To illustrate the "blurring effect," consider that Inktomi and LookSmart, both, have a paid inclusion program - which we recommend. MSN (which provides no way for you to directly submit to it), gets results from both, but in a specific order, and uses different criteria to determine relevancy than other engines using the same databases.
A simplified explanation involves the way relevancy to your page is assigned. If one engine finds a page in both databases then (they figure) that page must be more significant and they assign it a little more weight. The next element in the criteria assigns slightly more weight to one of the engines than the other. The higher up you are in that "more significant" engine the more relevant you become in the other.
Anyway, the point is that, by following the suggested order of submission guidelines, you can take full advantage of the idiosyncrasies found within the system and thereby optimize your chances of rising to the top of as many listings as possible.
In any case, follow these order of submission guidelines as such...
- Inktomi is the first engine you should submit to because it feeds some major portals such as AOL, MSN, NBCi, iWon, LookSmart, About, HotBot, GoTo, CNET, ICQ. It also supplies results to over 300 other smaller portals. Inktomi's paid inclusion service - accessed through either PositionTech or Network Solutions
- To get into the Inktomi database, we recommend you use the paid entry program. To do so, you can submit through either...
- ...this is by far the quickest way to get the most visibility possible within (supposedly) 48 Hours.
- The difference between the services is pricing structure. PositionTech bases pricing on the total number of URLs in an account while Network Solutions bases pricing on individual domain names - i.e., more than 2 pages in a single root domain will garner the discounted rate while multiple root domains will not garner the discount.
- Another advantage to using the Inktomi paid inclusion rests in the fact that your site will get reindexed every 48 hours and will "stick" in the directory, unlike free sites that fall in and out. And, because your site is reindexed ever 48 hours, you have the opportunity to adjust your page details to optimize your relevancy scores and quickly see the results of your adjustments.
- Be aware upon submission that, while the Inktomi database is updated in 48 hours, their partners (i.e., MSN, AOL, etc. - the engines they feed data to) may take as long as 4-6 weeks to start using the new Inktomi data. On average, however, we've found the lag time to be around two weeks for full inclusion taking root across all of the Inktomi partner network.
- Regardless, submitting to Inktomi gives you the quickest view of how effective your web site is when it comes to capturing traffic from the search engines. From this point, once your inclusion takes hold across the partner network, you'll be able to evaluate your positioning and make whatever adjustments you think necessary AND see your results in 48 hours.
- Excite/LookSmart Search Engine: Excite - http://www.excite.com
- The best, easiest, and surest way to get listed in both Excite and LookSmart is to use the express submit found at http://www.excite.com/info/add_url.
- By doing so your site will be exposed to the LookSmart Network of partner sites which also include AltaVista, MSN, iWon, CNN, Time Warner, and over 370 ISPs along with, of course, Excite.
- Their review/inclusion time frame is 48 hours which means that they will review your site within 48 hours and, assuming it passes review, they'll include it in their directory.
- Tip: Only submit your main page - then wait a few weeks for them to send you a special offer from LookSmart to add more pages at a "special" rate. This is a great way to save some money in the submission budget. If you submit enough pages, this tip, alone, could save you more than the subscription cost of this publication! <smile>
- Once you have received confirmation back from the two paid submissions mentioned above, we advise you to proceed with AltaVista but don't use the Express Inclusion -- we've been hearing bad reports lately and our own testing has not given us any reason to recommend the extra expense.
- Instead, use the free addurl service instead at http://add-url.altavista.com/cgi-bin/newurl?.
- Note that AltaVista takes longer, 4 to 6 weeks, to include you in their index.
- Yahoo! http://www.yahoo.com
Be sure to use the Business Express submit gateway at Yahoo and follow the directions we've outlined in the Yahoo section of The UnFair Advantage Book.
- Always keep in mind that Yahoo can be a finicky directory to get listed in but it's worth the time and money to get it right (the first time) because a good listing in Yahoo can provide your site with a significant amount of traffic.
- ODP - The Open Directory Project
- ODP is a directory of volunteer editors. Over the years we've learned that it's easier to get into ODP after you've been accepted to Yahoo. The logic is sound when you think about it. After all, if Yahoo liked your site, why wouldn't the editors at ODP like it?
- Fast All the Web (powers Lycos)
- Their free "Submit Your Site" is found at http://www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php
- Due to the fact that Google, (the closest thing left to a pure search engine in the majors category), assigns more relevancy to pages with link and click popularity and taking into account the degree to which this can determine your page ranking, it's important to already have your other submissions in place before submitting to Google.
- Therefore, even though this is a very important and popular search engine, it will pay to exercise patience and focus your attention on the other engines and directories first -- in the order listed above before you spend your energy submitting to Google.
- Northern Light
To submit your site go to: http://www.northernlight.com/docs/register.htm
- Northern Light is, by far the least significant of the "majors" -- a Pekingese in the big dog search engine kennel of St. Bernards. Regardless, it isn't a difficult engine to get listed in and that being the case, it could be worthwhile since it does send some traffic, unlike most all of the minor engines and directories that send virtually no traffic whatsoever.
As noted above, there are "factors" that influence ranking and relevancy scores on these overlapped databases. Much has to do with something called "popularity". To learn about the different popularities that influence relevancy and ranking,