Service Lists Products In Top Three Search Slots

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Looksmart is expected to announce today that it has added a pay-for-prominence program to its Web directory listing services.


Featured Listings lets companies buy one of the top three product search slots at www.looksmart.com and online partners such as Juno, Prodigy and Time Warner's Internet properties. Looksmart plans to roll the program out to other Internet service providers and destinations in the coming months.


"It tends to be a very effective direct selling tool for our customers," said Dakota Sullivan, Looksmart's vice president of marketing. "It enables you to reach customers at the very moment they are actively searching for what you sell."


The listing service can incorporate hundreds of thousands of products as well as promotional campaigns such as a sweepstakes. The products can be listed with reviews written by the companies selling them or by Looksmart for an additional charge.


Looksmart clients previously were not able to purchase top spots. Looksmart's other two listing services, Directory Listing and Index Listing, allow firms to get listed on a more secondary basis compared with the Featured program.


The programs help Looksmart produce as many as 60 million search results daily. The company claims its listings have an overall presence on 83 percent of the Web. This includes destination sites owned by Microsoft, AltaVista and Excite.


Wal-Mart, Mercedes, Ameritrade and Charles Schwab are some of the firms beta testing the Directory, Index and Featured listing programs together.


Pricing is negotiable and based on click-through rates that scale downward, with Featured the most expensive. Index is the least expensive.


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