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I think the technology is great and it can definately compete with Google, but it needs users.
My sites generally do better on ATW than google, but not on all keywords. If your site is well optimized and doing well in Google, than generally you'll do very well in ATW as well. But the top 3 spots in ATW are no big deal and not worth actually paying for.(Correct me if i'm wrong)
Perhaps we see the ATW index on Yahoo soon?
Fact is there are still a lot of contracts running, so that optimizing for ATW is for many Europeans definitely worthwile.
In the german market for example you can get ~10% out of it, which is not bad.
As always: remember, ATW is just the showcase - the portals using ATW bring the traffic.
You are of course free to pay per click for that traffic if you prefer to do so.
Well heini summed it up nicely. Specially for Germany for example. There you achieve a fairly high percentage of your search engine traffic for free with the help of the FAST database. How would you like to get a 10 percent increase in traffic for free? ;)
>if you're the top three in Overture, you are in the top three in ATW...period
Lets not be so hasty here. In Denmark and other Euro countries we're seeing Espotting on ATW. Though that might not live for long with Yahoo buying Overture today [webmasterworld.com].
>Perhaps we see the ATW index on Yahoo soon?
Wouldn't that be nice? I would really really that scenario! See the above comments about ATW not bringing any traffic, so why bother? Give it another thought..
In fact I think an FAST/AV/Ink algo would be just what Yahoo needs to server a great search experience for their users. Combined with Overture amd they are sitting on a very competitive product that match Google.
I'm glad FAST always has been on my list of duties - might need to dig out some notes about AV as well :)
This is particularly the case in more competitive keyphrases. If you want to just see 'the usual suspects' why even look on the web?
Sometimes the same companies are prominent in the printed directories, in the magazines etc. etc and are just covering the web as part of their overall, blanket promotional mix. It's the companies who may have a slightly different slant, proposition or product who score when they are high in the SERPS and targeting a searcher with some 'intent'.
PFP: highly useful as one of the tools, not the panacea.
I never paid for either - and rank #1 in ATW (really not bothered about altavista) for all major keywords, the problem is that it still generates absolutely 0 traffic.
a). No one directly uses ATW or even knows about it.
b). Even if their result show on other engines they're always buried under 25 sponsored listings and directory results.
So I agree, you may as well just bid to be at the top, unless it's not financially beneficial. That's the beauty of Google still.
I thought that ATW at one point could be a serious threat to Google, but not anymore.
Answer to the other question about whether its better to just pay overture to be at the top, well yeah why not. Pay Overture, see if you get the clicks, if you do then begin to optimize for those phrases, pay FAST, Ink or AV and get your site refreshing every few days. Change your site and get listed under the 3 sponsored results and dont bother paying for clicks anymore. ta ta