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Inktomi Launches New Paid Inclusion Program, Search Improvements

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Inktomi has rolled out a new paid inclusion program aimed at large content providers. In addition, the company has also unveiled new changes to how the service indexes and ranks web pages.

"Index Connect" is a program that offers cost per click pricing to those wishing to list 1,000 pages or more with Inktomi. In contrast, Inktomi's existing "Search/Submit" program, introduced in November, charges a per page fee. The new program is designed to be more economical for big publishers with lots of content.

"It's aimed at much larger sites than what we were doing with Search/Submit," said Troy Toman, Inktomi's general manager of search. "For them, per page pricing isn't good."

Among the initial partners are companies and sites such as eBay, Epinions, IDG and RollingStone.com. They can now ensure that selected content from their web sites is included in the Inktomi index and refreshed according to schedules that they determine. Without Index Connect, they would instead depend on Inktomi doing a generally random selection of documents from their sites and typically checking for changes only once per month.

Inktomi is also extending the program for free to charitable, educational and other not-for-profit organizations, allowing them greater control over their content. Examples of these included in the initial launch of Index Connect were KQED public broadcasting in San Francisco and the Hunger Project. Inktomi says that not-for-profits interested in participating in Index Connect should use the standard request form and indicated that they are non-profit. Arrangements will then be made for indexing.

In addition to the new paid inclusion program, Inktomi also has rolled out changes to its search engine that it hopes will improve the relevancy of its results.

Chief among these is human modeling. Inktomi has been using an internal editorial staff to run massive numbers of searches and then select documents that they consider relevant. The company has then been tweaking its various relevancy controls to try and automatically match the human selections. In this way, the company hopes to model the human qualities of what's relevant into its ranking software.

"We didn't make huge changes in the algorithm," said Paul Karr, Inktomi's director of web search. "Essentially, what we are able to do is take the modeling technology and apply it to the database. We can fine tune it, experiment, and try to look at what's best."

In addition to the human modeling, Inktomi says it has improved its use of link analysis and is now also doing automatic proximity searching. For example, if you were to search for "george bush," it would favor pages with those words appearing on them in that order.

Inktomi has also introduced index blending into its search results, which means that you may get information from the LookSmart directory, the paid inclusion index or the non-paid content that comes from crawling the web blended seamlessly in the same set of results. This also means that Inktomi could include news content, shopping content or other specialty search results into the results set.

A longer, more detailed version of this article is
available to Search Engine Watch members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member

Inktomi
http://www.inktomi.com/

Inktomi Index Connect
http://www.inktomi.com/products/search/connect.html

More details about the pay-per-click inclusion program.

Inktomi Search/Submit Partners
http://www.inktomi.com/products/search/pagesubmission.html

More details about Inktomi's self-serve paid inclusion program.

Pay For Placement?
http://searchenginewatch.com/resources/paid-listings.html

Past articles from Search Engine Watch about Inktomi's paid inclusion programs and other paid inclusion programs can be found here.

Inktomi Gets Relevant
PC World, March 14, 2001
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,44566,00.asp

Another look at Inktomi's relevancy and indexing changes.


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