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Overview: Looksmart has become one of the most commercialized search engines and directory services since its inception

Originally launched in 1995, Looksmart was originally a free directory based service, very similiar to Yahoo and the Open Directory Project (ODP). Recently, they took a commercial spin to their business model and now require a payment to consider your website. Looksmart is powered by a large number of editors and powers several other search engines such as MSN Search, Altavista, Excite and Dogpile.

Website Information

Looksmart http://www.looksmart.com (New window opens)

Submission & Ranking Process

People are not robots Since Looksmart does not use robots, everything indexed into Looksmart is done by people. No META tags, ALT image tags, HTML comments or image maps will help boost your ranking here. Your best chance on getting your site listed is to describe your website as accurate as possible. The final decision rests up to the editor who reviews your website so your website must impress them to be worthy of adding you to their database. Inktomi now provides secondary listings for Looksmart when no results are returned by Looksmart's primary index.

Submission Time and Associated Costs There are two service levels available for getting listed in Looksmart. The first service level costs $79 and requires about 8 weeks for an editor to review your site. The second service level costs $199 and requires about 48 hours for an editor to review your site. Both these service levels will get you a guaranteed response whether your site will be indexed or not but does not guarantee your application will be accepted. Looksmart no longer offers free submissions.

Real Names Keywords Looksmart attempts to match keywords to Real Names, a commercial keyword system where buyers reserve keywords to be associated to their website or organization. Obtaining a Real Name will help boost your rankings, however, at a price (Real Names charges $100/year/keyword).

Ranking Process Looksmart ranks sites based on the following criteria (in order):
  • Attempts to rank Looksmart category matches first
  • Returns Looksmart sites and Real Name Keyword listings (See info above)
  • Inktomi powered results

  • Insider Tips Although the United States directory listing is no longer accepting free submissions to their database, the Australian version of Looksmart still is. We expect this to become commercialized as well shortly since their Canadian and United Kingdom versions recently became commercialized as well. While the Australian service is still free, fire off your submission to Looksmart Australian Edition.

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