Paid and free listing
Paid inclusion is a fee that some search engines charge to include your site in their crawler schedules, and directory services charge to review your site and place it in the appropriate category. Paid inclusion suggests that you will be in the search engine or directory if you pay the fee – but it does not guarantee any optimum placement.
Paid review is a fee based service that guarantees the search service will review your site and will consider it for inclusion. If your site does not meet their standards it will not be included and you will not receive a refund of your fee. Yahoo is one such service. Most sites will be included.
Pay per Click
Various pay per click business models include a flat monthly fee for inclusion coupled with a ‘per click’ fee each time a visitor clicks on your link in the search results. Most services allow for a maximum monthly budget.
Paid placement plans guarantee placement to the highest bidder for a keyword. The placement may be in the first page of results, or in the top three results of one of the results pages. Overture, whose services are contracted by Yahoo, AltaVista, MSN, Lycos, and others, is a paid placement business model. Prices for top placement of popular keywords may be prohibitive for a small business.
Virtually all search services, in particular search engines, will crawl your site for free and include it in their index. To place well in these services will require your web pages to be optimized for multiple keyword searches. The search results you get when using single popular keywords are typically paid placements. Small businesses will want to carefully budget their paid positions and design their sites for optimum placement in the free listings.