Search Engines

Pay or not to Pay that is the question ?

I do site submissions for my clients to the search engines. And unless they ask me to do otherwise, I do only places and engines where you can do it for free. I have been asked by many people, would it help any if I paid for submission ? My personal opinion is NO. Here are a few reasons why.

1. No promise to list:

The fees for submission in most cases only means they will look at it sooner, it often does not promise they will indeed list it. Most still have the right of refusal. Which means you may have paid a fee, that you now have the hassle of trying to get returned to you, if for some reason they don't want to list it.

2. Does not improve ranking:

New sites don't rank well. Most new sites, until they reach a saturation point, can take months to reach the first 5 pages of search returns for their keywords. If not much longer, depending on how entrenched the competition is. Most new sites are way back in the back to start with. So it makes no sense to pay money to hurry and get it in there, just to land on page 694.

3.You don't need to submit at all:

You don't have to “submit” to the main engines at all if your in no hurry. You could, if you wanted, just place the site with a few already well ranked sites as a link exchange and the engines would find you. That's how the web works. It's why you want to be placed with site to site exchanges, as well as search engines to start with, as very often the site to site will show up in the engine listings as a back link, long before the engine picks the site up for itself and indexes it. So paying doesnt make a whole lot of sense in that case.

4. The Real cost:

Unless you have a large bank account, the amount of "fees" for search engines can add up quickly. The fees run anywhere from 300.00 down to 3.00 but no matter how much or or little, it all adds up. Consider that to get "good" engine presence, you need to be on at least 100 of them. Which given how many of them want close to 100.00 to list a site on average.. do the math.. that's 10000.00 dollars. Read that again.. that's ten thousand dollars. Most of us don't have that kind of advertising budget.

5. Track record:

I cannot count the number of little engines that might, that want money to list in them. To which most people say... click goes the mouse. Why ? I refuse to spend money with a search engine that cannot prove to me I would be getting my Moneys worth. Especially since all the leg work and ranking SEO is up to me, which information of exactly how to get that ranking, they keep to themselves. So what am I paying for ? What benefit do I gain, if I have to do all the work, and they hold all the cards, that they can re shuffle at will, changing the rules whenever they like.

I have watched wanna be search engines come and go like snowflakes in July. Why ? Because they went paid as soon as they opened their doors. They get maybe a few hundred listers before they go broke and they disappear off the map. All those folks who did buy into it, just lost their investment.

6. They need me more than I need them:

There are lots of search engines, literally thousands, each trying to get you to list with them, you have lots of options. When I do site submits for my clients, I find, without fail at least a dozen that have disappeared entirely. Why ? Because they went paid once they got to be of any size and soon or late, everyone of them fails. The more they had listed to start with, defines how long they live, but the rate of attrition is high. They get fewer and fewer new sites, and lose their effectiveness, so get used less.

Which means their ad dollars, which pays for them to be in action is less. Ads and special listing fees are the life blood of any search engine. But without new sites over all, they will soon be out of business. I have watched it over and over, even with engines that were top of their field, are now gone or merged with one of the big boys, as they could not make it on their own. Not to mention those that tried to go paid and went back to their free submissions to stay in business.

7. Paid listings are often not accurate:

How many times have you clicked on the "paid" links highlighted on the engines, only to find it didn't really fit your topic very well. A lot I have no doubt. Reason being, folks have paid good money for those highlighted top of the page links, and expect some kind of return for that. So, the engines, even if the match is not good, will serve them up if they are even close to what you asked for, sometimes as little as 10 % of a match.

This is an attempt to justify the price paid, but again, it's a disservice to both the party that paid for the listing and the searcher who is looking for a high match site to their keyword query. What happens is searchers learn quickly that the "paid" links are poor matches and ignore them entirely, and the engines know it. So the return of investment is very poor for paid links.

8. Click Fraud:

The number of pay per click fraud cases on the docket is staggering. To the point were the whole idea is really down the drain at the moment. The return of investment for pay per click engines is dismal, as you can literally eat up 100s of dollars a day in clicks that do not results in sales. Mainly due to the above reasons of often being served up as a poor match. The conversion rate of clicks to sales is about the same as normal un paid clicks, which is 1000 clicks per one sale. Believe it or not, that's a normal ratio, however if those clicks cost you a nickel each, that's 50.00.

Now if what you sell is worth, say a 1000.00, it might be worth a 50.00 dollar investment, but if your sale is a 20.00 pair of shoes, you just lost 30.00 in the exchange. It's a matter of do the math. Pay per click is only sensible if A: you are working with a reputable company that isn't going to rip you off with fraud and B: what you sell is of a high enough dollar value to make the investment viable.

In summation:

Search engines need sites to list, lots and lots of them. They need new sites to keep the results fresh. They need searchers, in order to parade all their ads in front of which is where they make their money. So the results have to be good in order to keep a high visitor count. In short, they need your average searcher and your average webmaster, to stay in business. For myself I never plan to pay to list with any engine, ever. The whole idea of does not work, because its been handled very badly by the engines themselves, and shows no sign of improving.

The answer is simple, everybody needs to stop buying links. The entire idea of paid links would go out of business, and search engine results would improve dramatically, as it would go back to the "best" answer is the one you get, not the one who paid the most.

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