What’s Yahoo Worth to You?


Yahoo logo

Search engines play an essential role in Web marketing plans. One of the biggest, Yahoo, has made a lot of news lately by overhauling their pricing plans…once again.

So the question is, how do I get listed in Yahoo and what's it going to cost me?

You can get listed in Yahoo via three different methods:

  • A Yahoo Directory listing.
  • A Yahoo Search listing.
  • A Pay-for-Performance listing. (We'll review the pay-for-performance listing in a future issue.)

The Yahoo Directory listing costs $299/year. You submit your site to be reviewed by a Yahoo editor, and assuming they feel your site is worthy, they'll add it to their directory.

Many search engine marketers feel this isn't such a great deal. Although it will ultimately help with building your site's “link popularity,” a Yahoo directory listing doesn't automatically mean your site will be found by someone searching at Yahoo.

For example, let's say you own an auto repair shop that offers detailing, but your directory listing reads “Carl's Auto Repair – Fixing Cars in Arizona since 1962.” If someone searches Yahoo for “auto detailing in Arizona,” and you're only included in the directory, you won't be found. (The word “detailing” wasn't included in your listing.)

There are currently two ways to get included in the Yahoo Search index:

  • Pay for it.
  • Get it for free.

(I recommend the latter. It turns out to be cheaper.)

Although you can't use the free submission form without signing up for a Yahoo account (also free), I wouldn't consider that to be a big obstacle. But, be aware that the free submission offers no guarantee that your site will be included in the Yahoo Search index.

Yahoo has recently rolled out a new product called Site Match™, which has been maligned in the search engine press. The service is provided by Overture, another Yahoo acquisition.

Unlike the free submission, Site Match guarantees your inclusion in the Yahoo index (and in a timely fashion) but not your placement in the search. In other words, it doesn't help your site to rank higher. Your ranking is still based (supposedly) on your site's relevance to the given search.

The first URL (Web page) is $49. The second through the tenth are $29 each. The price falls to $10 each after that. That's not too much more than Inktomi was a year ago, and Yahoo has a much bigger market share.

However, (and this is about as big a “however” as you get,) every time someone clicks on your link, you pay Yahoo another 15 cents! (Some “select” categories charge 30 cents.) Note: if you got into the Yahoo Search index for free then there's no charge per click.

Hmmm…I can probably get into the Yahoo Search for free, or I can pay Yahoo 50 bucks, plus maybe hundreds or thousands of dollars a month more for the exact same service. This is a tough one….

In Conclusion

I think you know the outcome of this one. I can't recommend spending your money on Yahoo right now. The only reason to join the Yahoo Directory would be for link popularity. The only reason to sign up for Site Match is if you feel you have too much money or you're concerned that Yahoo stock needs a bump.

Things will probably change in the future; Yahoo may get rid of the pay-per-click component of this plan, or they may rank Site Match participants higher than competing sites that didn't pony up any cash. This could make Yahoo's pricing plans more important to your Web marketing budget.

But for today, hold onto your money. If it's burning a hole in your pocket consider making a donation to Maine Public Radio.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

Filed under: SEO