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April 13, 2005

Yahoo offers free sites to small businesses

Yahoo! is to give a free five-page web site to small businesses, in a bid to bulk up its search-oriented Yahoo! Local business listings service and potentially upsell customers to paid services.

By CBR Staff Writer

The free service does not appear to include some basics, such as domain name and email accounts. Customers have an upgrade path to Enhanced Listing, and eventually Yahoo Small Business, the standard web hosting offering.

Free web pages are hardly a revolutionary concept. The company’s Geocities business has been offering free sites since the 1990s, but the way the latest offer is being positioned shows how the business model has changed over the years.

Gone are banner ad-supported homepages. Nowadays, the model is search, sponsored results and paid listings. Homepages are called blogs. Yahoo and Google are engaged in a feature war to attract companies to their respective local search offerings.

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