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When goal is to index entire web and results are far less relevant and traffic less likely to result in sales to listed sites, how do you charge sites to be listed? Hmmmm. The search engines said, "We've been getting complaints about a couple of things from sites seeking listings, one that they submit and never get listed, and two that when they are listed it is only months later that they begin to benefit from delivered search engine traffic." AHA! An opportunity presents itself to charge money to someone for listings!
Bingo! Paid inclusion is launched at Inktomi and becomes an instant success with those who have been frustrated by slow listing times and especially with those that can't seem to be listed at all at important engines. Here is a way to get listed and get listed sooner, I'll pay for that! But how much? And are there any benefits above free submission to entice reluctant web business into paying for what, until now has been free. We'll guarantee, not only that you'll be listed, but quickly, and to sweeten pot, we'll recrawl your site on a weekly basis to guarantee fresh listings.
Now it's time for everyone to leap into new model and begin more frequent crawls for preferred listees. Certainly this will lead even further toward commercialization of web, which angers many but is only solution to supporting increasingly expensive proposistion of providing complex search to millions and indexing a dramatically larger web.
Time to innovate if you expect to attract those paid inclusion listings. At Fast AllTheWeb, they've come up with an intra- search facility that site owners with under a specified number of pages can install as a branded, hosted search for their own sites as an additional benefit. A hosted and branded site search will likely cost them very little more to implement for paid inclusion customers, while increasing revenue for Fast. As Fast is a partner to Lycos network, this paid inclusion not only comes with intrasearch for your site and regular site recrawls to keep search results fresh, but also gets listings into Lycos network as well.
A further enhancement in race to paid inclusion will be extra cost "partner" or "sponsor" links that turn up at top of search results pages. This may affect some search partners differently than others as some now use GoTo paid listings as those "sponsor or partner" links. Certainly GoTo will fight to maintain current partners by making themselves more attractive to those search engines considering paid inclusion programs.
Inktomi has larger partner list to support their version of paid inclusion and is more attractive for distribution and visibility, but offers little in way of "perks" for value driven crowd. Altavista offers their own version of paid inclusion, dividing program into two separate categories, one for small businesses and sites under 500 pages and other for big boys of ebusiness with more than 500 pages to index.
Pricing is just now being determined by many search engines making paid inclusion move, but it ranges anywhere from $39 per page to be listed up to yearly pricing models which come with additional benefits, such as intra-search option from Fast, AllTheWeb.com.
I recommend keeping an eye out for short term sign-up bonuses and perks as paid inclusion model gains acceptance over next 6 months. Just as pay-per-click model of search took some time to gain traction, so too will paid inclusion.
Watch also for partnering changes in near term as larger networks battle to gain or maintain market share. Some will be more agressive than others so bargains and benefits will no doubt emerge within 6 to 8 months to build customer and brand loyalty early in race to paid inclusion dominance.
Mike Banks Valentine WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet http://website101.com/arch/ e-tutorial online at: http://website101.com/shortcourse.html By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!