Pay-per-inclusion (PPI) differs vastly from Pay-per-click (PPC) search engines and directories. In PPI directories, such as Yahoo, you pay a yearly fee just to be included into their directory. Pay-per-inclusion gets websites no special preferences in the directory rankings and in the case of Yahoo, you are at the mercy of an editor to give you a keyword-friendly title and description on which your ranking will be determined. The upside of Yahoo is that if your website is not deceptive (doorway pages, mirrors or redirects) chances are very good that the website will be listed.
Once the overall search leader, Yahoo has fallen way behind Google in popularity (but who hasn’t?) and now has teamed up with Overture to produce search results. If money is not an issue, being included in Yahoo is still worthwhile, as many “Yahooligans” will use nothing else for search. If you have a well-constructed website that is content-rich, then most likely your site will do well in the Yahoo search results.
Aside from search directory pay-per-click programs, many of the major search engines also have a PPI programs such as Lycos/FAST, AskJeeves/Teoma and the Inktomi-based engines. For a yearly fee, your site will included and then updated every 48 hours. This is helpful when you are adjusting your keywords and trying to find a cause and effect relationship between what adjustments you make and how the search engines interact with those adjustments.
Some of the major search engines have now moved over to the Overture Site Match program which is not only pay-per-inclusion but has a pay-per-click component as well. Through paying a few to one of several third party vendors your website will first be indexed in 7 days into such places as AltaVista, Yahoo Search, AllTheWeb, FAST network and many other engines. After the initial inclusion, the website will then be re-indexed every 48 hours into the sites mentioned above as well as EntireWeb, Scrub The Web and Slider. In this business model, you pay both a fee for inclusion and put money aside ($50 or more) for the pay-per-click component of this arrangement.
In the pay-per-click model, you bid on keywords and the highest bidders get to be at the top of the search engines. Every time someone clicks on your website in the listings, you pay the fee that you bid on. The upside to this model is that you most probably will get targeted visitors to your website. The downside is that customers may not buy, you still have to pay, and your ROI may not make it worth staying with this model.
Also, in the past there has been great abuse of this system as people were paid to click on the high-paying links and software applications were developed for the same purposes. Making a certain site’s competitor pay for thousands of clicks per day was not uncommon. Also some unscrupulous search engines and directories engaged in this practice, misreporting the clicks and reaping huge, but unethical profits. Today the reporting systems are much more secure and abuse is nowhere near the problem that it used to be.
There are a couple of downsides to PPC programs. First, you will have to spend some of your valuable time managing the keyword bids. Second, once you stop bidding and paying, your site will drop off the PPC search engine or directory’s site or sponsored/featured listings area of the site.