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True Paid Inclusion Programs are a "Thing of the Past". . . Or Are They?

Most search engine optimizers get rather nostalgic when they remember the "good old days" of paid inclusion programs. Do you remember when we could submit a Web page for a one-time fee and get it spidered and indexed within 24 to 48 hours? The page would then be respidered every 48 hours for an entire year.

We could work on building our on-page and off-page factors while confidently knowing that the paid inclusion spider would be back to recrawl our page within that time frame. We didn't have to pay any pay-per-click fees. For new pages or Web sites, or for pages that we had problems getting in the indexes, paid inclusion programs were ideal. We never minded spending the money at all.

These days, however, with the exception of a few directory submissions, true paid inclusion programs are a thing of the past. . . or are they?

Some Paid Inclusion Programs have Per-Click Fees Attached as Well

The paid inclusion programs of the past certainly didn't come with pay-per-click fees attached, but some of them do now. Yes, the visibility can be impressive, but the programs come with definite disadvantages:

* You not only pay to submit the URL, you also pay a per-click fee, depending on what industry you're in. So before you rush into these programs, it would be to your advantage to see how much you would pay to bid on your keywords through straight pay- per-click programs.

* It's important to remember that with these paid inclusion/PPC programs, you're simply "paying" to be "included." You're not "paying" for your "rankings." Therefore, you're in the rankings along with all of the free search engine listings, yet you've paid to be there and you're paying per click through.

* Though I have known a few people who have stopped the paid inclusion listing (and the per-click fee) and have remained in the listings, most people totally drop out of the rankings. So if you get where you want to be, be prepared to pay to stay there.

A True Paid Inclusion Program -With Listings Seen Over 120 Million Times a Month!

The Big Three aren't the only engines on the block. At 120 million searches a month being conducted across 50 search engines and directories and through ABCSearch.com, ExactSeek.com's Featured Listings are certainly an excellent deal.

The cost? $36 per URL for the first 5 URLs for a year, or $12 per URL for the first 5 URLs for 3 months. More good news: no pay- per-click fees and no bidding for keywords.

What search engines are covered?

ExactSeek.com, Aesop.com, OnSeek.com, MaxPromo.com, Best-SearchEngine.com, SitesOnDisplay.com. and MetaWebSearch.com. View the entire listing at http://www.exactseek.com/featured_listings.html.

These search engines and directories have formed the Independent Search Engine & Directory Network (ISEDN.org http://www.isedn.org/) for the purpose of providing Web site owners with affordable and effective search engine advertising.

In fact, the Featured Listings program not only gives you "paid inclusion," but it also gives you "guaranteed top 10 exposure." I asked Mel Strocen, CEO of Jayde Online to explain.

"The sale of any keyword term (word or phrase) is restricted to 30 buyers. So, for example, a phrase like 'online games' can only be purchased 30 times. This is to prevent over sale of a term. Since the maximum number of paid listing ad boxes that can appear on a SERP is 10 and 30 is the maximum that can be sold for any keyword term, we rotate ad boxes within the SERP and between SERPs for every search on a given term.

"If an advertiser buys a keyword term that has been previously purchased 10 or fewer times, then that advertiser's paid listing ad box will appear on the first page of search results every time the purchased keyword term is searched. If the keyword term has been purchased between 11 and 20 times, then the advertiser's PI ad box will appear on the first page of search results one of every 2 searches performed for that keyword term. And, if the keyword term has been purchased between 21 and 30 times, then the advertiser's PI ad box will appear on the first page of search results one of every 3 searches performed.

"This rotational system gives everyone who has purchased a keyword term equal exposure."

According to Strocen, a number of engines and directories are poised to join the ISEDN, and they're targeting for a membership of 100 engines and directories by year-end. This is serious visibility. Your listings will be added within 6-8 hours to all of the above search engines. Just like the good old days!

It's important to note that paid listing results are served from a separate database. Having a paid listing does not mean you also have a regular, free listing. To get in their regular, free results, Webmasters still need to submit their URLs at http://www.exactseek.com/add.html.

For more information about their paid inclusion program, visit http://www.exactseek.com.

Paid Inclusion as an Alternative to PPC

With the rising costs of pay per clicks, when you can find a paid inclusion model as attractive as ExactSeek.com's, it's time to give it a try.

For example, at the time of writing this article, the top three bids for "life insurance quotes" at Yahoo!'s Sponsored Search were going for close to $6 a click through. If you have one of the top three pay-per-click ads, and if six people click on your ad, you'll spend $36 a day.

You could spend the same amount of money one time at ExactSeek.com and get your URL seen over 120 million times a month for a solid year.

Isn't it worth a try?

In Conclusion

Thank goodness, the days of true paid inclusion programs aren't over. ExactSeek has a very attractive program with excellent visibility . . . just waiting to be tested. Remember: in the search engine game, testing is the best way to see if something works. Now, get busy!

Robin Nobles teaches 2-, 3-, and 5-day hands-on search engine marketing (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com) workshops in locations across the globe as well as online SEO training (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com) courses. They have recently launched localized SEO training (http://www.searchengineacademy.com) centers through Search Engine Academy.

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