Yahoo! has finally come to its senses and ditched the paid inclusion method for adding results into its organic listings. This will be dropped at the end of 2009. Not only was this a contradictory method, but it was misleading for users.
With the Search Submit Pro method, it is difficult to tell which of the "organic" listings are paid for by advertisers and which were not. We know that searchers behave differently and have different feelings towards sponsored and organic results, but that more predictable behaviour is undermined if they can't tell the difference between the two.
From an advertising perspective it always seemed flawed to us. Most of our Clients have reasonable visibility on Yahoo! so why would I want to pay for ALL organic clicks suddenly just to see if Yahoo! could increase the number of clicks marginally? It just didn't have a sensible business case. Towards the end, some affiliates and other resellers were even scrabbling around trying to use this as a way to generate more sales for themselves.
Sorry guys, but we didn't buy in and it would seem that neither did anyone else.
Yahoo! have said: "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".
On a positive note, one of the tools they are pushing for more relevancy (as mentioned in their statement) is "search re-targeting". This allows advertisers to target users who have previously searched for certain terms with display ads. It could be a very interesting way to reach prospects with relevant messaging.
[For more info, see this searchenginewatch post.]