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Monday, October 07, 2002

Paid Inclusion Annoyances

So, I finally emerged from my state of denial about having to pay to get into many search engines, and I bit the bullet. I paid for inclusion for Vino.com, the fine wine portal that I co-created, in the following engines:

1. Ask Jeeves (Supposedly the No. 2 search engine now?)

2. Inktomi (Not as important as it once was, but still worth doing thanks to its MSN connection)

3. AltaVista (Egads, does anyone use AV anymore? My server logs say no, but that could just be due to the way outdated listing that Vino.com had)

All of these services, except Jeeves, say that your site will be indexed within 24-72 hours of payment, but I'm certain it took longer than that for all of them. Inktomi was nice enough to notify me when the site was indexed, but I didn't hear a peep from AltaVista.

AltaVista's registration process is annoying, too, for many reasons mainly related to billing procedures. I chose to use the ineedhits.com service for Jeeves and Inktomi since they manage the programs for both engines, and it's nice to be consistent for ease of maintenance.

There seems to be a lag time between the moment a site is included in its index and the time that the site shows up in MSN, HotBot, etc. And speaking of HotBot, I don't even think Inktomi is feeding them at all. I can find Vino.com in it, but other sites that I paid for are nowhere to be found there. Is Inktomi still supplying listings to HotBot? If not, Inktomi had better remove them from their partners page.

The ineedhits.com reporting system seems OK, but I'll be damned if I could find traffic reporting figures in the AltaVista program. Also, it would be nice to get e-mail notifications from all of the engines when a newly indexed site is successfully syndicated on partner sites.

All in all, I'm fairly disappointed with these paid inclusion programs. They just don't seem to be ready for prime time. But, if the results are good, I won't complain too much. The costs are relatively cheap, and you pretty much have to buck up if you want to keep pace with your competitors. But, then there's the annual fees! Argh.....

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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