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- Wording used in Looksmart's announcement emails seems to deliberately mislead customers into believing their directory listings are going to disappear if they do nothing. The fact is that listings may or may not be removed - depending on how "essential" site is deemed to be by Looksmart Editors.
- Sites previously ranking well via their existing listings will, in all likelihood, lose these rankings whether they activate their PPC account or not, because preference will now be given to those who buy "relevancy keywords" as part of their listing.
- By their own admission, Looksmart is unlikely to delist big brand sites, even if they refuse to pay for new scheme, because they are "critical to relevance". But wasn't this new scheme meant to benefit SMALL business?
- Looksmart claim new program creates a lower cost of entry for small business whereas start up costs actually come in at $50 more than old Basic Submit model used by those with smaller budgets, not to mention additional click costs.
- Apparently, LookSmart have been trying to force companies whose sites were included in directory for free to convert to their paid programs. Looksmart's attitude to these sites is "having a free ride doesn't help business model" and if they don't convert, they are likely to be removed.
- Under old submission programs, a single web site could submit up to five different URLs. The new program institutes a one URL per site limit, dramatically reducing ability to target and direct traffic to most relevant areas of your site.
- Many people who have activated their accounts and already received notification that their "free" clicks are used up are checking their logs and finding discrepancies between number of clicks Looksmart say they have provided and number of actual clicks to their site.
- Looksmart had audacity to call this new model an "upgrade" for existing clients, when in fact it reduces value of their listing incredibly.
- According to industry leader Danny Sullivan, in past few days, LookSmart has been automatically migrating accounts to new system regardless of whether customers give their permission by manually "activating".
Being an SEO, I have multiple Looksmart accounts for my own sites and those of my clients. I've already received six "Listing Traffic Interruption" emails. But I won't be giving them another cent. Why? Because Looksmart.com no longer offers me or my clients value for money, for one thing. But more importantly, deceptive nature of their announcement and their decision to force existing customers to roll-over into new system instead of "grandfathering" their listings demonstrates to me a complete lack of understanding of their own market. To put profits before customers might bring some short-term shareholder joy, but it will also guarantee a growing exodus of disappointed clients and users as they find more cost-effective and relevant search alternatives. In my book that's search engine suicide. Search engines and directories have done some pretty shifty things over years, but never before have I seen such arrogance or disdain for customers as Looksmart have shown in past two weeks. A post at Web Master World search engine forums sums it up nicely: "L$ is like mob and they just busted my kneecaps..." In fact this whole episode reeks of desperation, profiteering and deception on such a grand scale, you have to wonder if they are in serious financial muck. Whatever their motivations, it looks like they've already pressed self-destruct button.
------------------------- Disclaimer - The views expressed in this article are personal opinion of author and do not necessarily reflect views of Web Rank as a whole. In providing this information, we make every effort to ensure it is correct and up to date. However, because of widespread nature of our information sources, no guarantee is given for accuracy of content throughout this article. Web Rank disclaim all liability in event of inaccuracies found.
Article by Kalena Jordan, CEO of Web Rank. Kalena was one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia & New Zealand and is well known and respected in her field. For more of her articles on search engine ranking and online marketing, please visit http://www.high-search-engine-ranking.com