Yahoo! is not afraid to look profitable business models in the face and then give them away for free. Last month, in an attempt to revitalize a lagging auctions site, Yahoo! Auctions dropped all fees from its auctions. Today, Yahoo! HotJobs announced that it will scrape job listings from employer web sites and list them for free. This is the first time one of the leading job sites (the others being Monster and CareerBuilder) will feature free listings in its service. The paid inclusion model has always been a difficult model to sustain, since if listers decide not to pay, it directly affects the quality of the user experience. It will be very interesting to see if HotJobs can continue to offer some level of "premium" service to its paid listers to prevent them from dropping down to the free level. Yahoo! understands that user experience is key, and in the search game, be it auctions or jobs, comprehensiveness is key. Some may view this move as desperation, but providing a better user experience better and taking business away from competitors with a more complete offering doesn't seem so desperate, does it?
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