It seems LookSmart has once again rocked SEO world with its recent implementation of a new pay per click module called “Small Business Listings.”
Recently I’ve been receiving mail correspondence from my friends at LookSmart letting me know that they have automatically upgraded my client site listings to this wonderful new program. I naturally decided to have a look at details.
Upon further review I have found that because I had already paid entrance fees into their directory my sites would be grandfathered into new program. Isn’t that exciting? For new users setup fee is $49.00.
The documentation of this program says that on top of $49.00 setup fee new users will need to deposit a minimum of $150.00 to begin receiving clicks from directory at .15 cents per click. Again, for privileged customers such as I there is not a fee at this time because they are giving me 100 free clicks per month for next 20 months!
Okay, I know you are asking yourself what catch is right? Well, lets get a little deeper and take a look.
First off lets start with LookSmart letters. The letters state that to receive my free clicks I must login and activate my account before a July 11, 2002 deadline. Upon further review and in follow up correspondence from LookSmart I found this to be false as I have already been receiving clicks and have not yet activated my accounts.
In another letter from LookSmart I was told that my sites had reached their 100 free clicks per month limit and that my listings would be disabled until following month. This, is also un-true as listings are still active and when clicked take visitors to my sites.
Let’s face it folks, LookSmart has told us things in past that have also turned out to be un-true. Should we believe them this time when they say, “Small business listings are a great investment for my business.” This remains to be seen.
Let’s do a bit of math here, and focus on important issue at hand. Aren’t conversions really important issue? Website traffic alone is not our goal nor yours I am sure, you want to sell your products right?
Based upon fees and average conversion rates this is what I have concluded. At $49.00 for initial setup fee and a minimum of a $150.00 deposit this comes to $199.00. So, this $199.00 would buy you 1000 clicks at .15 cents per click. This comes out to, are you ready? A whopping average of 83 clicks per month over a 12-month period. Wow! Excited yet?
Okay so now you’re probably asking, “what ranking will my site have” and “how much traffic can I expect?” I also had these questions so I’ve done a little research and here are results.
It is my opinion that with nobody out-bidding each other on LookSmart, site listings will be ranked according to site optimization techniques (Site Title, Description, etc.). Of course LookSmart still has editorial control over these things and from past experience it is probably safe to assume that LookSmart’s editorial staff has not improved to a point to increase your ranking. Overture allows site owners to modify their site listings, why not LookSmart? They do now? That’s right, I almost forgot. For another $49.00 I can modify my site listings title and description. Woo Hoo!