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The Present and the Future of Keyword Ownership

Aug 17, 2007
Have you ever seen an add that offers you ownership of a keyword? If you're on the internet much, or if you have an email account, the answer to that question is almost certainly a yes.

There are many services out there that offer to sell you keyword ownership - specifically premium keyword ownership - for the cost of a few hundred dollars every year. The primary selling point used by these companies is that if anyone happens to type the keyword you have purchased into the address bar of their internet browser, then they will automatically be sent directly to your website. There are, in fact, about 2 percent of internet users around the globe who have this ability enabled on their computers, since it specifically requires certain element such as Internet Explorer.

Studies have shown that approximately 4 to 7 percent of all search queries are done by way of a keyword being entered into the address bar of the internet browser being used. For Internet Explorer users, any search queries performed using the address bar are defaulted to an MSN search. However, over time, most of us have installed a good deal of additional software onto our computers, allowing for such searches to be re-routed to other search portals. This is often a sign of having installed a file sharing software. Among the spyware and potential for viruses, worms, and other undesirable additions to your computer, by installing a program such as Limeware, Morpheus, or Kazaa, you may have altered your default search in your address bar from MSN to a different portal altogether.

Of the queries that are entered into the address bar, approximately 50 percent of them are the result of having accidentally mistyped their desired URL, therefore instigating a keyword search. This accounts for the between 2 and 4 percent of internet users who actually use the address bar to perform their searches.

To understand the way that this functions, it is important to know how address bars work. There are many different companies offering the ownership of keywords. So many, in fact, that they are able to compete with each other, and even sell the very same keywords, only to different search companies. This being said, it means that if you buy a keyword, then depending on the company you buy it from, they may only make the search available to those specific internet users who have installed that company's unique proprietary address bar plug-in. This makes the total number of people quite low for entering your keyword into the address bar and then find your site.

Though it is up to you whether you choose to use keyword ownership among your online marketing techniques, it is vital that you keep yourself informed of the actual potential that this method will offer you. Never hesitate to ask questions of the company you're considering, and if anything looks fishy or not as appealing as it should, simply walk away. There is lots of competition out there, and there is surely someone who will be willing to make you a better deal.

A marketing strategy based on keyword ownership is difficult to measure. After all, many of the tools for the process are not interchangeable, there are many competing companies all selling the same companies to your competition, and your target of internet users is quite small in the first place. It can easily happen that all of the money you spend on such keyword ownership will lead to absolutely nothing.

In competition with these keyword ownership businesses are the search engines themselves; specifically those who have their own toolbars. Many of the major search engines offer a downloadable toolbar that allows you to enter keywords and run searches quickly and easily. You are then presented with that search engine's range of closest matches from all of their indexed websites. Not only does this not cost anything, but more than one keyword possibility can lead to your site.

As you can see, it is quite clear that keyword ownership can be quite the tricky business and must be managed with the utmost research and technical knowledge if any notable gains are to be witnessed
About the Author
Mark Nenadic
Mark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO,
marketing and Web design.
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