Over time, Yahoo! has gobbled up a number of other search properties, so you may still
see their names, but those properties — including Inktomi, AlltheWeb, AltaVista, and
FastSearch — actually all come back to Yahoo!. When you’re weighing factors for the search engines
to select, keep in mind that all of these actually are just one.
When to Use Pay-for-Inclusion Services
Pay for inclusion, pay per click, and all other types of fee-based services are widely debated in SEO
circles. But of those, pay-for-inclusion services are probably the most controversial. Pay for inclusion
is considered by some to be just this side of unethical, and it’s only just this side because it’s such a
widely practiced strategy. However, there is a time for paid-inclusion services.
The thing to remember with paid inclusion is that unless you’re using it properly, you’re just wasting
money. Because paid-inclusion services don’t guarantee your rank in search results, it’s not a strategy
that you’ll want to use for all your search engine optimization. In truth, using paid inclusion for even
most of your pages will result mostly in a loss of budget that would be better spent on more effective
(or at least better guaranteed) SEO efforts.
The exception to this is when you’re using paid inclusion as a method of testing the placement of
a web page based on your SEO efforts. For example, if you have a page on your web site for which
you would like to improve the traffic, and you need to do it quickly, you could register for a paid-
inclusion service. This would get your site listed very quickly in search results. And you can use
this capability to view the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Then, if you find that your SEO efforts
aren’t effective, you can tweak the page you’re paying to include until it reaches the level of search
result rankings that you need. Once you’re at that level, you’ll know how to optimize other pages
on your site for the same results.
Paid-inclusion services are generally inexpensive in relative terms. That makes them ideal services
to help you develop a winning SEO strategy through testing. But to use paid inclusion for multiple
pages on your site, you’ll probably have to spend a lot of money that would be better spent on more
effective strategies (such as pay-per-click advertising).
Understanding the Business Model
Another reason many paid services have a bad name in SEO is the number of scams that exist to
take advantage of webmasters who use the services. It’s not at all unusual to see an advertisement
that claims your site will be added to “thousands” of search engines for one “low” fee (that’s usually
well over $300).
The problem with such a claim is that, first, there aren’t thousands of search engines to which a site
can be added. A few dozen would likely be the limit for most organizations, and that’s if you include
all the highly specialized search engines that a site could be added to.
What happens, then, is that the organization signs a contract with you, you pay their fee, and then
you may or may not ever be submitted to any sites, much less to the sites that are appropriate for
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