Last week, HotBot's free Add URL page disappeared from the web site, making it seem likely that it will be results from FAST that will be appearing on the service in the near future.
Attempts to reach the HotBot Add URL page now bring up an error message. That should change shortly, but the new page will simply say that submitting to HotBot will be "enhanced" in the near future, rather than allowing submissions to actually happen.
"We will be enhancing HotBot submit shortly, and there is supposed to be a splash page with that message on it. The splash page will go up in a few days. HotBot will be relaunched this summer, and its going to be terrific," said Tom Wilde, general manager of search services for Lycos.
So what is "enhanced" likely to mean? Terra Lycos, which owns HotBot, recently rolled out the Lycos InSite program allowing paid inclusion into the results from FAST that are shown on Lycos.com. My guess is that you'll see the same program implemented on HotBot, when that services relaunches.
Of course, this means that HotBot would have to shift over to using results from FAST, as does Lycos. Currently, HotBot presents results from Direct Hit, then the Open Directory and then Inktomi.
For its part, Terra Lycos said it had no comment on whether the results would be changing to FAST at HotBot.
The HotBot Add URL page was the primarily way I would recommend for people to submit to Inktomi for free. Now that it has been closed, what's the next best free option? First, as always, the best way to get included into Inktomi is for it to naturally find your pages and add them. The How Inktomi Works page below explains tips to help improve the odds that this will happen.
After that, free Add URL may help you get included. I haven't heard back from Inktomi yet about what is the best free Add URL page for those targeting the US audience to use. However, my recommendation at the moment would be to use the free Add URL page on HotBot UK.
HotBot Add URL
The submission form is gone, but watch the page for when details of the new submit option are to be made available. Terra Lycos says you'll be able to leave your email address and have information sent to you, when it is ready.
HotBot UK Add URL
Scroll down to the "Submit Site" option, which will allow you to add 20 URLs per day, per domain, to Inktomi. Pages, if added, are said to show up in 30 days.
Hotbot AddUrl Goes 404
Webmaster World, March 12, 2002
Folks at Webmaster World ponder alternatives to submitting to Inktomi.
Submit It: MSN Web Pages
The only US-based Inktomi submission option, spotted from the thread above. However, this only allows submission of 5 pages per day, per URL (versus HotBot's 50 page limit). I'm also not certain that this page is actually still supported by MSN.