I remember how big of a deal it was at the time when MoreVisibility became a Certified Partner of Yahoo's Paid Inclusion program. The year was 2001, and the certification was a differentiator between us and many other companies as Yahoo had strict criteria and limited the firms who could participate in the program. Paid Inclusion was also an excellent source of quality traffic from quasi-natural rankings.
The upshot of Paid Inclusion for marketers was that Yahoo allowed for submissions that showed up in the Natural results but that didn't appear as sponsored listings. I referred to it as a hybrid between Natural and Paid positions. It was particularly useful with expensive keywords because the pricing was category-based, not auction-oriented.
How do businesses who were benefiting from Paid Inclusion replace that presence and flow of visitors? I believe that Universal and Real Time Search are like Paid Inclusion on steroids.
The engines today, Google in particular, prominently display a variety of types of search results. Most search queries will return traditional web pages, images, videos and now Social Media entries. At the moment, none of those channels are being monetized by Google or Bing / Yahoo. So put another way, there is an unprecedented opportunity right now to gain front page positioning for your important keywords without paying for the traffic flow. The catch is that all of this content needs to be properly created and tagged, in order to have a reasonable shot of appearing prominently.
It requires focused effort. It will not happen casually. Companies who commit to putting the infrastructure in place (either in or out of house) to produce this new type of content on a consistent and ongoing basis are going to rule the next phase of internet marketing.
The value of incorporating photos, videos and Social Media into your game plan will prove to be immeasurable. Playing catch-up will be harder than ever.
If you would like our assistance, please let me know. I hope you have a very prosperous new year.