Bing and Yahoo: What About Paid Inclusion?

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August 14, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized 

So there’s currently a bit of an up roar, Microsoft and Yahoo as most everyone should know by now are jumping into bed together. You can read more about it at http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/080201-070804/ if your unfamiliar with whats going on or have been living under a rock.

Bing and Yahoo: What About Paid Inclusion?

One of my initial concerns revolves around Yahoo’s Paid Inclusion. It allows you to submit URLs to be listed on the SERPs. There is two tiers being offered by Yahoo, Basic and Pro. Both provide reporting, but the Pro version offers an account manager, the ability to customize title and meta data, cheap category based CPC, and a few other features. Some more about Yahoo Paid Inclusion – Understanding Yahoo’s Paid Inclusion Program.

So hows the Microsoft and Yahoo merger going to effect (in my opinion) the only good thing Yahoo has going for it?

A good pal of mine, Tim Prevost, Sr. Account Manager at Voltage Search Media (www.voltagemedia.com/) had the following to say when I asked about the future:

“Regarding the changes at Yahoo/MSN, based on conversations with Yahoo management, the program is in place and shall remain as such until further notice. There is a great deal of federal scrutiny that should tie up any changes for approximately 9 months with final roll out in 2yrs. Additionally, Yahoo still owns their network/content and display the listings from MSN/Bing in any form they choose, meaning they are likely to include the SSP listings, as a rather significant piece of revenue for Yahoo.”

Carol Bartz, Yahoo CEO replied when asked:

“We have full flexibility on what to do within our own sites. Paid inclusion, we’ll decide on that later.”

Loren Baker, Editor at Search Engine Journal (www.searchenginejournal.com) states:

“Yahoo has also done a very fine job of monetizing organic search with paid inclusion. Using Yahoo Search to power the MSN, Live.com, and Internet Explorer networks will expand the Yahoo Search paid inclusion market substantially.”

If Yahoo Paid Inclusion does cease to exisit its going to leave a lot of sites wondering where their traffic disappeared to. Will it harm your sites? How will you “fix” the problem?

Sept. 01 2009 Update:

Jeremy Goodrich Had this to say Aug 24th 2009 over at TechCrunch.com

“This is PR speak for…

“We are not Bing – we are Yahoo Search, you know, with paid inclusion. Those results where the people using our search product will never know if they are ADS or editorial results…”

I could say more, but the eggregious NDA I signed when I became a consultant to Yahoo, after my nearly two year stint as an employee, would get my a$$ handed to me by their legal team.

Yahoo…I think you’re making a huge mistake. Then again, even when you were _paying_ my company for help, you didn’t listen. Nor did you much when I was an employee and you were paying my salary.

So why start now? I just want to be on the record as saying (yet again…) that the only differentiator if Yahoo moves forward with Bing in Yahoo Search will be their utilization of Paid Inclusion, which is a gray area, legally speaking, product at best…if the FCC is cracking down on bloggers, WHY not crack down on the 2nd largest search engine in the world showing links that most consumers don’t know and don’t realize are in fact paid advertisements?”

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