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UKPlus Joins The BTLookSmart Network

The latest press release from BTLookSmart



10:10 am on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Deal Cements BTLookSmart’s position as Global Leader in Search Targeted Marketing

London, July 22nd 2002 - BTLookSmart today announced that it will be providing search solutions to Associated New Media’s (ANM) online sites that include UK Plus, This is London, This is Travel, This is Money and Femail. Through the acquisition of the UK Plus brand, BTLookSmart will now host and serve directory search results, and manage all graphical advertising on UK Plus.


10:22 am on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Does anyone else here get the impression that the difference between BTlooksmart and the rest of Looksmart is night and day?


10:24 am on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I wonder if UKPlus will have the class to refund the recent submissions.


10:59 am on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I went to find out, NFFC.

They said: All UKPlus directory submissions up to the date of the release (today I guess) will be imported into the BTLooksmart directory (That is the UK one, not the US one for any American readers).

Brett - Night and Day seems to be about right. BTLooksmart have some new promotional brochures out which seem to offer a rather different outlook on life than in the US.



5:06 pm on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I thought BTLooksmart and Looksmart were the same company. I went off Looksmart when they went PPC. Looks like I'd better find out about BTLooksmart. Does anyone have any background info?


5:26 pm on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Kapow is asking a very valid question there. I certainly would never again give even a single cent to Looksmart.... and since the infamous episode I have held back from BTLookSmart as well, for fear of contamination.

Essentially, does anyone know the relationship between the two? For example, what is to stop Looksmart imposing their own business practices upon BTLookSmart? Any knowledge on this out there on how this relationship hangs together in terms of control or contract?


5:35 pm on Jul 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

BT Looksmart is a joint venture between British Telcom and Looksmart [LOOK], they essentially share the costs of developement and the profits. Of course there are no profits, just losses. From memory if either party fails to meet it's financial obligations then the other can take back shares. The venture was started in 99/2000 with a $50 million loan from BT to L$ [at 20% interest :)] but has since been renegociated. Interestingly there is a option after Sept 2002 for either party to buy the other out at market price.

<added> [btlooksmart.com...] some PR fluff


9:20 am on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

> option after Sept 2002 for either party to buy the other out.
So, if it goes one way, we pay our money and get LookSmarted all over again (Doesn't inspire my confidence), if it goes the other its very nice and BT.

> at market price
Hmmm, wonder what that will be?


10:01 am on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

A couple of bits of additional info.

a) If you have a L$ US listing and decide to go into LS UK - ensure that you use a different URL - or request LS UK to add a spurious character like a '?' to the URL you submit. Otherwise your UK listing will be taken over by the L$ US listing and you will be charged 15 cents per click - plus will be dropped from LS UK (and MSN UK) when you run out of clicks on L$ US. If this has happened to you already, a request to 'protect' your LS UK URL can be made and they will make it L$ US proof by adding an additional entry with a '?'. However, this means that when your L$ US listing is live - you get 2 listings in LS UK and MSN UK - with the L$ US version charging for click-throughs coming up above the LS UK one. For an example of this, type my name into MSN UK and you will see how this works.

b) LS UK have their own little PPC 'trick' (nothing to do with their new PPC engine). On sites which take a LS UK feed (apart from MSN UK), they mix their directory listings with Espotting PPC listings. It is almost impossible to see which are LS UK directory entries or Espotting PPC listings - they are all marked as LS UK results. However, you will get charged by Espotting for click throughs. Note that the algo used for these listings is the same as the LS UK directory i.e. the contents of the title and description listed by Espotting. Your position has nothing to do with the amount you are paying Espotting - but everything to do with how your Espotting listing is worded. You may also get charged for phrases you have not bid on! However, played right - this can actually work to your advantage and you can get high rankings on LS UK feeds (like NTL, BTOpenWorld and - now - UK Plus) without bidding high on Espotting or paying LS UK for a listing ;)


10:08 am on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys... good info there. I think I might just wait post Sept to see if anything happens, prior to listing with BTLooksmart. It just isn't worth the risk of the real L$ getting their hands on my money again. Once bitten forever shy.


10:26 am on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The issue I have with BT Looksmart is that they announced a new PPC model called Bidright last month.

The interface is great, but so far I have had 2 clicks on phrases that get several hundred a day on the likes of Overture, Google etc..

There is also the issue that LS are affiliates of Espotting and have used their space as a revenue generation (much in the same way Espotting bid on their own inventory). Although technically you could argue there is relevance in doing that, you have to question the ethics behind it. To me it's like putting the wolf in charge of the chicken shed.

Even if BT Looksmart have a right to use their space as a means of generating revenue from Espotting, and Espotting have a right to use their space to bid for their own keywords, it could be argued that by doing so they are inflating the price other bidders are paying, and we never see the money going in the cash drawer.

However, UKPlus delivers good quality viewers and it must be good for BT Looksmart to increase their numbers and get some competition in there.

On the subject of refunds, UKPlus haven't signed an exclusivity deal, so why would they be offering refunds ?


10:58 am on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I wonder whether UKPlus will import their old free listings as well as the paid ones. That would be nice!

I find that BT Looksmart has been well worth the price of a listing over the last year (about 20 clicks per day on a fairly small site has been giving a really good ROI), as Napoleon says holding back at the moment with anything to do with Looksmart has to be a wise move.


11:26 am on Jul 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

On Friday 19th I checked my client's main keywords on UKPlus and they came up in the top 10 for everything. I've just been to UKPlus again having read this thread and they don't show up at all. Not a free listing in sight! My client has so far refused to pay for any search engines/directories and keeping them in the top 10 of the search engines is becoming more & more difficult. If it wasn't for Google saving the day....

I have to say though, that they got rarely got any traffic from UKPlus anyway, so it won't make a huge difference. But at least it was comforting to know that they had a good chance of being noticed.

To change the thread somewhat, I have been telling them for the past 2 months that they need to spend some money but they are stalling. What are people's opinions on which engines/directories at the very least they should pay for? (They are already in Yahoo UK - got in whilst it was still free).




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