Yahoo Paid Inclusion: Thing of the Past?

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Many people who are new to web site optimization may be unaware of a small corner of the market known as paid inclusion. Paid inclusion was once a major tool for ranking on Yahoo’s Web Search index, but has become less of a player with more traditional, spider based search products.

What is Paid Inclusion?

Paid inclusion refers to programs that are available that allow your web site to be included in the search results for a fee. Most paid inclusion programs work on an annual basis with some degree of limitations such as a limit of five pages per domain allowed.

Will Paid Inclusion Rank Me Higher?

Ironically, no. Paid inclusion programs allow your site to be seen by the spiders on a predetermined schedule. Yahoo’s Search Submit program for example allows your site to be spidered once a week and included somewhere in the search results. There is no guarantee however as to where your pages will show up.

What are the Major Paid Inclusion Programs?

Yahoo’s Search Submit Basic program, sold as a service through providers like Position Technologies, is certainly the major paid inclusion program available to site marketers.

SSB charges a $49 fee per URL annually, while limiting the number of pages on a domain to five. Overall, the program provides inclusion to the Yahoo Web Search results and is viewed to be the most cost effective option out there.

There are strong arguments though against paying for inclusion to Yahoo. The most notable being — you can have the same, if not better results, for free. Click here for more information on the SSB program.

Other paid inclusion programs exist but offer limited value. No other major search engine provides a paid inclusion program of this nature.

Is Paid Inclusion Officially Dead?

For all intensive purposes, yes. For some extreme cases though where web sites are having difficulties in ranking on Yahoo, it can and should be used. The ultimate bottom line though is that the only program that bears a name worth worrying about is Yahoo — and you can literally get the same results without having to spend a dime.

If you can have it all for free — what’s the point of paying for it?

Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost user acquisition, and grow their businesses. He’s currently the VP of Marketing at When I Work, the top rated employee scheduling software. In addition to his role at When I Work Sujan co-founded and wrote the book on Growth Hacking titled 100 Days of Growth.
Sujan Patel
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  • Anita Cohen-Williams

    I have found that the paid inclusion program at ISEDN (found at is very useful in helping websites achieve higher rankings, especially in Yahoo. also has a paid inclusion program, but it is not as useful.

  • David

    Search for any product-specific search on Yahoo and I think you’ll find that a good portion of the top ‘organic’ results are still paid inclusion. Rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated . . .

  • versuri

    We never have to say Thing of the Past…

  • aphite

    Paid inclusion is FAR from dead. You mention that SSB/SSP(pro) is updated on a regular schedule – what you don’t consider is how powerful that can be for message / landing page changes or promotions. It gives marketers the flexibility to promote time sensitive items without having to worry whether spiders will pick them up quickly. SSP also allows “multi-links” under your main listing that allow deeplinking to different areas of the site. All that for CPCs that are typically far less than paid listings!

  • Julian


    It’s “for all intents and purposes”, not “all intensive purposes” LMFAO!!!

  • Marios Alexandrou

    Why is it that a lot of people who write about paid inclusion don’t seem to have actually used it? It is true that Yahoo doesn’t guarantee rankings from a PI feed, but in reality rankings do improve. I’ve had the opportunity to test it by turning on and off a feed and watching rankings go up and down accordingly.

    And even several months after the above article was written, I can vouch for PI being very much alive. Big sites spend a lot of money on their feeds despite parallel SEO efforts.

  • Tom Forrest

    Please check out this article about why the Yahoo Paid Inclusion program is an evil scam