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Are Yahoo! sponsor listings worth the investment?

Last Update: Friday, October 31, 2003.

In this article I discuss a real-life case study of my marketing experiment with a Yahoo! Sponsor Listing to reveal whether it was worth the investment.

A Yahoo! Sponsor Listing is a commercial web site that has paid for an enhanced listing within the "Sponsor Listings" box in certain categories of the Yahoo Web directory.

You must already be listed in the Yahoo! directory, before you can purchase a Sponsor Listing. Unless you're already listed, you will have to pay $299 ($600 for adult web sites) to have your site reviewed and indexed.

A Sponsor Listing costs $25-$300 per month for each category, for each individual web site.

I submitted one of my sites to the "Search Engine Optimization" category. Yahoo! charged me $100 per month for that particular category.

The following listing was displayed within the "Sponsor Listings" box at the top of the page:

Search Engine Optimization Strategies - features optimization ebooks and software.


My listing was added on March 27, 2002. In the following 15 days, I've received a grand total of, wait for it...

38 click throughs!

Shock! Horror! So, what figure was you expecting? 2000?

By the end of the campaign, I ended up with about 76 click throughs for the month. At a cost of $100 per month for the listing, I end up paying $1.31 per visitor.

That was simply too rich for my blood. I'm used to paying 16 cents per visitor at the Overture pay per click search engine.

So, I decided to cancel my Sponsor Listing, after only one month. But, I'm sure some of the other listings are profiting from their Sponsor Listing.

My listing was promoting low-cost books, which offers a small profit margin.

Other listings in the same category were for optimization services which charge hundreds, even thousands of dollars, per client. The higher profit margin would certainly justify the cost, assuming they convert the visitors into customers.


There are a number of possible reasons why my Sponsor Listing received so few clicks.

Maybe the listing title and description wasn't tempting enough to attract click throughs. Unfortunately, there's little I can do about that, as Yahoo! will not change a listing, unless there is an error in it.

The large number of competing listings may also have contributed to the lack of click throughs.

Placement of sites within the "Sponsor Listings" box is random and rotates every time the page is reloaded. Since there were 21 Sponsor Listings in total in the category, my listing only showed up once every four to five times the page was loaded.

So, all in all, it wasn't a worthwhile investment for me.

But it could prove worthwhile for you, if you're selling a product or service that has a much higher profit margin.

Visit Yahoo! for more information on Yahoo! Sponsor Listings.

Internet marketing expert.About The Author: Michael Wong is a respected internet marketing expert, and the author of a leading search engine optimization guide, numerous marketing tips, and reviews of marketing tools and ecommerce software.
Publishing Rights: You may republish this article in your web site, newsletter, or ebook, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author's signature and photograph, and all links completely intact. Full instructions on how to copy and upload my photo to your server.

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