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Yahoo Drops Free Submit For Commercial Categories

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Yahoo Drops Free Submit For Commercial Categories

By Danny Sullivan
Nov. 16, 2000

A longer, more detailed version of this article is available to
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Yahoo has dropped the ability for sites to submit for free to the commercial portion of its directory.

Sites wishing to be listed within the "Shopping and Services" or "Business to Business" areas of the web guide must now use Yahoo's $199 "Business Express" service. A free submission option remains for those submitting to other areas of the site or to regional commercial areas at Yahoo's non-US editions.

Yahoo becomes the second major directory to limit its free submission option. LookSmart made a much more expansive move earlier this year, requiring all commercial sites to pay a submission fee. In contrast, Yahoo's remaining free submission option remains much more liberal, still available in vast portions of the guide.

Yahoo said it was making the change so that it could affordably build out its commercial listings to be as comprehensive as possible.

"If we're going to be serious about organizing commercial information around the globe in English, I think having a program in place that guarantees we're going to look at every submission and respond is the right approach," said Srinija Srinivasan, Yahoo's editor in chief. "Business Express is a way for us to scale."

Yahoo first launched its Business Express program back in February 1999 and has been relatively cautious about expanding it. Since then, other search engines have rolled out a variety of paid listing, paid submission and paid inclusion programs, with relatively little public outcry.

The aura of greater acceptance is one reason Yahoo says it feels comfortable making its change, though the greater reason is its own familiarity in having run a paid submission operation for nearly two years, Srinivasan said.

"Most importantly, we're at a comfort level in having plenty of experience with the program, in understanding what works and what doesn't work, and the more we've been able to pay attention of our commercial directory makes it clear that this is the way to go about to building it out," Srinivasan said.

Pay For Placement?

Articles with more background about paid submission programs at Yahoo and LookSmart can be found here.


Yahoo Business Express Help

More information from Yahoo about its express service.

Business Express: Frequently Asked Questions

New page at Yahoo specifically about the Business Express change.

Yahoo Shopping & Services Category

Yahoo Business to Business Category

A longer, more detailed version of this article is available to
Search Engine Watch "site subscribers."
Click here to learn more about becoming a site subscriber.

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