Submitting you website to Search engines using pay inclusion

One area of search engine marketing that has changed dramatically over the years is submissions. Submitting to the search engines used to be so simple but has become so complicated. Only being able to submit so many pages a day, having to be careful about oversubmitting; and the list goes on. Submissions used to be the worst part of the search engine optimization process. Today we are made to believe that paid inclusion is the way to go. Well it does solve a few headaches but let me run through this concept with you. 

Although there are several different kinds of paid inclusion (including pay-per-click and "trusted" or "direct" feed programs) this article deals specifically with the simplest form, in which an annual fee is paid for each page included in a search engine index.

It is perhaps easiest to understand by recognizing that in most cases there are two different ways in which search engines that offer paid URL inclusion can find your pages.

"Organic" Spider
Each search engine purports to be the most comprehensive source of information, and so each has an automated program (commonly called a "spider") that goes out and indexes all the pages that it can find on the web. This means that your website will eventually get indexed for free by each of the major engines that offer paid inclusion (provided there is one or more outside links pointing to your site that the spider can follow). "Eventually", of course, is the key term.

Paid Spider
When a search engine offers paid URL inclusion, it uses an additional spider that goes out and indexes only specific pages that have been paid for. In other words, whereas the "free" spider would eventually find your site, follow your links, and index all of your pages, the "paid" spider will only index the URL's for which you have plunked down an annual fee (but it will do so immediately).

The Controversy
As you may suspect, these programs create much confusion. Since the pages that are paid for are indistinguishable from regular pages within search results, the FCC has recently raised some concerns, although the outcome of their involvement remains to be seen. In addition, the fees for paid inclusion are annual. Even after a company has paid to have some pages included, logic would dictate that the "organic" spider would eventually index the pages anyway, making the renewal fees unnecessary. However, it has been reported with some paid inclusion engines that once annual fees are not renewed pages are removed for a period of time. From a business perspective, this only makes sense - engines that offer paid inclusion can't very well offer an "annual" fee only to have everyone discover that they only need to pay it once. From an ethical perspective, however, it's a questionable practice (and it remains unproven that this is the policy of any particular engine).

Benefits of Pay Inclusion

Sidebar: site-build-it is a product that is perfect for everyone who wants to have an internet presence for their tourism service. 

It lets you build the site affordably yourself without having to understand the technology.  If you can surf you can build your own site.

Site-build-it does the submitting for you automatically without breaking the rules. As such I have no longer find the need to go the route of paid inclusion

 Now that we've looked at the benefits of pay inclusion, let's create an example to see how expensive it really is. Let's say we have a brand new Web site, and we have three main pages that we want to submit through pay inclusion.

Pay Inclusion Programs

Inktomi Provides secondary search results to engines such as MSN and HotBot $39 for the first URL, and $25 each for additional URL's up to 1000. So, the total cost for our three pages would be $89 PositionTech Direct Submit
Fast Provides search results to AlltheWeb, Lycos, and HotBot Cost? $34 for the first URL, and $16 each for additional URL's up to 1000. So, the total cost for our three pages would be $66. PositionTech Direct Submit
Teoma and Ask Jeeves Provides results to Teoma, Ask Jeeves, and HotBot Cost? $30 for the first URL, and $18 each for additional URL's up to 1000. So, the total cost for our three pages would be $66
AltaVista Provides results to AltaVista

Downside to Altavista:
AltaVista's pay inclusion is more expensive than the others, and AV doesn't have the coverage that some of the other engines have. Plus, their pay inclusion program is only for six months, as compared to a full year with the other programs.

So, you'll have to decide whether you feel it's worth the cost.

AltaVista is the one engine where you can still use their free add URL without being placed into the same category as the huge group of "free add URL spammers," because AltaVista's free add URL process doesn't allow mass submissions. Instead, their unique "puzzle submission" process requires you to enter a submission code into the submission box, and you can only submit five URLs at no cost. So, if you want to use free add URL for one of the engines, AltaVista's is the one to use.

Cost? $39 for the first URL, and $29 each for 2-10 URL's, then $19 each for 11 to 500 URLs. So, the total cost for our three pages for **six months** would be $97. The cost per year would be $194 Altavista Submit a Site

Yahoo! With the way that Yahoo! now displays results, which are almost a duplication of Google results, the importance of submitting to the Yahoo! directory has diminished. 

