Yahoo to End Paid Inclusion after 2009 Microsoft Merger

Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Business News, Internet Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

Search engine Yahoo will end its paid inclusion program (similar to pay per click) at the end of the year after complaints that having paid advertisements included in organic search results could create biased results. The move is not a PR one though – Yahoo originally stated that its paid inclusion program was still up in the air at their July press conference that announced their merger with Microsoft.

Yahoo’s paid inclusion program, formally called Search Submit Pro, allowed users to pay for page inclusion but not page rank. Having guaranteed page inclusion for searches, however, did allow web designers to optimize their pages for specific search results. Complaints against paid inclusion focused on how Yahoo was spilling over into traditional search engine optimization practices, which include pay-per-click ads and keyword manipulation.

Perhaps the happiest to see the demise of paid inclusion are the smaller search engine developers. Many smaller search engines were onboard in early 2003 when Yahoo first started developing Search Submit Pro, with everyone eager to slow down Google.

However, paid inclusion quickly turned into a monopoly for Yahoo, with key searches for words like “home mortgage” turning up 80% of paid results. In one extreme case, a search for “refinance” came up with only Yahoo supported results on the first page, making it impossible for any other websites to break into the top 10 results.

Many web developers feel that the loss of paid inclusion will jumpstart pay-per-click ads and other smaller online marketing practices. Yahoo itself has kept the end date for paid inclusion at the end of this year, to allow their advertisers time to adjust.

The Yahoo/ Microsoft merger also caught a lot of media attention on its own. Some have called the partnership an effort to finally rein in Google’s stranglehold on the search engine market. Though, many industry talking heads maintain that the largest search engine on the market won’t see any competition for the next two years.

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