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Old 03-01-2001, 04:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 297
Thumbs down GoTo Decides To Take [polite word] Advertisers Money

Starting September 1, GoTo imposes a $20 a month usage fee and minimum listing cost of five cents. If you have a good listing at a low cost, no more. In the past I have done okay with GoTo but I cannot make five cents fron their visits and I never get enough traffic from them to make the $20/mo. I have no alternative but to cancel out.

I just received the following--

Dear GoTo Advertiser:

Over the last 2 quarters, we have signed a number of big traffic deals
with premier Web sites which has resulted in even more targeted traffic
to your site. These traffic deals have increased our costs and as a
result we're implementing a modest price increase. Effective today,
March 1, 2001, two new price increases will affect the GoTo marketplace.

Pricing Change to Your Account:

The first change is a minimum bid requirement. As a result, all bids
for new listings created after March 1st will need to begin at a minimum
of 5 cents.

The second change is a minimum spend requirement. Effective March 1st
all new accounts will be required to spend a minimum of $20 a month in
clickthrough charges. Accounts with a monthly spend of less than $20
will be charged the difference between their spend and the $20 minimum.

Grandfathering for Accounts and Search Listings in place as of March
1, 2001:

In order to minimize the impact these changes have on our existing advertisers,
we are "grandfathering" your current listings. As a result, these changes
affect your current listings no sooner than September 1, 2001. This means
that if your bids are currently below 5 cents, you won't have to increase
them until that date. What's more, for all of your existing account(s),
you won't be required to spend a minimum of $20 in clickthroughs until
that time either.

There are a few things you should know about the "grandfathering": During
the "grandfather" period, any bid changes you make on a given search
listing will make that search listing subject to the new minimum bid
requirement. That means, bids that you change will be required to begin
at the 5 cent minimum and cannot be lowered again after you have changed
your bid. You can, however, make editorial changes, such as title and
description modifications without having to increase your bids to 5 cents
or above. Additionally, any new listings added to your account(s) will
be subject to the 5 cent minimum bid.

In addition, during the "grandfather" period, you won't have to meet
the minimum monthly spend requirement of $20 for accounts that were in
place as of March 1, 2001.

We will send you a reminder e-mail with all the details of how your account
will be affected after the "grandfather" period expires when we get closer
to that date.

As you know, listing your site on GoTo is the most cost-effective way
to reach lots of targeted customers. This is the first pricing increase
that GoTo has introduced since our founding in 1997. By making a modest
increase in some of our pricing, we're able to keep offering you the
best and most highly-targeted traffic on the Web, while still making
it cost-effective for you as a business.

If you have any questions about GoTo's minimum bid or minimum spend requirements
or how to maintain your "grandfather" status during this time period,
please click on http://www.goto.com/d/about/advertisers/usadfaq.jhtml
to find out more about Minimum Bid and Minimum Monthly Spend or feel
free to email us at clientservices@goto.com.


Dan Scholnick
Vice President, Customer Operations

[This message has been edited by emailer (edited 03-01-2001).]
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Old 03-01-2001, 05:30 AM   #2
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Thumbs down

I got the same email.

I can't believe this.

Minimum bids at $0.05 mean that you will need to bid even higher than that to get a decent position.

$25 for 2500 targetted visitors was very nice. Goto will no longer be a cost effective way to advertise. I'll cancel my accounts as of September. All website owners with little revenue will no longer be able to afford advertising on goto.

www.aliassoftware.com : a great search and replace software designed for webmasters needing to update tons of web pages at once.
A lot of features to maintain your ad codes, search boxes ...
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Old 03-01-2001, 05:59 AM   #3
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I expect to be leaving Goto in September, I'm not a huge advertiser with them, but this a couple of thousand bucks they'll be leaving on the table: especially considering I am the only bidder on many of my keywords.

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Old 03-01-2001, 06:22 AM   #4
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5 cents is just too much. The ROI is not likely to be there for many of us. We've tried a few other pay-per-click search programs in the past with little success do to lesser searcher volumes on Goto competitors. We will have to think of other options.
Thanks .. Daniel
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Old 03-01-2001, 06:26 AM   #5
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It seems to me that it would be in Goto's best interest to allow old bids to remain in the system and just put the 5 cent minimum on any new bids.
I have hundreds of listings between 1-3 cents and spend hundreds of dollars a month there. On big holidays I've spent over $100 in a day there.
I don't make 5 cents per visitor and certainly never will now that Mailbits has lowered their payout so I'll be cancelling my account when it runs dry too.
I can't help but think this year is going to get a lot rougher.
Goto drops all bids below 5 cents.
Mailbits drops payout by 40%.
And I lost $2,000 a month from another program cancellation.
Banners don't even need to be mentioned here.

