Keeping paid and earned media separate is challenging for marketers, advertisers and search engines, but a recent move by Yahoo is blurring an important line. Here's what Web professionals need to know. Yahoo ended its paid inclusion program back in 2009, but the messy business recently resurfaced in the form of an intermingled, ad sponsored search result for dating. In this search, of the 13, above the fold items listed on Yahoo's results page, only two are organic search results (DateHookup.com and Match.com). This not only makes first page results harder and more expensive to come by, but there's another, more serious issue with the Match.com listing. Is it earned (a natural listing) or paid (an advertisement) or… both? Mix & Mingle By the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) decadeold definition, the practice of paid inclusion can take many forms. One is, "where paid sites are intermingled among non paid sites."...
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