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Do You (Pay To) Yahoo?

Yahoo is now offering what they call "Express Service" for $199.00.

What this means is that if your site qualifies for the service, all you need to do is pay them the $199.00 and they will guarantee that your site will be looked at by an editor within seven working days and that you will receive an email letting you know if you were accepted or not.

But wait! This does not guarantee placement in Yahoo. And if you are not listed, your money is not refundable, since there was no promise to list you.

To qualify for Business Express

  • Your site must offer online transactions over the Internet
  • Your business must be based in the United States.
  • Your site must be up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Your site must be in English.
  • You must not already be listed in the Yahoo! Directory.
  • No parts of your site can be under construction.
  • All links on the site must work.
  • Your site must support multiple browsers and capabilities.
  • Your site must contain unique content, as determined by Yahoo! and at Yahoo!'s sole discretion.

It is a common belief that Yahoo rejects the majority of the sites submitted to it. Srinvasan says that this is not true. While some sites are indeed rejected because they are not of good quality, the main reason most sites don't get listed is because there are not enough Yahoo editors to look at all the submissions they receive.

Many observers think that the auctioning of keywords (a la AltaVista) or charging for faster registration bring up credibility questions.

But Yahoo editor-in-chief Srinija Srinivasan insists that said the company's new "Business Express" service is misunderstood and does not change Yahoo's integrity as an "unbiased Internet guide."

"The structure of the service was specifically chosen and very carefully planned so as not to compromise the editorial integrity of the service," she said. "That's one thing we hold near and dear. We could not sleep well at night if our editorial integrity was not intact."

The express service doesn't guarantee that companies will be accepted, Ms. Srinivasan said, only that they'll find out sooner.

Companies that pay the $199 Business Express fee find out in one week if they'll be included in the Yahoo directory. By contrast, those that don't use the express service may have to wait months.

In addition, only e-commerce sites with the capability of conducting online financial transactions can qualify for the service.

She said Yahoo doesn't have time to look at every site submitted to it for consideration, but the express service at least guarantees consideration.

"To the extent it increases their chances of getting looked at, it increases their chances of getting in," she said.


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