This is a really well put together article on “Keyword Ownership” which helps define all of those emails I’ve been getting lately about buying the rights to a keyword. I wouldn’t highly suggest it without looking at alternatives and getting testimonials from customers who have tried campaigns, but it’s definately worth keeping your eyes on!
Have you ever got one of those silly emails that offers to let you own a keyword? Silly question. How many such emails do you get every day?
A number of such services regularly email me offering keyword ownership of premium keywords for $300/year. They say that anyone can type the keyword I bought in the address bar of Internet explorer, instead of typing in a URL, and they will be sent directly to my site. In total it seems that there are about 2% of Internet users worldwide who have enabled one type or another of this system, spread out between a few competitive services.
Data shows that between 4% and 7% of search queries are performed by entering something in the address bar. By default for IE users, these searches are automatically routed through to MSN search. Many of us however have installed so much software over time, and unknowingly, some of this software has re-routed these search queries to other search portals, such as iGetNet, or others. This often happens if you’ve installed any file sharing software. We have all heard / read about how many extra ‘features’ come with programs like Kazaa. This means that your default search from the address bar may no longer be MSN, and may have been rerouted elsewhere, but the basic principle still applies. Of the queries that are actually run from an address bar, at least half of them are unintentionally instigated by people mistyping the desired URL. This means that between 2% and 4% of Internet users actually search via their address bar.
So how exactly do these address bars work? There are many of these companies offering this kind of service, with each one of them selling the very same keywords to different and sometimes competing companies. To make things worse, the keywords you might buy will only work with the issuing companys proprietary address bar plug-in. Then, to actually offer search capabilities from the address bar, each of these service providers needs to get individual Internet users to download and install their plug-in, and remember to run searches from the address bar.
How effective can a marketing strategy of this nature be when the various tools are not interchangeable, there are numerous competitors selling the same key words to different companies, and you are targeting only a small fraction of Internet users? If your ad is being displayed because its similar to the search query, are you paying for irrelevant results? This can happen; If there is not a perfect match to a search query, the next closest match may be displayed.
Competing with these companies is any search engine that offers its own toolbar. You can download a toolbar from any number of engines, and run searches on any key word or phrase quickly and easily. You then get the search engines selection of closest matches, from all the web sites they have indexed. They offer more than just one choice, and dont cost anything.
To read the rest of this article by Richard Zwicky, founder and the CEO of Metamend Software, read on at Keyword Ownership: What It Is and Where It’s Headed?