Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Trusted Feeds - PPC or SEO?

There are increasing levels of cross-over between SEO and PPC these days. Many would pinpoint landing page quality score as being the main point of similarity between the two search channels. However, we should also consider the hybrid beast that is Yahoo! Search Submit Pro in this equation.

Yahoo! SSP is a system that allows advertisers to "force-feed" URLs to Yahoo, to be included in their organic listings, but subsequently billed on a cost per click basis. Confused? You might well be.

Basically, this is a product that works for those with:

a) very large websites, with thousands of pages


b) websites that just aren't search engine friendly.

Advertisers create XML feeds (one for each webpage), and then submit these to Yahoo for inclusion in their organic index. Now, there's no guarantee that they'll get good positions, but they will be included in the index. This is of benefit to those in a hurry to get their pages indexed (and can't wait around for spiders to find them) or those whose pages are not likely to be read and indexed at all (perhaps those with a lot of flash, images or Javascript on their site).

One submitted, the advertiser is charged each time someone clicks on their listing. In this way, it's very similar to PPC ads. However, the listings appear in the organic results, not the sponsored listings. Thus making it a real hybrid channel in the world of search.

You can then optimise your feeds based on ROI using Yahoo's SSP interface, which is much like the regular sponsored search interface (now known as Panama). It can be a good way to get tricky-to-optimise sites included in Yahoo's index. However, it's no substitute for natural organic optimisation and indexing. You'd be far better off sorting out your spiderability than getting involved in paid inclusion, in my opinion anyway. Leave CPC models where they belong - in the sponsored listings ;-)

To find out more about Yahoo! Search Submit Pro, check out their information pages: http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/srchsb/ssp.php.