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Web Site SEO Popularity: Paid Inclusion Programs

  Pay for inclusion Checklist
  1. Is your site is already in the index?
  2. Do you change your Web site’s home page often?
  3. Have you already purchased a placement in Yahoo! ? Do this first!
  4. Pay to submit your home page or other pages on Yahoo!.
In order for potential clients to easily find your Web site on the Internet, it is crticial that you make sure your Web site pages are included in search engine databases. In an earlier section, we mentioned that the best way to make certain your site is indexed by search engines is to have links to your site in some of the major Web directories (e.g., Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project). There are, however, additional ways to be included in search engine databases, such as "pay-for-inclusion" options offered by some search engines.

With a "pay-for-inclusion" agreement, you pay a search engine to include pages from your Web site in its database, or index. There is no guarantee that your Web pages will be ranked higher than others by doing this; however, you will be guaranteed that the pages you submit will be included in, and cannot be dropped from, the search engine's index for a specified period of time. (Because search engines are continuously crawling the Web, their databases are constantly updated, which can result in some Web pages being dropped from an index.) To get the best search engine rankings possible, you should ensure that each Web page you submit in a pay-for-inclusion arrangement has been optimized, through the use of keywords and the strategies discussed in our other sections.

The value of the pay-for-inclusion model is four-fold. First, if your site is new, paying for inclusion can get your site into a search engine's Web index in less time than it might take for the search engine to find your site during a regularly-scheduled crawl, which may occur only every few weeks or months. Second, paying for inclusion will make sure that your site is not accidentally dropped if there are connection problems to your Web pages. Third, your Web pages will be re-spidered very quickly by the search engine, so if you make ongoing changes to your pay-for-inclusion Web page, the changes will appear in result sets sooner. Fourth, if you pay for several of your Web pages or sites to be included in a search engine index, you may actually be able to impact the popularity of those pages or sites by having them link to each other.

This market has changed somewhat in the last year, as Yahoo! has combined the efforts of AltaVista, AllTheWeb and Inktomi into Yahoo! Search and Teoma has canceled its pay-for-inclusion program. Thus there is now only one pay-for-inclusion program among the major search engines, Yahoo! Search's pay-for-inclusion services. Google, Teoma/AskJeeves and MSN Search (which is still in beta) do not offer pay-for-inclusion services.

Google and Yahoo! will allow you to submit your URLs for free, however, they do not guarantee your Web pages will be included in their indexes. Nonetheless, it is still a good idea to submit your site to them. Normally, submitting two or three URLs through these free submission programs is all that is needed/recommended to ensure that your site is indexed and is not seen as spamming the service (although Google will not penalize you for submitting more URLs). MSN and Teoma have neither free nor paid URL submission programs, so it is important to have your Web site linked by other Web sites to be included in their search results.

A pay-for-inclusion arrangement is different than "pay-for-placement" programs, which are essentially paid advertising options. With a pay-for-placement agreement, you pay to ensure that your Web site's information will appear in a top position among the results for searches using certain keywords. Conversely, pay-for-inclusion programs get your Web pages into the editorially selected, rather than sponsored, search results.

Pay-for-inclusion programs are normally based on a fixed fee per URL, whereas some pay-for-placement programs charge listing advertisers only when users click from the results page to the advertiser's Web site; this is known as a "pay-per-click" arrangement. The following are the prices and Web addresses for making free URL submissions and obtaining Pay-for-Inclusion Services:

Google
Free Submission
http://www.google.com/addurl.html

Yahoo!
Free Submission
http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request

Paid Submission (Overture Site Match)
http://www.content.overture.com/d/USm/ays/bjump/sm.jhtml
$49/first URL + $0.30 per click
next 2-10 URLs - $29/each additional URL + $0.30 per click
next 11-500 URLs $10/each additional URL + $0.30 per click

MSN
Free Submission
None at this time

Paid Submission
None at this time

Teoma/Ask Jeeves
Free Submission
None at this time

Paid Submission
None at this time

If you need to prioritize the items in your marketing budget, we would encourage you to first purchase a placement in the Yahoo! Web directory, as that will enable your site to be indexed by the search engines for free, and increase your site's popularity and then buy Google and Overture keywords. Unless you have a Web page that is updated frequently (at least 3 times a week), we do not recommend purchasing Yahoo!'s Overture's Site Match.

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Last Modified: 26 August, 2003
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