Put on your life preservers everyone.
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Old 03-01-2001, 06:42 AM   #6
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The announcement does say "feel free to email us", so I have made my views known.
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Old 03-01-2001, 06:45 AM   #7
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Oh my god... that is AWFUL.

That is going to totally ruin some of my sites.

None of my bids are over 1 cent. And just bleahg... the traffic isn't worth 5 cents. I'm going to be leaving goto http://geekvillage.com/ubb/frown.gif

Surely theres something we can do!? A mass protest... spread the word? Petitions...blah blah. Etc. Im just REALLY annoyed with this.

To me it means that goto will be even more worthless than it already is. To me it seems, the higher paid for a particular term... the more useless the result is.

For example: For one of the terms I buy, I pay one cent... and it's ranked about 7th. The first 5 terms... they are useless and pretty much irrelevant to what the search term actually is.

Ah well.
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Old 03-01-2001, 06:56 AM   #8

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Undoubtedly the guys over at FindWhat, 7Search and others will be pleased about this, as it may drive smaller advertisers their way. The truth is, GoTo can probably afford to lose those of us who pay 1-3 cents/click, as that may not cover their overheards in running the program. It would be unusual, though, to see only the free results appearing - as they will with many terms. At present, several of the terms on which I have bids have only one or two advertisers, and few advertising-supported information sites would see the value in paying 5 cents or more for such positioning.

This may take us back to the days of designing our sites with search optimization in mind. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

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Old 03-01-2001, 07:36 AM   #9
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I'm not so sure GoTo can afford to lose us. Despite lowering all my bids to 1 or 2 cents, I pay well over $1,000/month to GoTo.com (I'm in the top 3 on the vast majority of my bid terms). They're sure not losing money on me.

Not only that, but I've noticed a pattern of bids dropping gradually and advertisers dropping out since GoTo started cutting those high-traffic deals. I think a lot of people were overbidding and had to stop when GoTo turned on the fire hose.
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Old 03-01-2001, 07:38 AM   #10
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Red face

It is a shame. I'd just gotten back into Goto because it is/was one of the few cost-effective ways of increasing traffic to my joke site (without spending hours optimizing my pages for search engines). Being a poor college student, I may be "testing" 7search and a couple others before September to see if I can squeeze more hits out of my (shrinking) advertising fund. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

I suppose this advertising slump is finally "trickling down" to the areas that we previously thought were "safe." Considering what just happened to Mailbits (and the rest of the advertising industry, for that matter)we probably should have seen this one coming. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif
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Old 03-01-2001, 08:06 AM   #11
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I too will leave goto in september once the grandfather runs out. I can't afford to pay more than I'm paying per click...I have 1-3 cent bids and am happy with my traffic.

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Old 03-01-2001, 08:35 AM   #12
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Fellow Webmasters,

Lets not fret over goto's latest blunder. I vote we just sit back, relax, and watch their stock go up in the next few months (hurry it's at 9 bucks a share now), then plumit to delisting levels 10-12 months from now. Why? Because companies founded on the basis of "greed", "self", etc. still haven't "got it" yet. They believe, once they get a little success and a customer base, they can waive their arrogance like a wand, and everyone will submit. NOT!!!! Don't worry all. Keep your websites up and running, get a part time job, try other forms of advertising to weather the storm. Eventually the idiots bidding $1 per keyword will go broke, leaving the likes of Goto.com begging for our business. I am sure in 18 months the bidding system will be even more attractive once they are bowing like puppy dogs, competing for our every nickel of advertising revenue.

In short I think this is a good thing, long term for webmasters with a limited budget. We all know that most high bids on major keywords are totally irrelivant to the search term. So I would suggest surfers are picking up on this also, thus making it even more unattractive to advertisers. Hey maybe i'm wrong, maybe the little guy is done and gone. Not the smart ones, with vision.

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Old 03-01-2001, 08:43 AM   #13
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When we were using them, we were paying an average of just above 4 cents a click. However, since this knocks out low bids, makes the highest bids harder to come by, and there are so many Goto wannabes out there, this announcement definitely makes Goto less useful. Guess this is just a sign of Goto's last days.

Ultimately, I don't think there's anything that can be done. Goto will definitely lose a lot of smaller advertisers, but they'll still have those companies that, for whatever reason, bid high on thousands of keywords. Even still, I've noticed that even those high bidding companies are now down to $0.25-0.50 instead of the previous $1+.
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Old 03-01-2001, 09:34 AM   #14
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Thumbs down

Ouch. What a way to start my day. I will invite goto.com to join and post.

It also might help the issue if you sent your views on this issue directly to clientservices@goto.com and included this threads URL in your email.

Best regards,
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Old 03-01-2001, 09:38 AM   #15
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The folks at GoTo are probably trying to line up job interviews...

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