Feeds

AltaVista to sell search result positioning

But paying for keywords will increase the results' relevance, honest...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

AltaVista is to become the first major Web search outfit to allow companies to pay to have their site displayed prominently in search results. Smaller outfits do this sort of thing already, and cynics might be suspicious of certain larger outfits, but AltaVista is the first to grasp the nettle firmly. And, depending on reactions out there, to shove it straight up its corporate nose. The AltaVista scheme could start as early as Monday, and is being promoted by Web ad operation DoubleClick, which is soliciting business with the message: "When users perform keyword searches on AltaVista, what is the first listing they see? Now it can be your company's listing." The conditions under which it really is your company's name aren't entirely clear, but the programme is starting out with around 500 initial keywords, and AltaVista is going to have the thorny problem of keeping search results looking honest and relevant while at the same time satisfying the companies who're paying money to... well, to what? Search results are of course fixed to some extent anyway, outfits that use the same keyword multiple times in order to increase 'relevance' being just one example. But that's something search outfits should surely be trying to edit out of their results, in order to improve the service they're offering. Taking money for positioning could in that sense be seen as a move in the opposite direction. AltaVista says the new 'service' will actually be making results more relevant, but it's going to have to figure out how just adding money can make this the case. At the moment it seems AltaVista envisages adding in merchant sites that are relevant, so think of a concept, then think of things associated with that concept that people would like to sell you, and presumably those are the sites you get. Try "a host of golden daffodils" and you'll no doubt get five garden centres before Wordsworth. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.