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Overture has signed an agreement to become the Pay-For-Performance™ search
to Yahoo!'s millions of users. As a result of this deal and the holiday
Overture's Premium Listings™ advertisers can anticipate a significant
in high quality traffic. To get the benefit of additional targeted leads for
your business, you must be listed in Premium Listings™ (the top three
and you should increase the charge amount for your payment plan.
Several such cartels already exist in many industries including mine. The problem is that those who own the cartel sites do not use any algos to fairly display results of top ranking sites but rather they promote their own sites first and certainly most prominently. The little guy gets buried or (gasp) listed alphabetically. Then they will start *pay to be listed near the top* programmes of their own.
So the top paid results in Yahoo and others will be these cartels who use our money from paid listings to put them there. Who do you think wins? It sure isn't going to be the little guy!
Oh sure, we may get some sloppy seconds, but more and more, the number of inquiries will dwindle as the cartels take over the top positions.
The whole scheme is designed to put the little guy out of business and to h**l with search relevance. Those with the big marketing bucks win. Shame on Yahoo and all the others. They are shooting themselves (and the whole WWW) in the foot and the little guy in the heart. It will take longer for them to bleed to death ... but it will happen just the same. Once the little guy has been forced out of business ... what is the future of the web?
Here's what the web looks like now:
Yahoo, Alta Vista, Aol, MSN, Hot Bot ... etc.
Pay Per Click Provider
SE Results Provider
Cartel - Mini Directory
Soon enough, the landscape of the web will look like this:
Yahoo, Alta Vista, Aol, MSN, Hot Bot ... etc.
Pay Per Click Provider
Cartel - Mini Directory
SE Results Provider (those that survive)
MUCH fewer Little Guys
I liked it just fine when the list looked like this:
Directory / Search Engine
Disillusioned, disgruntled, disgusted .... need to find another job ... (grumble, grumble, sniffle, sniffle, heavy sigh)
Greg is missing an important element here.
They would have to add a large editorial staff to address the issue of relevancy.
I DO NOT see them hiring additional staff.
Overture is. [overture.com]
The nature of the web is being changed slowly but surely by these people, into budget wins, everything else loses – just the same as every other part of the media. It is VERY sad, because the web is/was much more than just another commercial channel.
Funny thing is that those engines/directories that turn to PPC are usually the ones who are on the downward spiral…. they destroy/damage their product (credible SERPS based on relevance) for a short term cash grab. Just look at AV as an example. I’ll bet that there is a hell of a correlation between the introduction of GoTo/PPC results and rapidly declining search numbers.
Unfortunately, although those like Yahoo who dabble with corrupting their returns for quick cash will undoubtedly suffer because of it, so will the web…. and so will small business…. and therefore, ultimately, so will everyone.
Not a great day really.
Bingo. You are right on Liane. I think I started promoting this as a SEO feature nearly two years ago now. Build a portal around your topic, promote your topic and then allow others the opportunity to help you pay to get the listings you need. We're all going to have to team up on projects (the little guys) to continue to see those high positions because the costs keep getting higher. I certainly believe this promotes the idea of niche portals.
How successful or positive an experience it is will depend on where you find yourself on the chain of development.
However, I think we at WMW havn't caught onto our collective educational potential. Its been discussed in other threads (cant' remember where). Here's an example: I meet all kinds of people. I've converted a small bunch of people to Google because of relevance. But, I manage 20 client websites. What if many of my client sites had a link to a page about how to search the web? ie (Try Google its better - currently).
And, what if everyone at WMW did the same? Just how many websites are members of WMW responsible for?
How about a page on WMW promoting our favourite SE?
And where's the largest level of growth in this industry? - new recruits, that's where.
Dumbing-down is an appaling trend in all media, and I think making yourself accessible to the lowest common denominator is the worst possible action you can take.
This is all the "swings-and-roundabouts" discussion of "quality over quantity" all over again, only larger companies appear to be adamant that this isn't the way to sucessful, stable business.
