A Visit with Adam Soroca, a Representative from Terra Lycos
Author: Robin Nobles
A Glimpse into the Lycos Search Engine. . .
A Visit with Adam Soroca, a Representative From Terra Lycos
By Robin Nobles
Recently, the Academy of Web Specialists (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com) had the good fortune of having Adam Soroca, a representative from Terra Lycos (http://www.lycos.com), attend a chat session to visit with our students. Mr. Soroca provided some excellent information about Terra Lycos as well as their plans for the future.
As means of introduction, Adam is the Group Product Manager for Lycos InSite and is in charge of building a comprehensive suite of search marketing tools. He has general management responsibilities for the vision, execution, and delivery of the Web-based platforms.
Adam explained further,
"I am charged with building a search marketing platform for Lycos. We launched our first product based on paid inclusion into the FAST Web index in February of this year. We were very quickly able to prove that by nature of our brand and presence, search marketers would come to visit for search marketing services.
"Two weeks ago, we launched our second product, InSite AdBuyer, a cost-per-click ad auction engine. Both of these products are designed around the concept of contextual advertising, so that a searcher is presented with highly relevant information when performing a search.
"While our platform is currently focused on our own index, we seek to provide one-stop access for all search marketing needs, including multiple index submission and multiple bid-management capabilities. All of these are designed to drive traffic (i.e., customer acquisition). We are also looking further down the visitor experience to the ROI side to encompass campaign management."
The following are questions asked by Academy students to Mr. Soroca.
Question: "I see when I do a search on Lycos that there is an 'advertisement' on the right side. Is this the InSite AdBuyer?"
Adam: "Correct. Those are the AdBuyer cost-per-click ads. Our advertisers bid to be in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd positions.
"These are highly targeted ads as they are exact match keyword driven. So behind the scenes, advertisers are involved in a bidding auction to vie for that space."
Question: "When someone clicks the 'place your ad here' link, does it show what the bids are for the keywords in question, so you know what you have to bid against?"
Adam: "No, actually we don't display the prices on the front end. To view the prices for particular keywords, advertisers must sign up for an account and view that in the advertisers' area."
Question: "What results does FAST supply to Lycos?"
Adam: "FAST currently provides Lycos with our search results. Our paid inclusion platform enables Web site owners and marketers to guarantee that their Web content is included in the Web index and frequently refreshed. This differs from paid placement in that the paid inclusion customers do not necessarily show up in the top of the results just because they paid us. This content is viewed by the relevancy algorithm and displayed appropriately.
"Currently this program is available to small/mid size companies for an annual subscription. For larger companies, it will be available at a cost-per-click (those sites >1,000 URL's). Paid placement and paid inclusion are two separate products. If you bid for placement, you pay for actual clicks. If you buy paid inclusion, that means that your pages are guaranteed to be in the Web index (spiders can't find everything), and the content will be updated every 24-48 hours. So, if your content changes, the index will reflect that much more quickly. With an index of 2.1 billion documents, it can take FAST a while to recrawl the entire index. This program guarantees you are in there."
Question: "So, you have to pay for inclusion before you bid for placement? Is this what I understand?"
Adam: "They are two separate programs. The paid inclusion relates to FAST and the Web index. The paid placement relates to the three ad panels that display on Lycos Search."
Question: "And your placement number in Lycos is then based on the algorithm of the page submitted?"
Question: "Where the paid placement is a cost per click, your placement is then based on the bid placed for a particular keyword?"
Adam: "Yes, exactly."
Question: "If you aren't indexed and would like to buy pay per click, where would the cost per click be linked to?"
Adam: "The cost-per-click ads go to any page that you want provided that you have content that is relevant to the keyword that you bid on. The cost-per-click ads are completely separate from the index. You do not have to be in the index to bid on the ads. The ads are the 'advertisement' on the right hand side of the page."
Question: "We are talking about cost per click (ad placement) and paid inclusion. My question is, if you don't pay for inclusion and pay for ad placement, would you be indexed with FAST or Lycos search engines?"
Adam: "No, they're completely independent. Paid inclusion gets you into the Web index. Paid placement buys you space on the Web results page. You can have either or both, but they do not work together per se. However, it helps to purchase both for broad exposure through paid inclusion and targeted exposure through the CPC ads."
Question: "In your new InSite AdBuyer program, FindWhat provides the technology but NOT the results for your pay-per-click ads, is that correct?"
Adam: "We have private labeled the FindWhat ad auction platform end-to-end. Lycos engages in relationships with the advertisers directly."
Question: "Where are the sponsored listings from?"
Adam: "Those are provided by Overture, which is similar in concept. Advertisers are bidding for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions throughout Overture's network."
Question: "What is the purpose of the "Fast Forward" button in your search results? I notice that using the button opens up a framed page where the left frame shows the search results including Overture ads, and the current site is highlighted. Does this button make it easier to visit the current results, and is that its purpose?"
Adam: "That is exactly the purpose. We are trying to give the searchers an easier way to browse through the pages that are served as results."
Question: "Is it necessary to submit to both FAST and Lycos, either through free Add URL or pay inclusion, or does submitting to FAST get your site listed in both indexes?"
Adam: "Web site owners and marketers can submit to the FAST index either through Lycos or directly to FAST. There is no difference in the indexes. Lycos search results are powered by FAST."
Question: "Does the #1 result from Kanoodle still show up in some Lycos searches?"
Adam: "No. Kanoodle does not provide results on Lycos."
Question: "Are the results from the Lycos Web Sites Directory (ODP results) mixed in with the FAST results or only available through the Web Directory link at the top of the page?"
Adam: "Only FAST results appear in the Web result listings."
If you don't have visibility in the Lycos search engine (http://www.lycos.com), you have several choices. You can pay for inclusion in the FAST index (http://www.positiontech.com/fast/index.htm), which will get you in the regular search results for Lycos. You can also participate in their InSite AdBuyer program (http://insite.lycos.com/searchservices/), a new cost-per-click advertising program. Or, purchase keywords through Overture (http://www.overture.com), which will also get you visibility in Lycos.
At the top of the Lycos page, you'll see a link to the Web Directory, which is where ODP results are found. ODP results can only be found through this link, and they're not mixed in with the FAST results. However, making sure that your site is listed in the ODP (http://dmoz.org) is another way to get added visibility through the Lycos search engine.
About the author
Robin Nobles, Director of Training, Academy of Web Specialists, (http://www.academywebspecialists.com) has trained several thousand people in her online search engine marketing courses (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com) and is the content provider for (GRSeo) Search Engine Optimizer software (http://www.se-optimizer.com). She also teaches 4-day hands on search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe with Search Engine Workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com).