Google officials on Tuesday reaffirmed that the company has no plans to add paid inclusion. "To us, paid inclusion is fuzzy on the guidelines of separating church and state," said Tim Armstrong, Google vice president of advertising sales. Yahoos search algorithm ranks search results without regard to whether Web pages come from paid or free listings, Bolte said. Providing paid inclusion provides a way to work more openly and cooperatively with Web sites and helps improve relevancy, he said. Submitted Web pages also must go through a human and technological review for quality.In pricing Site Match, Yahoos Overture division has created two tiersone for smaller sites submitting fewer than 1,000 URLs and another for larger sites submitting 1,000 or more URLs. The smaller sites pay a yearly flat fee, starting at $49 for the first URL submission and decreasing to $29 each for the next two to 10 URLs and $10 each for the next 11 to 999. They also pay per click, either 15 cents a click or 30 cents a click depending on the search category. Bigger sites would only pay per click at a rate as high as $1 a click, varying by categories. For smaller sites, the pricing model may "have gone too far," said Andy Beal, vice president of search marketing for WebSourced Inc., of Morrisville, N.C. Charging per-click fees for smaller sites is a departure from the previous programs that only charged the annual fee, he said. The potential for higher cost leaves those smaller Web sites in a bindface difficulty paying the extra cost or risk more infrequent crawler updates from the free crawl, Beal said. With paid inclusion, Yahoo is guaranteeing updates every 48 hours. "Search engines have become so powerful that theyre almost a monopoly," Beal said. "What choice do the business owners have but to pay?" But Bolte said that by adding a per-click charge, Overture is preventing spam-oriented paid inclusion listings by encouraging accurate Web page submissions. "If you have to pay for the clicks then youll make sure the site has the most relevant content," Bolte said. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions.
"Our overall goal is to crawl 100 percent of the Internet for free," Bolte said. "This [paid inclusion] is a key added service."