Yahoo! Offers to Speed Reviews for Fee

Realizing the popularity of its Web directory, Yahoo! Inc. earlier this week started offering some businesses the chance to have review of their site submission expedited for a $199 fee.

Yahoo! said the new offer was designed to help small businesses that are looking to move into electronic commerce. Only Web sites that offer products for sale are eligible for the “express consideration” program. The company said it was only offering to review the submissions faster and was not guaranteeing the submission would be accepted into the directory.

The search engine’s move comes on the same week announced it would begin highlighting paid book placements on its site.

Although Yahoo! encourages site submissions, Web developers know how tricky it can be to actually get listed. While other search engines use special technology to retrieve site listings, Yahoo! has editors that categorize submissions. It often takes weeks for editors to review submissions and some never get accepted.

Srinija Srinivasan, Yahoo!’s editor-in-chief, said the offer is meant to help those whose livelihood depends on their Internet business. She said part of the fee will be devoted to hiring additional reviewers to handle those submissions. She said other requests to be added to the directory would be handled as quickly as they are now.

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