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Introduction to Overture Site Match Xchange Pay Per Click Programs For Large (250+ page) Sites

With the exception of Google, most search engines aren't very good at indexing your entire website.

If you don't want to make changes to the technical setup of your website, modify your content delivery system, or rewrite your URLs and you want more visibility in the Yahoo! search engine, you can simply pay Yahoo! to be included in the "free", "editorial" listings at Yahoo.com.

Instead of crawling your website, you just send data to OvertureYahoo! and they mysteriously figure out where to rank your site.

You can go directly to Overture for a Site Match Xchange program or you can go to one of their resellers like PositionTech. Regardless of the reseller you go though, you'll need to be able to provide title, description and keyword tags as well as a "content" field for each page of your website. As a representitive from WebGuerrilla once stated at a Search Engine Strategies conference. Yesterday's Spam is today's Site Match Xchange (formerly Trusted Feed).

Yahoo!/Overture has cracked down on the relevancy of the data in the contents of feeds in recent years.

Back in the good ol' days of Inktomi, companies fed all kinds of crap into the feeds. Inktomi nailed some and banned numerous sites from the index. Previously, this type of paid inclusion was a way to get good rankings in Yahoo!/MSN without having to make changes to the content of your website. Yahoo! doesn't screw around these days and has pissed off lots of people by allegedly banning many more sites from the index as well as carrying over the penalties handed out by Inktomi. While it is admirable

It's gonna cost you

Larger sites with at least 200 pages can get free inclusion through Trusted Feed programs and pay per click instead. Typical click charges start at about $0.15 and may go as high as $0.50 depending on the keyword category and search engine. If your site generates revenue and you can afford the click prices, Trusted Feed can be a phenomenal way to generate tons of highly targeted traffic to your site.

But maybe not as much as you think

When it comes to guaranteeing specific pages of your website will be included in a search engine, small sites typically pay to up to $78.00 per year, per engine for each page. A site with just a few thousand pages could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just for inclusion of all those pages in the four engines that offer the service. The pay for inclusion programs guarantee no traffic and each page much be optimized to get have a chance to attain top rankings and referrals.

It's still a lot of work

Like most search engine marketing programs, a Trusted Feed program can require a significant amount of time and effort to setup. While it's not necessary to modify the actual site, the data that represents each page needs to be compiled, formatted and optimized to attain top rankings in the search engines. If you site is database driven (and it probably is if it contains hundreds or thousands of pages) you'll need to do lots of keyword research and write some queries to pull information out of your database and create optimized title, description, and keyword tags as well as a field that represents your content. If Inktomi is one of the engines you are going to use you may want to create a spider that will identify keywords where top rankings in the Inktomi database will appear on the first or second page of results and not be buried under pages of LookSmart results.

But the benefits can be huge

Once your feed is setup and running, not only will you (possibly) get lots of highly targeted search engine referrals but you'll generate lots of keyword data that may be used for other pay per click advertising programs. Since the engines refresh the data feed on a weekly basis you'll have the opportunity to make changes, add more pages and otherwise improve your results on a regular basis.

And not just in the Trusted Feed programs

Once you've generated all this data and have unique title, description, and keyword tags, create appropriate fields for them in your site (if necessary) and put them back into your site. Assuming Google can crawl and index your site, unique title, description, and keyword tags will help improve your rankings in Google. Engines that offer Trusted Feed programs probably account for around 20-30% of total search engine traffic in the US. Google accounts for most of the rest.

Don't forget the tracking

After all this work, it's worth the investment to track it. At minimum, use something like WebTrends to verify the traffic the engines charge you for, or better yet, use a script based tracking service that is likely to be much more accurate. Learn more in to introduction to site analytics and ROI Tracking or check out the section on site analytics vendors.

If you are ready to move on to optimizing your actual website for more "organic" search engine referrals, check out the keyword optimization section.

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