If you have good visibility in Google, you should have good visibility in Yahoo!.

But, your site is brand new, and the advantage to Yahoo!'s pay inclusion program is that your site will be reviewed for possible inclusion within 7 working days. So, depending on our finances, we may want to add Yahoo!'s pay inclusion costs, just so we can get fast visibility for our new site.

yearly cost of $299

Google is the only major engine that doesn't have a pay inclusion program. So, the only way to get your pages into the index is to let the spider find the pages on its own through links on other pages or to submit through Google's free add URL.

Personally, I always let the spider find the pages on its own and never submit to Google manually. By going this route, while your site is busy being spidered by the other engines and you're busy building link popularity, by the time that Google "finds" your pages, you should have had time to build some link popularity, which we all know is so important with Google.

Free Google add url

Another disadvantage, perhaps more accurately described as a limitation, is that Google does not offer paid inclusion (and maintains that it never will). Since Google currently provides the primary results for three of the top four engines (Google, Yahoo, and AOL), engines that offer paid inclusion may only account for a fraction of your overall site traffic. There is no way to add your pages to Google's index any faster by paying a fee - which means that you will be waiting for Google to index your new (or newly optimized) pages regardless of which paid inclusion programs you use. Only after Google lists your pages will they appear in Yahoo and AOL results.

Paid Inclusion Considerations

There are many factors to consider when examining paid URL inclusion. The following five are some of the most common:

Are My Pages Already In The Index?
Just because you can't find your pages when you enter search terms does not mean that your pages haven't been indexed. To see if your pages have been indexed, go to the engine and search for each of your exact page URLs. If each page shows up for the URL search but not for a search of any keyphrases related to the page, paid inclusion will not help your rankings (your pages are already in the index and have been ranked according to their perceived value). It would be much more beneficial to invest some time and/or money in optimizing your pages for better rankings (you can still consider paid inclusion afterwards if you don't want to wait for the spider to revisit).

Is It A Good Investment For Me?
Naturally, budgetary constraints can be a primary consideration. If you can't afford paid inclusion, then it obviously isn't an option. However, simply because you can afford it does not mean it is a good investment. For example, a business that sells a very inexpensive product online that is counting on volumes of traffic may not see a good return on their investment (again, 3 of the top 4 engines do not offer paid URL inclusion).

On the other hand, if your business has a high average dollar sale and you put a high value on each quality lead, you might consider immediate paid URL inclusion a no-brainer.

Do My Pages Change Frequently? If your web pages are subject to daily or weekly changes in content, paid inclusion may offer some additional benefits. When your pages are spidered frequently, all new content is indexed by the engine soon after it is added to your pages. This means that your pages will begin to appear in searches for terms related to the new content much more quickly.

Are My Important Pages Dynamically Generated? Some search engine spiders have a problem finding and indexing pages that are dynamically generated (such pages often have a question mark somewhere in the URL). By paying to include the important pages of your dynamically generated website, you can be sure that they are in the engine's index, even if the "organic" spider would never find them on its own.

Do I Need A Guarantee That My Pages Will Remain In The Index? Although it happens infrequently, one or more of your pages found by the "organic" spider may be inadvertently dropped from an engine at some point, usually to reappear within a month or two. This can happen for a variety of technical reasons. However, using paid URL inclusion guarantees that each of your pages will remain in the index for a year (and if your pages are dropped, the support staff at the search engine will work to put them back in as soon as possible).

So now what? My pages have been included but they still dont show up in the search results. Paid inclusion does not alter your position in the search engine results. As such you still end up having to optimize your pages and without optimized pages inlusion paid or otherwise is a compleate waste of time. 

In Conclusion

Rather than worrying about submitting your pages manually to each of the major engines you could  take advantage of the benefits of using pay inclusion. Be prepared to pay for this service though. My advice is to rather use the automatic submission service provided by site-build-it and let this provider worry about getting the site listed at all the major search engines.

More resources about building an internet marketing strategy for tourism services using the internet

If you have any questions about any of this then drop me a mail or give me a ring 036/3523143 and I will see if I can help you. I am not an internet expert or an internet provider rather a tiny guest house owner in the foothills of the Drakensberg. All I can give you is a wealth of information on how to go about promoting your tourism service by building a website yourself affordably. 

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