Yahoo! Introduces Paid-Inclusion Program

NEW YORK Travelocity,, CarsDirect and are among the inaugural marketers who have signed on to Yahoo!’s paid-inclusion search program, which launches today.

Called the Content Acquisition Program, or CAP, Yahoo!’s paid-inclusion offering ensures participants that their Internet pages will be included in the Web portal’s search results.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet company assured that it will continue to answer a search query with relevant content from its index of several billion documents, regardless of whether a company pays or not. In other words, a company’s paid or unpaid status will not influence where it falls in Yahoo!’s search listings.

Paying sites, however, will enjoy benefits unavailable to their non-paying peers. For instance, Yahoo! will refresh content from its paying customers every 48 hours, whereas other sites’ information is updated about once a month. Yahoo! also will supply paid customers with reports covering the number of clicks their listings received and what keywords generated those clicks.

“The overall mission is to make sure we get all your information, that we understand what you want to communicate and that we deliver relevant results,” said Chris Bolte, vice president of strategic alliances at Overture, Yahoo!’s search subsidiary.

Sites that submit less than 1,000 URLs pay an annual fee of $49 for the first URL and lower rates for the subsequent links that they submit. They then pay a cost-per-click rate ranging from 15-30 cents depending on their category. Businesses that submit 1,000 URLs or more are charged a fixed cost-per-click up to $1, again depending on category.

Yahoo! joins LookSmart and Ask Jeeves, among a handful of other search engines, that offer paid inclusion. Google does not. These programs are separate from sponsored-search listings, which are clearly marked as such and appear on the top and/or side of a results page.

This is latest in Yahoo!’s overall effort to upgrade its search offering. Earlier this month, the company started rolling out its algorithmic search technology, a process that will eventually phase out the Web portal’s use of Google for search results.