New InSites into the FAST Search Engine . . . an interview with Stephen Baker of Fast, Part 2

Written by Robin Nobles

(Continued from Part 1)

Next subject . . .

What about free submissions to FAST? Are they a thing ofrepparttar past?

According to Baker, "Free submit will continue to operate. There will be no effect on pages (already) inrepparttar 128037 index. The inclusion service is simply a guarantee that your pages will be indexed regularly and are guaranteed a reservation inrepparttar 128038 FAST index. The trick with free submit isrepparttar 128039 amount of spam we receive through that channel. It makes it difficult to keep up with all ofrepparttar 128040 submissions. PartnerSite provides an economic incentive to NOT submit spam."

How quickly does FAST index free submissions?

Mr. Baker answered, "Usually within 2-6 weeks. However, 95% of what comes through free submission is spam, and that's what causesrepparttar 128041 bottleneck. Also, there's no guarantee onrepparttar 128042 refresh rate of those sites that we pick up through free submit. Unfortunately, it'srepparttar 128043 5% ofrepparttar 128044 submitters that are spammers that ruin it forrepparttar 128045 rest of us. The extent that people go through to spamrepparttar 128046 index is truly amazing."

Is there a penalty for submitting your site through their free Add URL?

Baker replied, "Not really. Freshness does effect rank, but only marginally. I have never seen freshness boost ranking more than 1 or 2 spaces."

What does FAST consider spam? As stated earlier, FAST estimates that an amazing 95% ofrepparttar 128047 submissions through their free Add URL page are spam.

Baker further explained, "Unfortunately this isrepparttar 128048 case. We believe there are approximately 30 million crawlable servers globally, two-thirds of which have been blacklisted as spam servers."

Whew! Think about it: 20 MILLION crawlable servers globally are blacklisted as spam servers. If this is really true, it explains whyrepparttar 128049 engines have collectively gone to such great lengths in their efforts to curtail spam.

Atrepparttar 128050 Dallas Search Engine Strategies Conference in November, FAST introduced their new spam policies. Baker explained that according to FAST, spam comes in three different categories:

* Page Spam, which consists of any measures to boost ranking, such as link farms, etc. * Spam stuffing, such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, etc. * Offensive content, which is not so much spam, but is something that we detect and flag as such.

You can access and read Fast's entire spam policy at:

And, if you're so inclined, you can report spam to FAST by emailing

The ultimate fear of a search engine marketer: your site has been banned. What recourse is there for a site that gets on Fast's spam list and becomes banished fromrepparttar 128051 engine? Is this forever?

Baker replied, "This really is handled on a case by case basis. We have worked with sites that have contacted us and informed us that they have cleaned up their act. Obviously, this is very time consuming, sorepparttar 128052 combination of PartnerSite,repparttar 128053 spam guidelines, and not having your site hosted on a banned server should enable a site to get inrepparttar 128054 index through a variety of means if they think they have cleaned up their act."

Translated: If your site is hosted on one ofrepparttar 128055 20 million servers tagged for spamming, you'd best move it to a different server before you initiaterepparttar 128056 kiss-and-makeup ritual with FAST.

Baker further explained, "What really matters isrepparttar 128057 server whererepparttar 128058 submission is coming from. So many servers have been completely blacklisted due torepparttar 128059 proliferation of spam. I suggest 'know thy neighbor.' The crawler will take care ofrepparttar 128060 rest."

This again underscoresrepparttar 128061 importance of your site having its own unique IP address to insure against problems caused by an unruly site sharingrepparttar 128062 same IP.

How does FAST feel about cloaking? In Dallas, Mr. Baker and I had a long discussion about cloaking and howrepparttar 128063 FAST engine feels about it. We even served on a panel where a question came up about cloaking and about responsible cloaking guidelines.

As I mentioned to him, from our position as SEO's, we seerepparttar 128064 issues from opposite perspectives. Of course, we don't have a front row seat torepparttar 128065 parade of spam but, even so, our viewpoint is dictated by that of legitimate businesses trying to ethically compete in arenas that are often very competitive and sometimes dominated by nefarious position jockeying. Therefore, onrepparttar 128066 issue of cloaking, I pointed out instances where it'srepparttar 128067 only tool available that prevents our work from being stolen. My thinking is there's no harm done provided that a person follows all ofrepparttar 128068 engine's guidelines and does not spam in any way.

