How To Advertise In Search Engines & Web Directories

Advertise in the major search engines and web directories if you want guaranteed exposure. Costs can vary greatly, so decide on the form of search engine advertising that fits your marketing budget.

There are four types of search engine advertising:

  • Banner advertising.
  • Paid inclusion listings.
  • Pay per click advertising.
  • Sponsored feature listings.

Search Engines That Offer Banner Advertisements

Banner advertising on search engines and web directories is one way of getting your message in front of search engine users without optimizing your listings. You simply pay for banner ads to be displayed on the same page as the search results, in web directory sub-categories, or across a site or network of sites.

The banners are either non-targeted (Run of Site - ROS, or Run of Network - RON), or targeted by keywords, topic, category, demographics, countries, or some other variable. Targeted banner advertising costs more than non-targeted banner advertising, but is preferred, due to improved return on investment.

Here are a list of major search engines, web directories and metacrawlers and direct links to their respective pages on banner advertising:

  • AllTheWeb, AltaVista, FindWhat, Kanoodle, and LookSmart no longer offer banner advertising. Google has never offered banner advertising.
  • AOL - For advertising on AOL, AOL Anywhere, AOL Music, CompuServe, Digital City, ICQ, MapQuest, Moviefone and Netscape.
  • Ask Jeeves - Banners, towers and interstitials. (no longer available)
  • Dogpile - Advertise on Dogpile and the rest of the InfoSpace network, which includes 100Hot, Go2Net Portal, Haggle Online, HyperMart Network, InfoSpace, MetaSpy, PlaySite, Silicon Investor, Useless Pages, WebCrawler and WebMarket. (no longer available)
  • Lycos - Now managed by 24/7 Real Media.
  • Mamma - Offers full & tower banners and pop-up windows. Run of network ads, or target by keyword, category, country, state, area code, and/or browser.
  • MSN
  • Netscape - See AOL above.
  • Yahoo!

Premium Search Engine Advertising

Search engines also offer premium positions for large advertisers. Typically the ads are displayed at the very top of the page, above the search results. Minimum buys are usually in the thousands of dollars per month and usually require commitments of several months at the very least.

Google Advertising

  • Text listings displayed in colored boxes, at the very top of the page, above the main search results.
  • Minimum spend: $30,000 over three months, with at least $10,000 per month
  • Minimum spend for agencies: $10,000 per client per month with a minimum of one month
  • (no longer available)

MSN Featured Sites

  • The listings are displayed under the heading 'Featured Sites' at the very top of search results pages.
  • Keyword-targeted listings.
  • Only three paid clients per keyword.
  • (no longer available)

Yahoo! Sponsor Listings

  • Allows commercial websites already listed in the Yahoo! Directory to enhance their placement.
  • Participating sites are featured in a "Sponsor Listings" section above the directory listings.
  • Pricing and availability varies by category. Categories priced in the US$50-$300 per month range can be submitted through their online subscription form. Categories priced above US$300 per month are handled by the Yahoo! sales team and have a minimum 3 month term.
  • (no longer available)