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11 December 2002

LookSmart Australia Launches Affiliate Program 

LookSmart Australia has partnered with CyberAffiliates to provide an affiliate program for resellers of their new Smart Listings™ revamped directory inclusion product. SmartListings replace the old LookListings™ for Small Business product and cost AUD440 per year for guaranteed inclusion in the directory. Interesting to note is that they "guarantee" inclusion but still require the submissions to meet their editorial guidelines. SmartListings are the general directory search results that appear below LookListings results. 

The LookSmart Pay Per Click model is still available, now confusingly named LookListings. These are the sponsored results, based on a variable cost-per-click model, that appear at the top of the search page. LookListings also appear as "sponsored sites" on NineMSN and "sponsor matches" on Yahoo Australia & New. Annoyingly, you have to download the LookListings PDF brochure to find out anything about the product and, in what seems a ridiculous oversight, you have to sign up and have a LookSmart representative contact you to receive ANY idea of the costs involved.





Their new affiliate program apparently covers SmartListings resellers only. LookSmart will pay affiliates $20 per successful referral, as well as monthly bonuses for bulk referrals. To launch the scheme, LookSmart has increased the commission paid per referral to $50, until February 2003. This was in an email from them:

The SmartListings Affiliate Program offers a no-risk partnership and excellent profit potential. If you have a Web site or email database, you can partner with LookSmart, Australia's leading search listings network, and earn a commission for each SmartListings product you help us sell. As a special introductory offer we're paying $50 per successful affiliate referral until the end of February 2003.

With a little extra effort, you may be eligible for special monthly bonuses for referring certain numbers of customers. Monthly bonuses can reach $20,000 per month, and bonuses are paid in addition to the $20 commission we'll pay you for each successful referral.

Excuse me but $20,000? Am I missing something? That's a hell of a bonus. I can only imagine what their marketing budget must be. To be honest, I'm not entirely comfortable with this program. For some reason, a search engine getting into the affiliate game doesn't sit well with me. I can just see all the spammy affiliate pages this scheme is going to give birth to in the search engines. Maybe I'll change my mind if I sign up and reach that $20K bonus. 


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