Yahoo Paid Inclusion: SEO or PPC Team?
In a previous post I implied that Yahoo's Paid Inclusion (a.k.a. Search Submit Pro) program was for lazy SEOs. That's a little harsh, I suppose, but I'm sticking to my belief that you can achieve high rankings in Yahoo with less effort than true search engine optimization. I've worked at two search engine marketing companies now where there was debate of whether a paid inclusion effort should be handled by the SEO team or the PPC team. I doubt this post alone will settle the matter, but that isn't going to stop me from trying!
For those who haven't encountered paid inclusion before, the basic premise is that:
- You submit a feed to Yahoo. This feed is used by Yahoo to determine rankings in their organic search results.
- In exchange for having Yahoo pretty much turn a blind eye to your website, you pay them a fixed fee for every click from their organic search results.
Item one suggests SEO whereas item two suggests PPC, but there's more to the question than immediately meets the eye. Here are the real-world considerations that have come up during discussions with co-workers...
How Yahoo Paid Inclusion is Like SEO
- A PI feed is made up of keywords that can be optimized.
- A successful PI effort results in increased rankings in organic results.
- Yahoo does some rudimentary checks on the website to confirm it isn't spam before approving a feed.
- Keywords must actually be relevant to the site unlike with PPC where you can buy any keyword you want.
How Yahoo Paid Inclusion is Like PPC
- A good portion of optimizing a PI feed is through keyword stuffing. Don't believe me? One type of PI feed allows for a keyword to be repeated 50 times. The feed body and description have a max length of 2170 characters. Do the math.
- Although there is no bidding, each click does have a cost.
- At the agencies I've been at, clients were willing to pay for a PI feed ONLY when they had a PPC program. SEO-only clients NEVER paid for a PI effort.
- When a PI feed is turned off, the rankings associated with the feed disappear.
- If all search engines offered paid inclusion programs, big-dollar SEO efforts would go away. Why bother with optimization if you're a big company and can just buy rankings?
I lean to classifying paid inclusion as more of a paid search team effort. Anyone else out there have these sorts of discussions?