Yahoo makes paid submission mandatory for businesses in the UK and a new option for those in Italy. LookSmart UK begins powering former rival UK Plus and has launched a paid placement service. And Excite is back -- at least in some European countries, powered by FAST. Details can be found below.
Yahoo UK & Ireland: Yahoo Express
Paid submission was made mandatory at Yahoo UK & Ireland for commercial categories last month. But cheer up -- for the moment, it remains a one-time fee, rather than annual as with the US. Cost is #199 or #450 for those with adult/porn content.
Which to submit to, Yahoo UK or Yahoo.com? If you are a UK-based business or relevant to the UK, Yahoo UK recommends submitting through them rather than through Yahoo.com. By doing this, you'll still appear before those going to Yahoo.com but have a better shot at ranking higher with Yahoo UK.
But what if you are based in the UK but relevant to anyone, worldwide? Still submit via Yahoo UK, but in the "Additional Information" part of the form, list the name or URL of your alternative "global" category and succinctly explain why you should be listed in both places.
Huh? OK, let's say you are based in the UK but sell BBQs globally. Not just that you'll ship the occasional order but that a significant portion of your business is selling outside of the UK.
You'd probably want to be listed here, http://uk.dir.yahoo.com/business_and_economy/shopping_and_services/
home_and_garden/kitchen_and_cooking/barbecue_and_grill/retailers/, because people searching at Yahoo UK are more likely to find this UK-specific category about BBQ retailers.
However, those going to Yahoo.com from all over the world are more likely to find this corresponding "non-regional" or "global" category: http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services/
Ideally, you could do a submission to either category via Yahoo UK and the editors would automatically place you in both, assuming they can see you are relevant. But, you may need to help them along. Submit to whatever category you think is most important and relevant to you, then note the other category via the "Additional Information" box.
Yahoo Italy: Yahoo Express
Paid submission came to Yahoo Italy last month. As with the US, sites are guaranteed to be reviewed within seven working days and provided a yes or no answer about being accepted. The cost is on an annual basis, 159 per year, excluding VAT. Adult/porn sites pay 259 per year. Yahoo Express is an optional choice -- free submission also remains for all categories. Uniquely for Yahoo, Yahoo Italy is not processing the charges in house. Instead, Italian search engine marketing firm Ad Maiora handles billing. However, once billing has been processed, sites are passed on for editorial approval by Yahoo Italy's own staff.
Motori di Ricerca e Visibilita' sul Web
Trying to figure out search engine marketing in Italy? Nessun problema! And if that's not right, blame http://babelfish.altavista.com. This book was released earlier this year and was written by long-time Italian search engine marketing expert Mauro Lupi, founder of Ad Maiora. And at 13, it's something anyone with interest in this area can afford.
Formerly a homegrown directory of UK web sites produced by Associated Newspapers, UK Plus remains owned by them but is powered by LookSmart UK. The deal began last month.
UK edition of LookSmart. The company continues to offer a basic paid submit service for a one-time fee of #149 + VAT and says there are no plans to move to the US-CPC based model.
LookSmart UK: Performance Listings
Want deep inclusion in the LookSmart UK directory? This is done through the Performance Listings program, sold on a CPC basis, cost anywhere from 20p to several pounds per click, depending on the industry you are in.
LookSmart UK BidSmart
New paid placement system for appearing in LookSmart UK results, launched in mid-June. Those in BidSmart appear in the "Featured Sites" area at the top of LookSmart UK search results, as well as in that area for those who cobrand LookSmart UK results. There's a 5p minimum bid requirement. No auto-bidding or gap removal features, but LookSmart UK says this may come directly or through third parties in the future.
The top four people bidding on a term are carried on LookSmart UK, though the company's partners might carry more or less of these. If no one uses BidSmart to bid on a term, then paid listings come from Espotting.com's UK listings. And here's an interesting tip. As said, if no one bids on a particular term via BidSmart, then Espotting listings kick in and fill up all four slots in Featured Listings. However, if BidSmart has only one person bidding on a term, then only the BidSmart person will be shown. The remaining spots will NOT be filled by Espotting, LookSmart UK says.
Take the situation for the term "BBQ" (OK, it's summer. We need a new one for what I call the backyard and my wife calls the garden. Hence, it's my favo(u)rite example, for the moment). Spots 1-4 on Espotting cost between 14p to 9p for that term, which in turn puts you on LookSmart. Join BidSmart, and you'd get the top spot for only 5p at LookSmart UK and be the only Featured Site listed. Moreover, you can continue to run your Espotting campaign without fear of duplicate clicks, because the Espotting listings will be suppressed from LookSmart UK.
No doubt this is only a short-term benefit, but it might be enough incentive to checkout BidSmart. There's a #10 set-up fee and a #50 deposit required.
Excite is back in Europe -- at least the UK. Tiscali, which purchased Excite's European services, has reopened the UK site. Results are powered by FAST and a special "Directory" tab on the results page gives access to Open Directory human-compiled listings. Excite.fr also brings up a French version, Excite.it an Italian one, but Excite.de doesn't reveal a German one. Those in other European countries can try their own country-specific endings with Excite, to see if new sites are being offered.
Tiscali to launch Excite across Europe
The Register, July 27, 2002
Brief details on the Tiscali relationship.