Yes, it really happens. Now you might find it hard to believe but
you will understand after I explain.
Prior to late 2004, Google undisputedly ruled the search engine
world. During the second half of the year things took a dramatic
turn when Yahoo and MSN decided to challenge the Big G for some
of their lucrative market share.
Search engines are a big source of revenue especially when it
comes to advertising and for many this is their bread and butter.
With the emerging prominence of both Yahoo and MSN, advertisers
have more channels through which to advertise their goods and
What marks Google apart from it’s two big rivals in this area is
the way they display their ads. They deliver their ads through a
system called Adwords which is unobtrusive to viewers. The ads
are placed to the right to clearly distinguish them from the
search results. Occasionally they will place ads above the SERPS.
Overture is the company which handles the placement of ads for
both Yahoo and MSN. Now if you should search for a popular
keyword in either of them, you will notice that the ads are above
the results, to your right and at the bottom of the page just
above the Next button. This is where it gets interesting.
Having the privilege of working in a public computer lab, I
decided to run some experiments. When customers came in and
requested information on various topics I instructed them to use
Yahoo or MSN for their search enquiries. The first one looked for
“bridal gowns” and another looked for “tourism in Jamaica”. In
both cases they click on the first available information which of
course is the relevant ads displayed.
I continued my experiment for a week and came to a decisive
conclusion. Some search engines are selling our traffic right
under our noses! The only time I observed the top ranking
websites getting regular click through was when the keywords are
not that competitive to involve ad placement.
This leads me to question the quality of traffic one receives
from Yahoo and MSN. For every visitor you receive what is the
ratio for that which you lose to a sponsored result? And what is
the use of optimizing your website for them?
Now mind you, I enjoy a few good rankings on both Yahoo and MSN
but they are for keywords that are not that too competitive. For
these I enjoy consistent traffic flow but I think that the
quality is something to take another look at.
I didn’t write this to bash these guys on how they choose to do
their business particularly how they choose to place their ads.
My aim is to point out to you that while you may enjoy a top ten
result on Yahoo and MSN, chances are you are not getting the
amount of visitors you should and could receive.
© Oceanroc Web Publishing
Nicholas Dixon is a Jamaican webmaster, writer and affiliate
marketer. Visit my blog for feature articles from select
article writers at http://WWW.Oceanroc.Blogspot.com
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