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Yahoo Pricing Change

Remember just a few short years ago when Yahoo was eager for your submissions and encouraged you to add your URL to their directory? And just as soon as we all became accustomed to Yahoo editors nipping and tucking our carefully crafted descriptions, Yahoo began charging a "Business Express" submission fee - to cover the cost of their editing and to reduce submission times from eight weeks to seven days. Now, Yahoo has announced their intent to make the $299 submission fee an annual recurring charge instead of a one-time fee. Now, you must pay not just for editorial review, but for continued inclusion, year-after-year.

As this excerpt below taken from Yahoo's new submission page shows, Yahoo! has indeed put a "recurring annual fee" in place for any site submitted after December 28th 2001. What this means is that not only do you have to pay the $299 submission fee to get your listing into Yahoo!, but if you want to keep it in their directory, you have to pay $299 every year after that. If your site was included in Yahoo prior to December 28th, then these reoccurring fees are waived. 

To quote from Yahoo "your payment only guarantees that Yahoo will consider and respond to your request within seven business days, by either accepting or not accepting your site. You expressly agree to pay to Yahoo such fee whether or not your site is accepted or denied inclusion in the Directory. If your web site is accepted for inclusion in the Directory as
part of Yahoo Express on or after December 28, 2001, then your web site's continued inclusion in the Directory will be subject to additional review each year and you agree that your credit card will be charged the Recurring Annual Fee

Your Yahoo listing is now like your domain name purchase with an annual recurring cost. Note that for your annual fee you do not have the option of making annual changes to your listing. This annual fee is just for continuation in the directory
at Yahoo's discretion. Be advised that if you choose to submit a change request using the Yahoo! Express, you will be immediately charged the current initial consideration fee, and the changes may or may not be made. 

Northern Light Discontinues Their Free Search Service

The lagging world economy has taken its toll on yet another search engine. Northern Light never rivaled the big players
like Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos, and others in popularity. New engines like Google sprung up while Northern Light's popularity waned. However, Northern Light has long been known by researchers for offering thousands of articles from publications like newspapers, magazines and scientific journals. They have for years charged a fee to access their "premium" articles, while offering a free engine that searched the rest of the Web.

On January 18th Northern Light was acquired by divine, Inc. and announced the closing of their free search engine. Northernlight.com now focuses only on searching its "premium content" sources. To view an article from one of their sources generally costs from $1 to $4.

Northern Light Press Release:

Is a Looksmart Rate Increase on the Horizon?

Unfortunately, Looksmart and Yahoo tend to tag-team each other What one does, the other generally follows. Right now Looksmart charges $299 for their two-day review and $149 for their eight-week review. You're then in there for life although they have the right to remove you if they feel your content is no longer of acceptable quality.

It's a pretty good bet that as soon as Looksmart saw Yahoo switch to a reoccurring fee model that they went to work to
revise their system to accommodate such a reoccurring revenue plan. For good or bad, all of the engines are looking for
new sources of revenue right now. Yahoo knows that paying a one-time fee for advertising that lasted essentially forever
was quite a bargain by any standard.

Looksmart will likely realize the same thing. Although Looksmart.com does not attract as much traffic as Yahoo.com, Looksmart powers the directory results of over 370 search engines and ISPs. Many analysts consider them to offer comparable exposure to Yahoo (the most popular of all the engines).

So, if you've been putting off submitting one or more of your sites to Looksmart, you'd be money ahead by acting sooner
rather than later. I'm betting that you'll soon see Looksmart follow suite and start charging $299 every year rather than
just one-time. If you get in now, chances are good that Looksmart will waive the reoccurring fee for their existing customers. This could save you a bundle of money over the coming years. Not only that, but your listing can appear near the top of the search results on major portals like MSN, AltaVista, IWon, CNN, and others.

Before investing the $299 in Looksmart though, make sure you get your money's worth. What Looksmart fails to tell you
is that you must obtain a good listing that gains you top rankings in their catalog. If your listing is buried among
the thousands of other listings, people are NOT going to find you. 

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