Yahoo! has announced that it’s nixing its paid inclusion program. The program has allowed websites to be submitted to Yahoo!’s search engine by ponying up some moolah. The submissions led to inclusion in the organic listings as the program is separate from Yahoo!’s Sponsored Results. Yahoo! has been criticized for its paid inclusion program, since the sites who do pay and those who don’t are mixed in together.
Yahoo! provided a statement on the cancellation of the program:
We are committing our resources and efforts to our core areas of focus, including improving the search experience and relevancy of our ads to increase user engagement and ROI for advertisers, and as a result, have decided to exit Search Submit (see definition above). We have stepped up innovation in Search Marketing, recently rolling out search retargeting, Rich Ads in Search and improved matching technology, and in Consumer Search, with enhancements like the new search results page. These enhancements deliver value, control, innovation and relevance to our advertisers, leading to increased ROI.
Yahoo! will exit Search Submit at the end of 2009.
Yahoo! is providing those advertisers affected by the decision a sufficient lead time to assist in the transition. In addition, Yahoo! has recently announced a series of important enhancements to its Search advertising business and will work closely with many Search Submit advertisers to provide them with search solutions that will benefit their businesses.