While you may have heard of a controversial new program called
Site Match, which is being run by the Yahoo/Overture team, what
you probably don’t know is what this program is really all
about. Site Match is a program created to get your site into the
Yahoo database (formerly the Inktomi database) and it can be
expensive. It is based on a yearly fee and an additional cost
for every click you get from a Yahoo based search engine.
Demystifying the Mysterious Site Match
Let me back up a bit and give you some history. On a hot July
day in 2003, the directory giant Yahoo bought the colossus Pay
Per Click (PPC) database Overture (previously known as Goto).
Today, Yahoo has decided to monetize by offering us such
programs as Site Match.
What Site Match Is Not
– Site Match has nothing to do with the $299 fee you pay to get
into Yahoo’s directory
– Site Match will not get you better rankings in Yahoo (or in
– Site Match does not get you into Overture’s auction-style PPC
What Site Match Is
Site Match ensures that your site is listed in Yahoo’s search
database (not their directory), and that it is refreshed every
48 hours. If you are not listed in Yahoo’s search database you
can do one of two things:
1. Wait until Yahoo’s spider picks you up
2. Pay Site Match to list you right away.
Unless your site is brand-spanking new, you are likely to
already be listed in Yahoo’s search database. Yahoo’s spider
(Slurp) does an extensive job of picking up web sites to add to
the database. To verify that you are indeed listed, you can type
your domain into the Yahoo search box and see if your site comes
up (type “yourdomain.com” without the quotes). If a result comes
up, then you are in the database.
How Much Does Site Match Cost?
Site Match costs $49 per year to sign up and $0.15 to $0.30 per
click afterwards. If you are listed in Yahoo’s database, you get
the exact same service for free (except that your site is
refreshed every month instead of every 48 hours). What are the
advantages of being refreshed? What does refreshed mean? It
essentially entails that Slurp comes to visit your site and
updates it to the Yahoo database every two days.
My Site Match Test
I decided to test out a site to see if there are any benefits to
using Site Match. I submitted www.PrintPot.com to the program on
April 23rd. This site was created in early April, so it just got
into the database a week before. The rankings before and after
Site Match are as follows:
KEYWORD RANKING APRIL 23RD (Before Site Match)
print pot……………………… 9
epson inkjet refill kits……….. 59
epson ink refill kits………….. 65
epson refill kits…………….. 126
compatible epson ink cartridges… 164
epson chip resetter…………… 355
KEYWORD RANKING MAY 3RD (After Site Match)
print pot……………………. 14
epson inkjet refill kits………. none
epson ink refill kits…………. none
epson refill kits…………….. none
compatible epson ink cartridges… none
epson chip resetter…………… none
A ranking of “none” means that it did not turn up in the
listings. As you can see, since we signed up for Site Match, our
ranking dropped dramatically. Yahoo only shows the top 500-700
listings, and The Print Pot (which sells Epson inkjet refill
kits) is not found at all.
This was my experience with Site Match, but it was only one
experience. I doubt that I will be using Site Match again, nor
would I recommend it to my clients. However, with only one test,
it would be a mistake to conclude that the majority of sites
will drop in listings after signing up for Site Match. What is
troubling is how Site Match affected all the keywords that Print
Pot was struggling to improve.