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Yahoo!/Overture Site Match: A License To Steal

Yahoo!/Overture Site Match: A License To Steal

by Dean Phillips

Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Overture now offers the Yahoo! Search Inclusion under its own branded name–Site Match.

According to the page info from Overture, submitting your site to individual search engines is expensive and time-consuming. But with Site Match you can reach millions of users by submitting your pages through one program that powers search results for top web portals such as Yahoo!, AltaVista, AlltheWeb and other sites.

Summary of Site Match Benefits (according to Overture):

* More exposure for your site–reach more than 75% of active internet users

* A simple, single point of submission to multiple web portals such as Yahoo!, AltaVista and AlltheWeb

* Frequent refresh of your pages–every 48 hours

* Daily reporting to track and optimize performance

* Pricing–Hybrid of Inclusion and Pay-Per-Click

Site Match uses a hybrid of the old Inktomi paid inclusion program and the pay-per-click search listings. When you start a Site Match subscription, a non-refundable annual review fee is charged for setting up your account and for quality review of your pages. Once your pages are accepted into the program, a cost-per-click fee is charged for each lead driven to your site.

URL Submission (non-refundable annual fee, per domain)

First URL: $49

Next 2-10 URLs: $29 each

11th URL and beyond: $10 each

Cost-Per-Click Fee:

Tier 1 Categories: $.15




Computers & Software


Education & Career

Entertainment & Attractions

Jewelry & Watches

Music & Video




Sports & Outdoors

Toys & Baby Equipment

Tier 2 Categories: $.30



Financial Services

Flowers, Gifts & Registry

Health, Beauty & Personal Care

Home & Garden

Professional Services

Real Estate

Telecom & Web Services

Travel $.30

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out of the way, here’s the real deal on Yahoo!/Overture’s Site Match:

It’s a license to steal! It really is. Here’s why:

Site Match isn’t a true pay-per-click program, like Google’s Adwords or Overture’s own pay-per-click program.

What’s the difference? With Site Match, you don’t have any control over how much you pay for a particular keyword. I’ll talk more about that later.

Site Match charges you $49 to “review” your URL, at which point you get included in the databases of several search engines, including the new Yahoo! search engine. By the way, paying the $49 annual fee doesn’t improve your page ranking one iota.

It’s also important to point out, this isn’t the same thing as Yahoo!’s Submit Express,where you have to pay $300 to have them review your site for possible inclusion in their directory, without any guarantee whatsoever.

With Site Match, you’re guaranteed that your URL will be included in their various databases, and will be spidered regularly. This is how it works: If your listing is shown for a particular query and someone clicks on it, you get charged an additional 15 or 30 cents — over and above the $49 annual fee! That’s one reason why I call Site Match a license to steal. Here’s another:

If your URL already happens to be in the search engine databases, you’re now paying money for clicks you would have previously gotten for free.

It’s really a bad deal, because for most sites, paying more than $.10 per click will end up costing you money.

If you’ve participated in a true pay-per-click program, you already know that there are many keywords, especially generic terms, that are worth little or nothing, so you’d never bid on them to begin with–or you’d bid very low.

But with Site Match that control is completely taken away from you because, the way the program is set up, you have to pay a minimum of $.15 to $.30 per click, no matter what.

Personally, I think you should avoid Site Match like the Bubonic Plague!

Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto:

Visit his website at:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • RealitySEO October 22, 2004, 12:40 pm

    I agree with the absurd nature of SiteMatch and after submitting several clients I monitored it closely to see what benefits were attached to this scam.

    One huge drawback you didn’t mention was that Overture requires $50 deposit for that clickthrough account for each URL submitted to cover potential clicks over the time of that paid inclusion scam – in ADDITION to that $49 “review” fee.

    I discovered that it’s possible through iNeedHits account dashboard to see how many clickthroughs are charged to the account. So I checked in a few days in a row to be sure we weren’t going to go broke with clicks charged to the client accounts.

    HMMMM. We Got NO Clicks!

    This deposit account sits there over the year term of the paid inclusion contract and gathers dust if it is not used up in clickthrough charges! Those client sites I was monitoring were fully optimized sites that should have ranked very highly and consequently should see large clickthrough counts. But we got NONE!

    I monitored those clickthrough counts for clients another couple of days until I realized that it wasn’t necessary and we’d need to improve the page until it satisfied Yahoo search algorithm’s. We tweaked and adjusted and monitored further until we realized that the rank was NOT going to change, that we were NOT seeing any clickthroughs. We can’t get the money back from those deposit accounts until the term of paid inclusion contracts expire next year!

    I immediately stopped submitting new client sites and have not looked at it again since. I agree that it should be abolished. Google has literally sneered at the Sitematch program since it was introduced. Google Director of Technology, Craig Silverstein publicly embarassed Yahoo Vice President of Web Search, Tim Cadogan, when Silverstein stated “It’s hard to be sure that the end result of the algorithm would be the same and that everyone is being treated fairly,” in reference to the SiteMatch program.

    I agree, and the buzz in all the webmaster forums is that SiteMatch is a big bust.