The New York Post today broke a rumor that Yahoo! is interesting in acquiring Espotting.com, a European paid listing service. At this time, Espotting is denying the rumor, but if it does occur, it looks as if Yahoo! is serious about running it’s own cost per click paid listing service.
Currently, Yahoo! outsources for its paid listings through a partnership with Overture in the US, Espotting in the UK and a mixture of partnerships in other countries.
In the US, Yahoo is estimated to receive about 65 percent of the revenue generated from the paid listings that it carries from Overture. If the company ran its own internal system, it would be able to keep all of the revenue for itself. Of course, it would also incur expenses associated with managing those listings, which currently are not taken out of the share it receives from Overture.
According to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch, this is not going to place Yahoo! as a competitor to Overture. Just as Yahoo! is not a competitor with Google. If you want to be listed in Google, you choose Google. If you want to be listed in MSN and Yahoo!, you choose Overture. It’s that simple. Webmasters who want full coverage have multiple accounts. The only real competition here is who keeps the bulk of the advertising money, but consumers are not going to ignore Overture. That would be absurd.
Go Switches to Google
Go (formally InfoSeek) has switched primary search providers dumping Overture in favor of Google. Even though Go’s market share is below 1%, this just adds to Google’s dominance of the market. Go has been dead as an active search engine, as their last active crawl was over two years ago.
Zeus Reciprocal Linking Software
We have been asked recently about a software package called Zeus, used to make reciprocal linking easy. In the testing that we have done over the last 10 days, it has been determined that using Zeus has a negative effect in terms of PageRank and Google. It seems that Zeus has been tagged with a algorithm making it near impossible to get the link pages indexed by Google, or if the pages are indexed there is a penalty. We compared Zeus directory pages with similar pages with the same quality and quantity of links, the page created by Zeus was severely lower in terms of PageRank than the similar page not created by Zeus.
What This Means For You: If you are using Zeus, we would recommend discontinuing the use of the product for 90 days. Create your links page with a static version and see if your PageRank has improved at the end of the 90 day period. This will give Google time to reevaluate your site and to clear out any penalty against the Zeus created page.
Google Dance Notification
If you subscribe to the Google Dance Alert system, you were notified this morning that Google is currently dancing. This was a false send. Google just completed their update and according to the datacenters, the backward links for Yahoo! are all showing at 692,000 – which shows a non-dancing Google.