Compete Launches Pay-as-You-Go Pricing

Compete today announced the upcoming launch of a new pay-as-you-go search analytics service designed to give smaller companies access to competitive research data for a per-usage fee.

Compete Search Analytics, set to launch on September 12, will offer data on a site’s keyword referrals, site referrals, and site comparisons, which will be charged for by the number of reports and results needed. Users will pay online by credit card, purchasing $2 credits, which are good for the first 50 results of a report, for example.

“If you have a Web site, you have to know how to utilize search, or else you’re going to be behind in the game,” Jeremy Crane, Compete’s Search Expert, told SEW. “A lot of people have not had access to this kind of data. There are some keyword tools that offer query-level data, but that’s not the same thing. Since about 40 percent of searches go unanswered, and don’t create referrals, we take those out of the picture for marketers.”

Referral data is available to larger clients from the big market research companies, but the cost can be prohibitive to small and mid-sized companies, he said.

At launch, Compete Search Analytics will not separate out referrals from organic search and search ads, but Crane expects that to be implemented in a future release. Since many consumers are not differentiating paid and organic clicks in their searches, the combined number is an accurate representation of consumer intent, he said.

“From a consumer’s perspective, they’re looking for search results. They don’t necessarily think in terms of paid vs. organic.” Crane said. “We recently surveyed our panel, and found that 20 percent of users had no idea that sponsored links were ads.”

The service uses the same panel-driven data that Compete has used for custom analytics clients for six years, but will not allow the page-level reports available to custom clients, and will not include the behavioral segmentation of data or other interpretation of results which Compete offers its clients.

Later this year, Compete expects to expand the program to include features more suitable for large agencies and enterprises. A company will be able to purchase credits in bulk, and allocate them among employees or clients. An API is also planned for early in 2008, which will allow integration of the report data directly into bid management and other tools.

The service is not intended to replace the tools those larger companies and agencies are using, but rather to augment them with more data, Crane said.

Compete’s data comes from about a dozen sources, including ISP data, ASP data from applications like Weatherbug, Compete’s own private-label desktop apps and toolbars, and the toolbar. Those sources include more than 2 million consumers.

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