While paid inclusion programs have often been criticized and lost popularity after the Inktomi Search/Submit program was replaced by Overture Site Match and Ask Jeeves discontinued its Ask Jeeves Site Submit paid inclusion program, the tide might be turning. With Yahoo! Search Submit and Yahoo! Search Submit Pro the only major remaining paid inclusion and Trusted Feed programs, the benefits of these programs are being remembered.
In a recent article in DM News, Richard Pollack from BeyondROI reminded readers that paid inclusion programs offer a great alternative to organic inclusion, especially for larger e-tailers. The main benefits of paid inclusion are:
- Daily refreshes, which means content changes show up in search results without delays;
- Flat click fees that are often cheaper than pay-per-click fees in a bidding environment;
- The ability to select specific URLs for paid inclusion (which could be your most important ones or ones that have trouble getting crawled organically);
- With Trusted Feed, the titles and descriptions of the search results can be optimized without making changes to the actual Web page. This way, you can easily adjust titles and descriptions to improve their appeal and click-through rate without having to touch your site.
Especially for e-tailers with large product databases, paid inclusion can offer a very attractive ROI, and there is a lot of scope for further developments in the underlying XML technology that will add even more value. Retailers will also be able to add graphics or video content as part of a paid inclusion listing to improve its effectiveness.
Richard Pollack predicts that MSN will offer its own paid inclusion program at some stage. I think the jury is still out on that prediction, but if it were true, a MSN paid inclusion program would certainly offer advertisers a great alternative to existing paid programs choices.