Paid placement listings have come to several major UK search engines, over the past few months. GoTo is providing results to the UK editions of AltaVista and Excite, while Espotting is providing listings to the UK versions of Lycos and HotBot.
At AltaVista UK, the two links displayed under the "Featured Sites" heading correspond to the top two listings at GoTo UK for the term you searched on. In addition, the three links displayed under the "Try these resources" heading at the bottom of the results page will correspond to listings three through five from GoTo UK.
At Excite UK, the first two links of the "Web Results" section correspond to the top two listings at GoTo UK, for the term you searched on. Excite provides a small disclaimer above the links, "The first 2 search results below are provided by a third party." The words "third party" in turn bring up an information box saying that the links come from GoTo and are not necessarily approved by Excite UK's editorial team. It fails to simply say they are advertising links.
At Lycos UK, the three links in the "Sponsored Links" box to the right of the main search results correspond to the top three listings from Espotting. At HotBot UK, it is exactly the same situation, except that the Sponsored Links box appears to the left of the main search results.
Lycos Europe also deserves kudos for clearly labeling and presenting its paid listings, unlike Terra Lycos, a joint venture owner of Lycos Europe. Terra Lycos runs the US editions of Lycos and HotBot and uses the euphemisms of "Featured Listings," "Popular" or "Products & Services."
Want to appear in the paid placement spots at AltaVista and Excite UK? Then you'll need to open an account with GoTo's UK edition.
Want to appear in the paid placement spots at Lycos and HotBot UK? Then you'll need to open an account with Espotting.
Jupiter MMXI Europe Ratings
Who's tops in the UK? You'll find some statistics here.