Grab Those Eyeballs with AltaVista Listing Enhancements

AltaVista has rolled out a new program that allows webmasters to visually differentiate their listings from others displayed in a result list. "Our Listing Enhancements program offers customers a new way to differentiate themselves from competitors, maintain their brand, and provide greater control over how they are represented in our search results," said Chris Kermoian, director of marketing, AltaVista Company.

The Listing Enhancements program is available to any site that already has one or more URLs included in AltaVista's index.

AltaVista offers four different types of listing enhancements. Webmasters can use any of the four enhancements, singly or in combination. The four enhancements include:

- Logos: A thumbnail-sized version of your logo appears to the left of your search listing. For companies with recognizable logos this is an excellent way to quickly draw the searcher's eye to your listing. It's also a good way for lesser known companies to build brand recognition.

- Icons: Icons are descriptive symbols that indicate business type. Similar to universal information symbols used on signs throughout the world, icons appear to the right of a result title. For example, a travel agency might use an airplane icon, or an online pharmacy might use a prescription icon. In all, AltaVista offers 29 different icons to choose from.

- Custom Tagline: Custom taglines supplement the standard two-line description of your site that's taken from the meta "description" tag on your page. Custom taglines let you highlight important information that you can update at any time. They can be used for specials or promotions, to draw attention to new content, and so on.

Importantly, custom taglines let you experiment with dynamic messages in your search results without the need to change the description of your site, which might have a detrimental effect on your search position. Custom taglines appear beneath the description of your page, in green text rather than the standard blue text used for descriptions.

- Text Links: In addition to the primary URL that appears in a search listing, you can also include up to five additional links to other pages on your site. These links can be used to direct users to other important parts of your site -- for example, to a catalog, customer service, information or FAQ page, or any other relevant page.

Listing Enhancements can be purchased in one of two ways, depending on whether you want to use them for your entire site or just for specific pages.

To add Listing Enhancements to specific pages, use the same online interface used for AltaVista's Express Inclusion program. New online interface users must first add URLs through AltaVista's Express Inclusion program, while existing customers can add enhancements to pages previously submitted via the service.

Listing Enhancements are made available on a six-month subscription basis. Pricing for logos and taglines is $50 for first URL and $36 for additional URLs. Subscriptions for Icons and text links are $25 for the first URL and $18 for additional URLs. All updates and changes to Listing Enhancements will be reviewed within two business days and if approved will go live in less than two days.

"We're pro-rating the price for the remainder of the contract" for current customers, said AltaVista's Kermoian. So if you have two months remaining on your six month Express Inclusion contract, you'll only be charged one-third of the standard rates to try out Listing Enhancements.

"What this allows our current customers to do is try these out and see how it impacts their results for a relatively low price," says Kermoian. It also maintains a consistent renewal date for all customers.

Pricing is negotiable for adding Listing Enhancements to your entire site. Contact an AltaVista sales representative directly for further information.

While Listing Enhancements provide Web marketers with additional control over how their site appears on AltaVista's results pages, it does not affect the overall ranking or relevance of individual sites, according to Kermoian. Further, all Listing Enhancements are subject to editorial review, to assure that they are appropriate for a particular URL or site.

"We've found that the program really appeals to businesses that are submitting URLs but also to the end users of AltaVista," says Kermoian.

AltaVista Listing Enhancements

Pricing for Listing Enhancements

Detailed pricing information for a six month subscription for Listing Enhancements. Also provides a link to sign up for the service.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

ICANN likely to delay structure vote...
ZDNet Nov 6 2001 12:30PM GMT
New Article: Google Adds More Advanced Search Engine to Images, More File Types...
Research Buzz Nov 6 2001 6:50AM GMT
New Article: AltaVista Adds Enhanced Listings...
Research Buzz Nov 6 2001 6:28AM GMT
Hopeful Distributed Search Engine Buzzin Around the Net...
Research Buzz Nov 6 2001 6:28AM GMT
Software saves Web pages about Sept. 11...
Chicago Tribune Nov 5 2001 4:18PM GMT
Desperately Seeking Search Engine Marketing Standards...
Search Engine Report Nov 5 2001 3:28PM GMT
Searching The AOL Time Warner Way...
Search Engine Report Nov 5 2001 3:28PM GMT
The Tiniest Dots on the Web...
Wired News Nov 5 2001 12:01PM GMT
EDITORS CHOICE For Lovers of Yesterdays News...
International Herald Tribune Nov 5 2001 11:17AM GMT
Survey of Online Legal Information Alternatives... Nov 4 2001 11:28AM GMT
International Internet bandwidth...
The Economist Nov 3 2001 7:47AM GMT
NeuStar to provide domain for .kids of America...
ZDNet Nov 2 2001 11:53AM GMT
Ring tones are the new Napster...
ZDNet Nov 2 2001 9:59AM GMT
powered by

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.