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Bidding For Clicks

This is a different kind of search engine. Instead of trying to rank sites by how relevant they might be with a given set of keywords, GoTo.com ranks sites based on how much they’re willing to pay per visitor. In other words, you pay to play. While it’s hard to believe that people would trust a search engine that sells them to the highest bidder, a lot of web site operators we know swear by it. If you follow the advice in this article, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether it’s worth your time without spending a penny.

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To get listed on GoTo.com, you have to give them a minimum of $25 to start, and then you just start bidding for keywords and phrases. For example, you can give them $25, bid 10 cents a click for the phrase “frozen gerbils,” and you’ll be ranked based on how much you bid. If your 10-cent bid is the highest for that keyword phrase, your site will be listed first when someone searches for frozen gerbils.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the amount you need to bid to have a visible listing will change over time, as other web site operators up the ante for top listing a penny at a time. Our advice is to give up on having the top listing, and focus on keeping your site listed in the first 20 results. This will usually cost you between 10-20% of the cost of a #1 listing.