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Microsoft will not renew its distribution and licensing agreement with LookSmart. LookSmart and Microsoft have agreed to extend the terms of the current agreement through January 15, 2004, after which the agreement will terminate.
MS is known to overprice it's products once they dominate the market. This means that in the long run, this is not a good thing. Even if they fail to become monopolist (which I doubt since local and internet search are integrated in Longhorn), prices will rise, because there are only a few real competitors.
I hope that Google is going te keep the lead over MSN and Yahoo/Overture, so that online advertising stays affordable.
LOOKSMART - R.I.P. (good riddance)
BACK IN JULY I WROTE THIS:
A hot topic is, of course, msn building its own "Search" product, presumably to be able to drop Yahoo!-owned Overture and Inktomi. Of course, they'll probably also develop their own PPC service or buy a 2nd-tier one like FindWhat.
This strategy, of course, makes sense from the msn perspective, but looksmart is a "neutral" outsourcing solution...I'm wondering what the outcome of this will be? i.e. - will L$ get axed or stay put?
I've often wondered where looksmart would be without msn (my guess is R.I.P.) and, further, WHY in the world msn would want to use looksmart to power their results.
I heard one SEO/webmaster wish for looksmart to "die a quick death" in the aftermath of the "new" search engine landscape, e.g. - Yahoo! vs. Googlve vs. a lagging msn.
I think I may concur with him.
SOME RESPONSES from WebmasterWorld MEMBERS:
1) A search engine and a web directory are two different things that complement each other. LS has a great directory.
Integrating LS into msn makes the most sense.
2) Although there has been a shift toward search engines and away from directories in the past couple years, directories are still of some value. And if msn wants to build a comprehensive search site/portal, there is an advantage to having a directory. So I agree that looksmart and msn are a good match.
3)I think looksmart & msn make a good pair together. Perhaps msn would roll out its own search engine and use looksmart results just like Google uses dmoz results. In the end, directories do play an important role in determining more important & relevant sites and Google has proved that by its relationship with Dmoz.
I love to be right....especially when L$ suffers in the mix.
Many, many, many categories on ODP do not have an editor, which make those categories useless. Becomming an editor for ODP is quite difficult, for Zeal this is much easier. This may or may not be a good thing, depending how you look at it, but it is better to have an up-to-date lesser quality directory than an high-quality but dated directory.
angiolo mentioned that it's one less contender - they were never a contender because they're scamming, penny pinchers. You had to bite your tongue whilst submitting because it helped on MSN.
One less human directory? It was rubbish, who cares.
I think this will be good overall - MSN may start their own spidering, or Inktomi will get a bigger shot as well as being used on Yahoo in the future. The Google monopoly scare-mongering can finally come to an end...thank God.
And MSN charging the earth for listings? I don't think so. Firstly, they are competing with Google (free) and Inktomi(relatively cheap), plus the internet search industry is different to the software industry eg. you don't NEED to use MSN to do a search.
Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to look at Looksmarts ugly mug again.
Why drop LookSmart? MSN said testing it did at its MSN Search UK site earlier this year found that dropping the listings increased relevancy.
"The testing was conclusive that the more relevant results were outside the LookSmart listings," Redetzki said. "We're not going to talk publicly about how they [MSN Search UK] measured the relevancy or the methodology, but we did see that the test results showed that the relevancy improved."
"We actually aren't looking at it form that perspective, so we can't answer that [how much revenues may drop]," Redetzki said. "This goes back to more of the algorithmic piece and the relevancy needed there."
"We do believe that when you have some more relevant results for consumers, the more satisfied and happier the end user is, you'll have more people coming to your web site. That translates into revenue," Redetzki said.
Uhm. Holy crap. Does Microsoft actually GET IT? If we see MS come out with an engine that returns relevancy a la google, and Yahoo busts out with FAST, then its going to get realllly interesting.
/detests paying to be in search results -- keep ads seperate and marked as such, don't try to fool the searcher.
I disagree completely with you about DMOZ and Zeal.
Although DMOZ may have outgrown it's list of editors, at least you can still get in if you have a decent site and follow the rules.
Becoming a Zeal editor is so easy, I personally feel that many are taking advantage of the situation and killing competitor site from reaching the listings.
Let's just say I have an "up close and personal experience" submitting to Zeal which left a bad taste in my mouth.
After my rejection, I soon realized that the editor to my category had about 300 complaints against him for similar tactics.
I guess all the negative feedback has fallen on deaf ears at Zeal, as this editor is still running rough shot over his category.
I hope deal dies a quick death, I'll even volunteer to load the gun......
>> LOOKSMART - R.I.P. (good riddance) <<
Etc, Etc (via many others)... but best of all:
>> MSN "We've decided to upgrade your listings. This upgrade means you will pay us a load more money or your listings will disappear..."
L$ "Err - I thought only we did things like that!" <<
Hehehe.... a corker or what? I love that one MMT. In reality, any MSN press release really SHOULD read: MSN 'UPGRADE' Looksmart.
Now that would really be the ultimate karma. This has been a REALLY good day! Bye bye ActDumb! You, and your foul approach to customer relations, will never be missed.
Micro$oft intend to integrate their search with the MS products so that searchers will not have to use "outside" search engines - this would be a disaster as millions of searchers would only know of the M$ search, it would mean the end of or winding down of Google and others and M$ would then charge like you've never been charged before.
I've been an M$ fan through thick and thin but if they try this on they are fools and will lose in the long run - the authorities will then break it up and perhaps that will be for the best.