November 2002 Newsletter

Major Changes at Yahoo

**** 4specs Quick Picks

Search Engine News
I normally would not point you to a paid resource, but search engines are very important to attract free users. Properly done advertising can be a relatively low-cost way to attract more users to your website. The November Search Engine News newsletter covers Yahoo, but in greater detail than this newsletter. $97 for 6 months is the cost for a subscription.


**** The 4specs Perspective

In October, 2002, Yahoo made a major change in their search methods. This is discussed in detail in the Search Engine News listed above. I immediately saw the change on 4specs in mid-October, and wanted to show you how these changes affect search results and open a new opportunity for you.

Bottom line - You may want to consider premium placement in Overture to get better Yahoo results. Costs can be as low as $20 per month and 5 cents per referral. We have already discussed advertising in Google in a prior newsletter.
[Overture is now part of Yahoo! Search Marketing products]

Yahoo is typically the second leading referrer on manufacturers' websites, behind Google. Top results in Yahoo are now coming from advertising on Overture and not from the Yahoo directory or Google. As I was writing this newsletter, Overture was planning to change access to the amount-paid information and may require you to become an advertiser to get access. I took these page shots from Overture and Yahoo on November 1, 2002.

To show how this works, I searched for "construction specifications" on Overture and got these results:


The numbers for max bid is the maximum price they are willing to pay per referral. The top one pays the $.41 as they are willing to pay that and the one under is willing to pay up to $.40. The second place actually pays 7 cents, 1 cent more than the max bid just below them, the $.06 of the 4specs bid, and not the $.40.

Being in the top 3 paid listings on Overture is very important as generally only the top three paid positions are used in Yahoo and other search engines. Overture pays Yahoo a share of the advertising. This is a big change for Yahoo results. This is being driven by Yahoo's drive to increase revenues. Yahoo expects to receive over $100 million per year from Overture as compensation for running their ads.

This is the Yahoo page for "construction specifications." As you can see, the 3 sponsor matches are from Overture and the Directory match is from the Yahoo directory. The Directory match is actually fairly unusual as I have not seen other directory matches appear.


4specs does not advertise on Overture for "construction specs" as we were listed high on that page on Overture and I saw no reason to pay. Now, I am unwilling to add new terms as 4specs may start to be charged the new $20 per month minimum. E-specs is the only advertiser for these key words.


Here is the Yahoo page, note that 4specs does not appear under sponsor matches, and the only Sponsor Match is from Overture, above.


While there are many low cost opportunities for many construction product key words, say 5 - 25 cents per referral, you need to be careful that competitors do not drive up your price. Be prepared for costs to ratchet up as more construction product manufacturers discover advertising on Overture gets them better Yahoo results. In the case of expansion joints, I suspect that 4 competitors have pushed up the price to the maximum pain level, in this case $5 per referral.


Let me know if there are any questions or suggestions. I would like to know your results if you do any advertising on Overture or Google.


Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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