop - but it never happened...
Their website says you can get started from as little as $15 and can bid on specific keywords, rather than their category ppc bidding that they used to have (and still do).
Basically, do these keyword targeting ppc bids appear at the top of NineMSN results, and can you geo target it (like with adwords), so it doesn't show up on the rest of the looksmart partner networks (unless someone from Australia searches on those sites obviously)?
Anyone have any experience with this? seems like a good way for small businesses to access listings on NineMSN for a low cost... I'd much rather do a small test first than have to pay up the big amounts they charge for their other services.
The upshot of that set-up re NineMSN SERPs is:
(1) For 4 important 2 and 3 keyword phrases I am top of their SERPs due to the Zeal Australian section listings.
(2) As for any other search phrases, my home page is in the SERPs, but below all the Australian pages that have any relevant or irrelevant combination of the a search phrase's words in them, with the result that the vast majority of the first large chunk of the SERPs are totally off topic. It would appear that NineMSN does not check to see that my site's IP address is in Australia, or, if it does, some filter is putting my home page below the other Aussie pages.
Would I be right in guessing that if I also paid AU$440 per annum to have my home page listed via LookListings, that I would no longer be buried below all the other Aussie pages in the SERPs? (What a financial burden for a non-commercial information site.) Is there any way to do a free submission if a site is non-commercial?
Surely not all Australian sites that appear in Australian search engines' SERPs that use LookListings, pay to be listed. After all, not all Aussie sites are commercial by a long shot. A possibility just occured to me; could it be that because I pay a US company to be listed with Inktomi, that I don't get listed higher up in the NineMSN SERPs?