Mel: “The organization was officially founded in June of this year, although the idea for a network of this kind was being discussed for several months previous to that. The ISEDN website, however, is only a few days old.”
Martin: “How many members does the ISEDN network have right now?”
Mel: “47 members at the moment, but the network has been acquiring new members at a rate of 3 – 5 per week.”
Martin: “What kind of market reach can the network deliver?”
Mel: “It really depends on how big the network becomes. Some search engine and directory members have reported 10,000,000+ searches/month but, given the rapid growth of the ISEDN and the fact that it’s only a few weeks old, we really haven’t had the opportunity to determine the total number of search impressions the network can deliver. We expect to receive specific numbers from the members in the coming weeks which will enable us to provide a more accurate picture of the network’s search reach. My best guesstimate right now is that pay-for-inclusion listings are displayed approximately 120 million times per month. Of course, that figure will grow as the ISEDN grows.”
Martin: “Why should advertisers choose the ISEDN network over Google or Yahoo?”
Mel: “The most obvious reason is cost. An advertiser buying a 3 or 12 month listing is looking at a cost of $3 – $4 a month. I’m not aware of any other engine that can match what the ISEDN offers in terms of value or exposure. Where else can you buy targeted keyword terms for less than $5 a month and get top 10 exposure for your site listings across 45+ search engines and directories?”
Martin: “You’re right, that is amazing!”
Martin: “Because of the sheer distribution size this could potentially have, what preventive measures are being implemented for click fraud?”
Mel: “In the ISEDN advertising model there is no incentive for click fraud to occur. You pay a one time fee for your selected keyword term and that’s it. Competitors or bots could click on your ad repeatedly and it wouldn’t cost you a penny more. With the monetary motive for click fraud removed, it’s unlikely to be a problem.”
Martin: “What does the future hold for the ISEDN?”
Mel: “It’s a little early for me to speculate on how the ISEDN might evolve. ExactSeek is just one member. Future plans will depend on member participation and input in the coming months. What I would like to see is for the ISEDN to become a counter weight to the gradual monopolization of search on the Web by engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN. I would also like to see the ISEDN contribute in other areas related to search such as search relevance and possibly the support of open source search software. In the long term, I believe the Web and searchers in general will be better served by diversity than by monopoly.”
Martin: “Are members going to decide the future of the network?
Mel: “The short answer is yes, they will. To function effectively, the ISEDN will in time need to implement some kind of governing structure that determines the organization’s future course. What that structure is and how the ISEDN evolves will depend on input from the members. Initially, direction and objectives will most likely be determined by majority consensus.
We’ve just added a private member discussion forum to the ISEDN website which will allow members to voice their views on issues such as the network’s direction, objectives, online advertising, governing structure, network promotion and other topics of relevance to the membership.
Martin: “So will any of the discussions from the network forum be opened up to the public?”
Mel: “Eventually, yes. Assuming public interest, we’ll setup discussion forums that allow webmasters and/or siteowners to ask questions and provide feedback to individual ISEDN members or to the membership as a whole. If we go this route and, I expect we will, it should help to improve communication between searchers and search providers. It should also help raise general public awareness of the many excellent directories and search engines on the Web that currently are under the radar.”