Fee-backed Search Engine for Marketers Planned

The ClickZ Network said it is planning to launch a highly focused, advertising and fee-supported search engine dedicated solely to online advertising, marketing and commerce.

“By narrowing the focus and controlling the submission process, we’ll present our visitors with a more manageable search for the information they need,” said ClickZ Publisher Andrew Bourland. “Not only will we list the companies, products and services like the major search engines list, we will also list an extensive number of articles, columns, news items and reviews that might be relevant to a person’s search.”

Bourland said he found it too frustrating to use standard search engines to hunt for information about marketing. “Enter ‘online advertising’ on Alta Vista, you get 35,991 listings of dubious quality–only 200 of which you can view,” he said.

Official launch of the new, fee-backed site, called SearchZ, is scheduled for June 8. Bourland said the site will feature a component that goes out daily to spider 80-plus sites providing news and information relevant to online marketers. Users will be able to search by category, keyword and keyphrase and be able to search a constantly updated database culled from the 80 sites. Newest items will show up first.

Bourland said that while anyone can list an appropriate URL for free, listees are being offered the ability to guarantee themselves a top 10 listing in any given category by paying an upfront fee. For an additional fee, they can guarantee themselves a No. 1 listing on any given category.

Premium listings will be noted by a one point larger, boldfaced font. Fees start at $300 for three months, $500 for six months for top 10 listings. Fees for a No. 1 listing haven’t been set yet.

“In my mind, it’s no different than the yellow pages–as long as everyone is listed, I don’t care if some pay a little extra to make their listings show more prominently than others,” Bourland said.

The Andover, MA-based company’s network includes ClickZ for advertising, Microscope for banner campaign analysis, ZCommerce, Executive Summary, Who’s Marketing Online?, and soon, www.searchz.com.

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