E-Commerce Times Talkback
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In a move that underscores the growing importance of paid search engine results, Yahoo!
said it has extended its partnership with pay-for-performance search engine Overture for
three more years. Nielsen//NetRatings director and senior analyst Lisa Strand told the
E-Commerce Times that consumers have come to accept paid results as part of the cost of
receiving information on the Web. "They know the revenue has to come from somewhere,"
The pay-per-click services such as Overture's PPC program are a good service that are of use to searchers and advertisers alike.
The paid listings augment the free search listings and allow advertisers the opportunity to extend their search engine campaigns or to gain visibility at all. Through PPC, small-budget advertisers are able to receive targeted, timely advertising for a reasonable cost.
If these PPC companies serve searchers well with good relevant results, users will continue to accept them and see their value. However, if these companies try to pass off paid inclusion as legitimate results, users will see their companies as fraudulent. Even advertisers will value them if they are fairly implemented.
At least one company has chosen to be dishonest in this regard and is now in serious business trouble. The goal should be to serve the end user well. Paid advertising is not an issue if it is done ethically and serves customers.
However, if Yahoo, Google and others forget who their customers are, they will suffer marketshare loss and negative publicity by implementing these programs.
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