Cabinet Office uses Yahoo sponsored links to direct web users to its FOI site

The Cabinet Office is using paid-for search engine placements in the form of pay-per-click adverts to promote public awareness of the Freedom of Information Act.

Directgov, the government’s central internet portal, has been using Yahoo’s Overture sponsored links service to direct web users to its FOIA page. The government has revealed that it pays 10p per click to Overture for the sponsored link, which comes up under searches for the term "Freedom of Information Act."

Between July last year and February this year, 1917 click-throughs were registered to the page through Overture sponsorship using the term "freedom of information act" and 1948 using "freedom of information." In total the government has spent £386.50 on sponsored links since last July. And the number of views of Directgov’s FOIA page has increased considerably since the Overture service began, rising from 400 in July 2005 to a peak of over 6,700 in October last year. In January this year, 3,895 views were made.

Yahoo boosts Freedom of Information awareness (eGov monitor website, 3 March 2006)