You may find that you will have to start paying to get decent search engine listings and rankings. Here's some advice on
how to get the best deals from pay per click and pay per inclusion search engines. The search engine scene is changing!

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Paying for search engine listings

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You may find that you will have to start paying to get decent search engine listings and rankings. Here's some advice on how to get the best deals from pay per click and pay per inclusion search engines. The search engine scene is changing!

The first charging mechanism was the "Pay Per Click" model ("PPC"), where you bid for a keyword or phrase. If your bid is the highest, your page gets to be #1 in the search results page for that keyword. Second highest bid gets #2 position, and so on.

A lot has been written about PPC submission, but this article deals with the other, increasingly familiar pricing model - Pay Per Inclusion

What is "Pay Per Inclusion" ("PPI")?
Simply, if you want guaranteed and fast inclusion of your website in a particular search engine, you pay them a fixed sum.

The first PPI of note, wasn't (and still isn't) much of a guarantee - for commercial sites, Yahoo demanded $199 (now $299) for your site to be reviewed within a short time. Since Yahoo is a directory, and all submissions are reviewed by a human, not a search bot, your site can still be denied admission to the Yahoo index. LookSmart is another 'human' directory which has introduced an array of PPI models.

Other 'proper' search engines followed suit, with Inktomi (see below) leading the field, and AltaVista launched its PPI program in June 2001. Fast / All The Web is starting its rollout, and Excite also has PPI plans. Google says it is not planning PPI, but is pushing its other advertising products hard.

AltaVista's "Express Inclusion" PPI pricing
Currently, you have to pay the following rates to guarantee an AltaVista listing. Note that these are only for a six month listing:

Unit Price (USD)*
1st URL $39.00
URLs #2-10 $24.00 each
URLs #11-500 $19.00 each

For this fee (* prices may have changed), you get guaranteed weekly re-indexing of your pages - but, and it's a big 'but' "URL" is defined as a single page. So, if you just pay for your Home Page to be indexed, your other pages will not automatically get spidered.

Further help on this topic...
<- Look here!
You'll find further help on this topic, or closely related issues, in the side columns on this page..
Look here! ->

Since AltaVista is continuing to allow you to add pages free of charge to its index, and these pages get crawled (and spidered) roughly monthly, you may not think it worth paying AltaVista - yet!

Here's the AltaVista URLs:
AltaVista Express Inclusion
https://www.infospider.com/av/app/
AltaVista Free Add URL
http://addurl.altavista.com/sites/gben/submit/basicsubmit

Inktomi's SureList service
Far more attractively priced is Inktomi's SureList service. The main features are:

  • Continual 48 hour spider refresh keeps your content up to date
  • Higher quality relevance scoring using your metadata
  • 12 month inclusion (as compared with AltaVista's 6 months)
  • Inktomi's 125+ Web search partners include search services such as AOL Search, MSN Search and HotBot
  • Online Account Management—confirm your Web pages have been added, check status and manage your URLs throughout the subscription period.

Pricing is a similar structure to AltaVista - but about a third of the price:

Unit Price (USD)*
First Page (per year) $39.00
Subsequent pages $25.00 per page

(* prices may have changed)
You can't sign up directly with Inktomi - only through one of their partners. From experience, I would say that Network Solutions possibly is the safest bet:

http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/catalog/searchsubmit/

Conclusions
After what seems like many years of enjoying free search engine listings and rankings, it seems that eventually we will have to bite the bullet and start paying. For large websites with deep pockets, a few hundred (or even thousand) dollars is neither here nor there, but many smaller businesses will have to budget carefully.

The situation is likely to change significantly over the coming months and years, but right now, my advice would be to sign up with Inktomi for certain, and maybe look at whether you can afford Yahoo's $299 Express Service.

The URLs again:

Inktomi, via Network Solutions:
http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/catalog/searchsubmit/

Yahoo Express:
http://add.yahoo.com/fast/add?+Business

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