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MSN To Drop Looksmart

     
8:49 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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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.

[biz.yahoo.com...]

8:53 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm, that means that LS will be declared officially dead on that date as MSN was their bread and butter. I don't see them going much further without MSN.

But, who knows, things change so much around here on a daily basis the next thing we know MSN will have bought Google! ;)

8:53 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thats pretty big news, and perhaps the begining of the end for LS.

The relationship with Microsoft may well have given them the credability and leverage to secure new business. What do they have to offer now?

Mack.

9:03 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not much. W/O MSN, their service isn't worth too much.

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9:07 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think a lot of people at Looksmart/Looksmart shareholders were hoping for an MS buyout. Wisely, MS recognized that the Looksmart "technology" is worth nothing. It probably wouldn't be hard for MS (through bCentral) to sign up advertisers for its own ad program.

[edited by: Slud at 9:11 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2003]

9:08 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is MS going to drop their directory results or have them populated by
another directory?
9:14 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I guess this means their spider is ready.
9:21 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget to halt those LS campaigns on January 15th. Given their past performance with advertisers, it may be in your best interest to make sure they are not automatically charging your credit card any more.
9:23 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any ideas on what we should do now to remain high in the SERPs for MSN after January 2004?
9:27 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any ideas on what we should do now to remain high in the SERPs for MSN after January 2004?

Open a FindWhat account and wait for the buyout.

9:30 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't there a news story last week on LS launching a new PPC service? Something about them wanting to be "switzerland" I think...

Makes me wonder if they meant "neutral" as they may have seen this one coming - without the ever increasing average cost per click in their results as Overture has done (which now is their main rival, Yahoo) it seems that MSN must have another idea in mind.

Given their reach, I find it hard to believe they *won't* be able to match the revenue of the LS deal by January, if not before then, with some kind of in house offering.

Still, imho, not too surprising - does anybody know what the average CPC on LS listings is? Overture's is about what, 30 cents a click? LS starts at only .15 for a lot of clicks, and they've got that XML feed thingy, so it's hard to imagine that MSN got that much revenue out of the deal.

9:53 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget that Looksmart still has 60 million in the bank, they may not die, but will have to do something....something fast.
9:54 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I believe LOOK's average CPC was $0.17, they were licencing out search terms to larger corporations on higher priced terms for more money than the flat $0.15/click rate the rest of us got.
10:05 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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LookSmart has been in preliminary talks with potential partners such as America Online and Ask Jeeves Inc

[asia.reuters.com...]

DaveN

the looksmart deal with inktomi is secure for now

[edited by: DaveN at 10:20 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2003]

10:10 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From the Yahoo article:

Microsoft accounted for approximately 65% of listings revenues, and all of LookSmart's licensing revenue in the second quarter of 2003.

[biz.yahoo.com...]

Ouch.

10:22 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[bizreport.com...]

DaveN

10:46 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In the past MS has shown that a winning strategy for them is to "partner" with a company, which usually gives the MS R&D department a very close look at the technology being used, then they replace their "partners" with in-house technology, or by purchasing a competitor to their "partner"...then they wait for the valuation of the former partner to drop so they can purchase the assets and technology on the cheap...
10:51 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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TomWaits has an interesting observation there about the MSN Search being ready for rollout in January.

Interesting about AOL & Jeeves being in talks- could be one way talks with LS doing all the talking, though.

I wonder if an AJ/LS combo would be a more formidable company than they currently are as separate companies?

11:01 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I guess this means their spider is ready.

MSN tells me no. Instead, Inktomi's about to get a promotion. That means by January, those doing well with Inktomi should be very happy. By then, both Yahoo and MSN ought to be featuring Inktomi results top line.

11:03 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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a more formidable company than they currently are as separate companies?

With a decent spider and algo backed by the LS directory, yes I think they would be. I think the question is would that really be enough to matter?

11:54 pm on Oct 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps this is the end of 'marriage'. Makes switching to their own engine a lot easier - or is there a new "InkaHoo" deal going on. ( maybe all that spidering and different MSN results - referring to previous posts - was a clue of things to come ).
1:20 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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damn, just wanted to say that i just got the e-mail from LS, they are definitely goin down:), that will save the company i work for tons of bread.
1:29 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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All I can say is: WHOO-HOOO! About time MS changed things up and dumped LookDumb.
1:40 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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do you guys think that MSN will go straight to an algorithm just like google (free submission), i was listening to LS's corporate broadcast, and they said something about MSN going to there algorithm.
1:56 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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No matter what happens, my websites will do better after Look Smart is gone then it has at MSN. I normally place in the top 10 in most of my keyword prases on one site that I have. I bet we get in the ballpark of where I should be now that Look Smart is out.

I bet most of you will have better listings in MSN come January 15th also.

2:25 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I just got that wonderful e-mail and not surprisingly the info is already posted here.

A quick look at my msn web pages placement shows that a product page is ranking #2 for my top search term and the pages that I paid to have crawled, including my homepage, are almost nowhere. I think this is inktomi I'm looking at. Can anyone point me to a really good thread on Inktomi optimization, cause I need to figure out what is going on pretty soon.

I will have better placement too. Though there are a few sites in the top 10, even at #1, for some terms that I have never heard of before.

[edited by: tolachi at 2:26 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2003]

2:25 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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MSN tells me no. Instead, Inktomi's about to get a promotion.

Thanks for the heads-up, Danny!

3:45 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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<<MSN tells me no. Instead, Inktomi's about to get a promotion.>>

Or Overture is about to get the first 20 results :)

4:38 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This is great news! L$...what goes around...comes around.

2004 looks like it could be a major comeback for Inktomi. If Yahoo.com finally makes the switch we could see a playing field with two equal competitors again :) Inktomi might even be a tad infront.

5:40 am on Oct 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Can someone clarify some points for me?

Will LOOKListings still appear in MSN via inktomi submissions (hijacked URLs)? They still have retained their partnership with inktomi. If so, I'll be swiftly deleting my LOOKListngs account after Jan 15th (why pay for LOOK to hijack my good rankings in inktomi when I can get it for free?)

Will MSN use LOOK's directory at all still? If not the commercial one, what abou Zeal?

Thanks.

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