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- 99% of the previous LS traffic is gone or residual that I can see. Most sites I've seen get more traffic now from freebie directories. In fact, there is one FFA that has generated more traffic today, than 8 LS listings have in the last year.
- The previous back door connection with Ink is now all but dried up.
- Even MSN ls listings are bascially dead on page.
- LS has lost most of the ISP associations it once had.
- After 500,000 page views from Wisenut the last year, there have been 12 referrals. Have not seen a Wisenut referral in 4 months.
There is a time to bring up growing engines like we did with AllTheWeb and later Teoma. There is also a time to pack it in when one goes so far off the radar (ala Infoseek) - I think we are there.
LookSmart can drive traffic - I've got a hobby site that gets perhaps 5 clicks a day derived from MSN / Zeal / LS / and all their distribution combined. Good placement, as well.
There are other sites I know of that did very, very well with LookSmart...from what I remember more than a year ago, the traffic was a lot better back then. A new deal could change the score completely...
Is the question then when to lose hope they'll 'turn it around' or is the question are they dead already and somebody forgot to mention it?
It is sad how easily poor management decisions can completely destroy what once was a very useable resource. They pulled one too many direction changes without bothering to notify their customer base. In fact, I am still waiting to be notified that the PFI model is no longer in effect and that I have to sign up for the PPC programme if I want to continue to receive resonable traffic. Great customer service!
I agree Brett, pull the plug. I hate to watch lingering deaths!
In light of recent developments with Overture and Ink, LookSmart's position and stability have only grown stronger. This is important because 68% of LS revenue comes from MSN.
Overture stocks have been in a freefall from $16 to $10 a share because, among many many things, the perception that Google is running away with their ball.
At the moment, if anybody is facing a dark future it's Overture.
Unfortunately it is getting worse instead of what you would think would slowly increase as people became less offended at their foolish unheralded switch. Have to admit that I have been rudely forced from their side.
They have good customer service but the best CS doesn't sell a seemingly dwindling product.
There are some people I know that claim better ROI from LookSmart - however, that is a bit problematic, because I KNOW they aren't tracking their conversion rates by keyword / search engine / etc.
Perhaps somebody that uses Go Toast or similar can comment on the quality of LookSmart & the quantity to get a better idea of their 'worth'...
Regarding that site I mention - 5 clicks a day. hm.
I get more than 10 times that from all my other sources, for the same site, with 0 promotional effort..
For the time I spent on getting that site into the LS db, I learned a far more valuable thing for my sites: don't waste my time on LS.
Like I said, though - perhaps there are those out there - that aren't posting? - chuckling over their fabulous ROI + traffic?
Anybody else think that there is perhaps the reason for the decline right under our noses?
As LS might have trouble getting clients at .15 cents a click, perhaps they are digging deeping into their CJ relationship to drive extra revenue...but that would mean competing more with US webmasters.
It's mighty hard to have it both ways....
Just because Looksmart isn't what it used to be does not mean that it isn't still a useful tool for some webmasters.
If and when MSN drops it, then we can say goodbye to Looksmart.
But I was always willing to work with that problem back then. Until LookSmart treated me the same way a scam artist treats their mark.
No, a lack of quantifiable success is far from the main reason there's so much bile directed at LS. LookSmart simply lost trust -- my trust and the trust of many, many others.
LookSmart didn't just make a little social gaff with their Switcheroo. What they did felt like an archetypal sting, a cyber-game of Three Card Monte, attempted on such a massive scale that the sense of betrayal is immense.
And, if I remember correctly, we read all kinds of gloating among the investors - talking about how they had really nailed the formula now and they were all going to be rich within a year.
So it looked very much like LookSmart didn't care about their customers, but only wanted their money. And to make things worse, LookSmart actually thought we would swallow their transparent spin and their awkward attempts at damage control.
At that point I recommended to every one of my clients that they not invest any more money at LookSmart.
So now, to get any of my business back, LookSmart has to prove to me -- QUANTIFY and PROVE -- that they didn't just build a one way street. That they have a clue about how to relate to clients honestly. And after they do that, they still need to prove that any money I throw their way will show a return. Their pathetic little monthly "freebie" certainly didn't.
I still don't think it was a case of poorly handle PR. I think it was a case of the REAL brand becoming clearly and quickly visible. The web will do that to you. You can't spin a brand for nearly as long as you used to. Your brand rapidly reflects exactly who you are.
Bottom line for me, I don't do business with people when I think they are only out to exploit me. I have plenty of ways to generate traffic - yes, even MSN traffic - that I trust at least a little bit.
I have half a dozen sites in Looksmart that paid to be in the directory, and I have no intention of paying for any of them to be in Looksmart once the "free" clicks run out. I would imagine that there will be many others who feel the same.
So what will we be left with? A much reduced $0.15 PPC directory. Will this be the worst directory in existence?
I think that they should consider taking the risk and completely switching to pure bidding PPC before they die, and while they still have some customers.
A problem is that too many posters make emotional statements about LS that have nothing to do with the original question, and so people don't bother to post their LS questions because they know the kind of animosity it will start.
As someone else said, LS could turn on a dime with 1 deal. Look at all the other changes we've seen this year.
You could argue that they're worth talking about just because of how much they own the Australian market (with Google of course). I had to do some Australian research recently and this site was my first stop.
How many webmaster have refused to pay any money to LS since the switch?
I know of one for sure! ;)
A directory which accepts money for PFI then ditches the so called directory and switches to PPC/PFP without bothering to notify me is not going to get any more of my money anytime soon ... if ever.
There are other games in town and they deal (for the most part) on the up and up. Trust is everything in any business ... and I simply don't trust LS. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice ... shame on me. They won't be given the opportunity!
I am very surprised that some of you seem to still hold out hope for LS. I wrote them off long ago and hadn't bothered to check the SERPS in the past 9 or 10 months until Brett started this thread.
Just goes to show the varied and diverse opinions/interests of those in these fora. :)
I don't think AOL would make that decision. They may add LS, but dropping a SE for a directory would be ludicrous. LS is tied to MSN. I don't see them getting any real big game. If MSN drops them it is over.
What they failed to realize was that the people they were treading upon were the same ones that had budget or direct influence over budget. Big mistake, even if you ignore the ethics of the situation.
I know I WANT to think their days are numbered, but I actually think they are. MSN won't prop them up forever, when there are clearly much better propositions out there. And from what I can establish, all the figures are stacking up against them as well.
Even post the great rip-off, I have seen the value of my directory listings fall steadily. This pattern seems to be common, and the rate of decline seems to be increasing.
Yes.... they are too small to worry about now.... I'd replace them with something with potential for the future.
Yes tedster the net is no more a free ride
I don't see how that follows from what I wrote. Just to clarify, I was using paid ads for my clients long before LS made their big change. I was doing PPC with GoTo soon after they set up shop. Inktomi PFI? From the first week. Yahoo banner ads, ads on smaller targeted sites - you name it.
It was clear that LookSmart needed to do something about their cash situation, and I was ready for it. Obviously either money or sweat equity is a requirement for any endeavor, online or off, and real employees need real money.
Yes, I agree with you, that is reality. Anyone dreaming about Money for Nothin' is a sucker waiting to be fleeced by the get rich quick boys. Spending money to make money was never the issue for me.
But the details of what LookSmart did and how they did it -- that was the problem.