Reminds me of another axiom:
"Throw enough sh*t at a wall, and some's bound to stick..."
Anyone see a correlation between this announcement and Yahoo's change to their SERP a few months ago?
Also, it appears to me that there are two distinct classes affected by this pay-to-play change:
1) SEO's who SEO client's sites
2) SEO's who SEO THEIR OWN sites.
SEO1 will not be effected so much because their clients will either have to pay to play or not play at all.
SEO2 just took a major direct hit because they will now have to absorb the cost directly to be listed well. No $$$, no top listing.
IOW, if you are SEOing Hilton's hotel res site, who cares about Yahoo's change --your life just got easier.
However, if you are SEOing your own "Joe Blow's Super Ultra Hotel Discounts" site, you (we) just got nailed in the keister.
Also, the SEO specialists job which once was understood by very few people (and therefore kept them in business) is becoming an account manager job, one SE at a time. Site owners will begin to think it is easy to manage PPC accounts, and do it for themselves (although most will do it poorly). Definately not a positive thing for any SEO pro.
AND 2)> ...if you are SEOing your own "Joe Blow's Super Ultra Hotel Discounts" site, you (we) just got nailed in the keister.
Amen. Definitely this is not a good thing for any of us whether you are 1 or 2 above.
It's not surprising this would happen given the destruction of dot.coms and dot.com advertising this past year and a half. We could all see it coming, though I suspect most of us were in denial it would. Next is Google & etc.?
The web was once a place where one could be succeed as an entreprenuer and a small business owner without having major bucks for backing. Now it is becoming a place where only Coca Cola, GE, GM, Ford, IBM and maybe most of the medium -- and some of the lesser lights --- will be able to play.
So ... now what the h... to do now? Other than wail and moan.
I don't have an answer. Anyone else have a more positive outlook? Mine is pretty negative now, with this sell-out by Yahoo! -- the last of the major portals and search functions which previously did not sell its searh results.
Guess they all gotta make a living and someone is going to pay for that. If you (we)don't have the bucks, you (we)won't be in their game.
SEO hasn't disappeared, it just got different - once again.
So long as users use search engines, then clients will want us to market them effectively using search engines. It doesn't really matter if this means adding pages or managing PPC campaigns.
The objective remains the same. The business model may need to change to achieve the objective. Happens all the time in the real world.
It seems there are some who still believe that the internet is somehow immune to human realities ;)
Page 1 of a search shows Overture's 1,2,3 at the top and 4,5 at the bottom.
Page 2 of a search show's Overtures 6,7,8 at the top and 9, 10 at the bottom.
Page 3 has Overtures 11, 12, 13 at the top and 14, 15 at the bottom.
Page 4 has no sponsors (and not many viewers that deep anyway). So any bid in the top 10 gets you into the first two pages of Yahoo and that's not too bad for many keywords. It would certainly bump up my own $200 listings that are buried in the wrong categories and don't show up in searches anyway.
Overall, (besides being a dark day in searches) I think it's better than I expected. Who knows how long it will stay that way. Yahoo's description of the sponsors clearly says they will implement their own service next year.
Tried our own terms (specific) but also "search Engine optimization" and "viagra" to see whether it was for only popular terms.
Just an observation, the yahoo listings for these (popular) terms are probably not any better in terms of returning the great majority of commercial sites rather than information sites, than I would expect from Overture.
..Top listing for "viagra" on yahoo has the title "viagra viagra viagra!" :)
Personally, I don't deal with PPC at present, so it's not an issue for my role in company web development. Wierdly enough, I actually stopped by yesterday to find out what was happening to these schemes, only to read this thread.
Makes you think about the long term - especially with that banner ad comparison. I'll just "keep on keepin' on" with content and navigability I think, and leave cash management to the big-boys upstairs...
(edited by: NetGrease at 1:29 pm (gmt) on Nov. 15, 2001)