I've been in this game for many years now, and the buying of ad slots or links on directories frustrates me - here's why: DIRECTORIES (offline/paper versions) - When they first arrived, were new, interesting and highly used. They had high usage, good distribution rates, could be targeted and were considered good value for the money, as there was little else being offered in that price bracket at the time. Kellys started it all off really, with their massive 100'000 category monster, aimed at the Industrial market and companies. Then along came Yellow Pages followed by Thomson Local and a few smaller competitors. Yellow Pages took over the market and everyone went for them, as it was marketed with perfection and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I browsed through a copy the other day and infact noticed 35 companies, on the same page, advertising the exact same services as each other, and under the same category too. Not good, and potentially profit suicide if you ask me. Yet they all do it. Hmmmmm, silly. So if I followed suit and became no 36, that means I have only a 1 in 36 chance of being selected, viewed or phoned up by a customer – and I paid how much for that £335, eeeeek. £400 is quite a bit to spend on advertising for the average start up, and in my opinion, it takes the biscuit, it really does insult. Pot luck advertising methods are no good, as it's a crap shoot, a roll of the dice etc. What you need is to reach the people who are interested in your product/service – do that and it increases the chance of a sale. Sponsored listings are many and varied and can mean different things and results are very dependent on 'design' and whether people actually notice them. One engine will do it differently to another - and price rarely determines quality or exposure or even reach, infact each engine will stamp their authority, brand on it's own creation and tell you it's the best. But basically what you need to consider is: Most are expensive and never deliver what you think you will get Most 'sponsored' anything is a rip-off of somebody elses idea! When you have 50 to 100 similar companies, products or services using these upgraded entries/promotions - the effect of them is reduced considerably, but they are better than the basic line entry styles which the publication is built from. It's just there is nothing else to compete with the bog standard PPC, at the moment. It really depends on who you use, and a lot of testing, analysing the benefits of various campaigns will reveal what works for you, and what doesn't! And never ever use just one type of ad company or campaign – success will be in the ad space management, negotiation and reducing those costs.