Last week, Yahoo! officially released a statement that confirmed that they will no longer be offering Yahoo! Search Submit Pro (SSP), also known as paid inclusion, to advertisers in all markets, including the U.S. and Europe. The effective date for terminating this program is December 31, 2009.
What is Yahoo! Search Submit Pro?
Yahoo!’s Search Submit Pro enables advertisers to quickly submit Web pages into Yahoo!’s search index for SEO visibility and traffic, rather than relying on Yahoo!’s technology to crawl their pages. Search Submit Pro helps deliver rapid organic search results, which improves advertiser visibility and ranking. Additionally, because it is feed-based, advertisers are given more control over the content displayed in their listings. Yahoo!’s Search Submit Pro is based on a cost-per-click fee structure.
Why is Yahoo! terminating its Search Submit Pro product?
Yahoo! has decided to terminate Yahoo! Search Submit as stated in the official statement below:
“We are committing our resources and efforts to our core areas of focus, including improving the search experience and relevancy of our ads to increase user engagement and ROI for advertisers, and as a result, have decided to exit Search Submit. We have stepped up innovation in Search Marketing, recently rolling out search retargeting, Rich Ads in Search and improved matching technology, and in Consumer Search, with enhancements like the new search results page. These enhancements deliver value, control, innovation and relevance to our advertisers, leading to increased ROI.
Yahoo! will exit Search Submit at the end of 2009. Yahoo! is providing those advertisers affected by the decision a sufficient lead time to assist in the transition. In addition, Yahoo! has recently announced a series of important enhancements to its Search advertising business and will work closely with many Search Submit advertisers to provide them with search solutions that will benefit their businesses.”
How are advertisers who are currently running SSP programs impacted by this announcement and Yahoo!’s future partnership with Microsoft?
As of right now, the only change that is occurring this December is the elimination of Yahoo!’s Search Submit product. Once the Search Submit product is discontinued, listings and rankings will likely revert back to their original pre-SSP positions. Listings/rankings will be based on the content that Yahoo! crawls on your Web site as well as your page’s keyword relevancy to a searcher’s query.
Can we ask for a program extension past December 31, 2009?
According to Yahoo!, there will not be an extension of the termination date. However, advertisers will have access to past Search Submit performance reports and the Yahoo! interface until the end of January 2010.
What is the impact of Yahoo!’s future partnership with Microsoft?
Once the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! is finalized (date still to be determined), Microsoft’s technology will run Yahoo!’s search results. There is no indication at this time that a similar Search Submit product will become available on Microsoft’s Bing engine. MSNbot will be the official crawler for both Bing and Yahoo!’s algorithmic search. Additionally, Microsoft adCenter will be used for the engines’ pay-per-click offerings.
This consolidation of technology along with the removal of Yahoo! SSP changes the future of the SEO landscape. Traditional free crawl SEO methods will once again rule the organic search engine results, while the two search engines, Yahoo! and Bing, join forces.
What are Performics’ recommendations in light of Yahoo!’s recent announcement?
In the short term, advertisers should continue to run their Yahoo! Search Submit Pro program as intended for the holiday season. Pulling the Yahoo! SSP program too early could come at a great cost, including lost traffic and sales during a key period of the year…the holiday season. Simultaneously, advertisers should take this time to begin developing alternative strategies so that they are fully prepared for the change in 2010.
In addition, advertisers can fill the void that the termination of Yahoo!’s SSP product will leave in terms of visibility, traffic and sales in 2010. This includes exploring viable SEO, PPC, social and display marketing options. Furthermore, advertisers should explore the new Yahoo! innovations, such as search re-targeting and Rich Ads in Search.