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End of the Free Ride; Many Top Search Engines & Directories Switching to Pay Model

By Merle
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Search engines are in a constant state of change. Just when you think you've got the rules down, someone comes along and changes them. If you've been paying attention lately, you'll notice that many of the top search engines and directories are now charging for website submissions. What was once totally free now could cost you $199.00. The submission price is not for a top position, it's simply for a listing in the index itself. Believe it or not, some of them will take your money, guaranteeing only that your site will be reviewed -- not listed.

Some of the search engines and directories that were once independent have been bought out by other companies or borrow their search results from them to display on their own site. Keeping up with who owns what and who's charging for admission could drive you crazy. Come along with me for the latest updates in the insane world of search engines as I review the major players in the game today.

1) EXCITE: (http://www.excite.com/info/add_url)

Now partnered with LookSmart by submitting you'll also get listed with LookSmart's Network of partner sites such as Alta Vista, MSN, WebCrawler and Magellan.

Offers three levels of submission services. Express submit gives you a guaranteed review within two business days for $199.00.

Basic Submission is $99.00 but takes longer, with sites being reviewed in approximately eight weeks. Excite still offers a free service with no guarantee of a listing: Go to (http://www.excite.com/info/add_url_form)

2) ALTAVISTA: (http://doc.altavista.com/addurl/)

As one of LookSmart's partner sites, here you'll be presented with the same submission prices as at Excite. Prices are $199.00 or $99.00. They do allow you to submit your site for free with no guarantee of a listing. Go to (http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=addurl#form)

3) HOTBOT: (http://hotbot.lycos.com/addurl.asp)

The link above will submit your site to the Inktomi web page database which is HotBot's partner. Another way of getting listed here is to submit your site to "The Open Directory Project" which is our next stop. Submission is still free at this time.

4) THE OPEN DIRECTORY PROJECT: (http://dmoz.org/add.html)

A good reason to get listed here is the size and number of other search engines and directories that feed off its contents, such as AOL and Hotbot. Remember it's a directory and all submissions are reviewed by a human. When submitting, you need to find the appropriate category for your site and then click the "add URL" at the top of that page. Submission is free.

5) NORTHERN LIGHT: (http://www.northernlight.com/docs/regurl_help.html)

Still the same after all these years. They won't ask for your money, but they also won't make it easy for you to find the submission page either. Why they want to make it so difficult is beyond me; as a search engine you'd think they would want you to submit your website. Free if you can find it....I've made it easy for you.

6) LYCOS: (http://home.lycos.com/addasite.html)

Free to submit to but it can take up to 2 or 3 weeks for your URL to show up in their index. What do you expect for nothing?

7) YAHOO: (http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/)

The king of directories no longer allows free submissions of commercial websites. Business Express listing is $199.00 with adult sites being charged a whopping $600.00 for the same privilege. Sites are reviewed within seven days with no guarantee of a listing even after they've reviewed your site. So be prepared to lose your money if they don't feel your site is worthy enough to be listed in their superior directory.

8) INFOSPACE: (http://www.infospace.com/info/submit.htm)

Free to submit to but you'll need to fill out a pretty lengthy form to get listed. Infospace also borrows results from The Open Directory Project and Inktomi's database.

9) GOOGLE: (http://www.google.com/addurl.html)

Free to submit to with no guarantee of a listing. This is an important one as Yahoo pulls results from Google's directory as well as their own.

10) ASK JEEVES: mailto:url@askjeeves.com

This directory allows people to search by asking questions. Since it's backed by humans, you need to submit your site by email along with its URL and short description. Some suggest you also include a question that someone may type in when looking for a site like yours. No guarantee of a listing but definitely worth a shot due to Ask Jeeves' popularity.

So there you have it; the top ten search engines and directories and their latest guidelines for submitting. By concentrating on getting your site listed with these major players you'll know your site is every- where it needs to be for optimum search engine traffic. Now getting it listed at the top is a whole different story, and the subject for another article.

About the Author
Merle (http://www.EzineAdAuction.com) "Where some of the BEST Deals in Ezine Advertising are Made" Buy & Sell Ezine Ads in a live auction setting! Pubishers sell off your excess inventory and Buyers pick up some Fantastic bargains. Go now.