Baker's response: "Unfortunately,repparttar 128069 20% of sites that use redirects maliciously ruin it forrepparttar 128070 rest. Redirects and cloaks have become such a hassle that we can't afford to risk indexing them. We do work through PartnerSite IV customers to index cloaks. However, they are sent through a rigorous spam-detection process."

New InSites into the FAST Search Engine . . . an interview with Stephen Baker of Fast, Part 1

Written by Robin Nobles

New InSites intorepparttar FAST Search Engine ...interview with Stephen Baker, Director of Business Development and Marketing

by Robin Nobles

Ofrepparttar 128036 major engines inrepparttar 128037 search engine universe, FAST -- aka, -- is arguablyrepparttar 128038 most unique. In many ways, it operates differently than typical engines and, in light of recent developments, it's timely that we probe a little deeper intorepparttar 128039 inner workings of this strategically important engine.

To assist us with this article we invited Stephen Baker, Fast's Director of Business Development and Marketing, to lend his perspective. As you will see, Mr. Baker was quite upfront with his answers.

FAST powers other engines!

Like Inktomi, FAST powers other search engines. For example, you're probably already aware that FAST provides primary results forrepparttar 128040 Lycos search engine. But what other engines does FAST power? Mr. Baker explained,

"In North America, we power all ofrepparttar 128041 Lycos and Lycos Latin properties as well asrepparttar 128042 Telus portals and AllTheWeb. Our focus over 2002 will be to establish broader reach inrepparttar 128043 US (currently 35%). 2001 was focused on European expansion, where we power over 75% of searches. This includes Lycos Europe and all ofrepparttar 128044 Terra sites, T-Online, Tiscali, including, Scandinavia Online and Overall, we appear on over 70 portals inrepparttar 128045 European market."

...obviously an important consideration for companies doing business in Latin or European markets.

FAST also has its own engine.

Unlike Inktomi, FAST has its own public search engine. As you may know, you can't submit directly torepparttar 128046 Inktomi engine itself. Instead you must submit through an Inktomi partner as well as pay a fee for inclusion. And, only recently did Position Technologies make availablerepparttar 128047 pure Inktomi results for searching ( although certainly not in mainstream usage sincerepparttar 128048 public is generally unaware this specific search option even exists.

FAST, however, providesrepparttar 128049 means to submit your site directly to them via -- -- which they use basically as a "testing" engine. AlltheWeb is where they first consider new features such as spam detection orrepparttar 128050 use of ODP categories as a training set or even linguistic analysis of non-ODP categories.

According to Mr. Baker, AlltheWeb has also begun indexing dynamic content and supports 48 languages with over 700 million full-text HTML pages inrepparttar 128051 index. Using a technique called query analysis,repparttar 128052 new version of AlltheWeb will remember your choices and give you a more personal search experience. An interesting possibility is that query analysis could potentially supplantrepparttar 128053 importance of link popularity sometime inrepparttar 128054 future.

I asked Mr. Baker ifrepparttar 128055 results at one FAST powered engine will match results at another? He replied that, like Inktomi,repparttar 128056 partner engines powered by FAST use their own algorithms. He said,

"Our engine is entirely tunable, allowing customers to pre- establish offensive content, language, etc., settings. In addition, most of our customers blend FAST results with directories, PFP, and licensed results."

Fast's new pay inclusion program.

On February 25, FAST officially launched their paid inclusion program. However, typical of FAST, their paid inclusion program is unique.

Administered by partners such as Terra Lycos, Fast's PartnerSite program has four versions designed to benefit a variety of online businesses based on size. Partner Lycos callsrepparttar 128057 PartnerSite program Lycos InSite Select. The first level ofrepparttar 128058 program provides a means by which you can pay per page and offersrepparttar 128059 following benefits:

* Guaranteed inclusion inrepparttar 128060 Lycos index within 48 hours of submission. * Full refresh of your site content every 48 hours or less. * Automatic notification that your site has been submitted and indexed. * Guaranteed inclusion for a full year. * Personalized submission reports to see exactly what has been added torepparttar 128061 index and when. * Access to Search Services Central, which is an online account where you can make changes and request support.

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