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Thought I'd start this discussion to get peoples views!
Is Espotting about to fade away?
We all know that espotting used to have major search partners such as Yahoo, lycos, and altavista but where are they now? The only engine I can find that partners them now is infospace and who really uses that?
What I can't understand is why aren't our click-throughs dropping off even though its loosing its market share?
Look forward to hearing peoples views.
The only thing I don't like are the 10 result Espotting cobrands that spring up all over the web, in particular on Mirago and in Adwords. An Espotting relationship is a good thing but at least give your site some original content of its own. Affiliates should be a portfolio and reflect that in their quality.
Having said that though the same thing happens with other ppcs, people try and get clicks anyway they can and SEO is an industry all of its own. SEO cobrands are not necessarily a bad thing as long as the serps don't get too similar.
New partners such as Search Mole have boosted the number of clicks, and Espotting has always had a large affiliate network (up to 2000 sites IIRC) to prevent problems from losing major names.
It is also worth remembering that Yahoo probably cost Espotting money, but they wanted the big name to attract advertisers. Financially, I imagine the loss of Yahoo had little impact either way.
It will be interesting to see what impact the Yahoo switch to Inktomi will have; a number of Espotting affiliates are very dependent on strong Google listings.
The sales derived are greater than the sales from Yahoo without Espotting. (Tracked seperately) I know, how are the sites positioned yadi-da.
I think success with Espotting is dependent on your market, and that Yahoo is only a part of it as Bobby_Davro says. There is plenty of life left.
They have certainly had/have some very good partners and some not so good - the latter are I believe very closely monitored and then turfed off the network if nothing changes.
They are driving good traffic and recently had their biggest day ever - without Yahoo or Kelkoo!