Ask Jeeves has gone live with a beta program that allows paid inclusion into the Teoma index.
The new program allows submission of up to 1,000 URLs, which are guaranteed to be included in the index for up to one year. However, those currently signing up are given an extra three months as a bonus, giving them 15 months of inclusion, in all.
Pages are added within 7 days to Teoma and then updated every 7 days during the subscription period. Teoma results are currently offered via the Teoma web site and integrated into results at Ask Jeeves.
The first URL costs $30, and each URL after that is $18. This makes the Teoma program the cheapest of those currently offered. AltaVista, which just had a price increase, is the most expensive, while Inktomi comes in the middle. A full comparison of pricing can be found via the Crawler Submission Chart page listed below.
The program does not guarantee rankings, only inclusion in the Teoma index. Paid inclusion URLs are ranked in the same way as ordinary URLs. The program is being handled for Ask Jeeves by search engine submission firm ineedhits.com
Should you bother with the program? If you already make use of AltaVista's, then probably. That's because Ask Jeeves has more reach than AltaVista, so if you find paying for inclusion at AltaVista worthwhile, doing so with Ask Jeeves will probably also do well for you.
Certainly the Teoma program is something you might consider if you aren't finding key pages listed at Teoma. However, the Teoma database is also scheduled to expand naturally over the coming months. Given this, you might consider waiting to see if more of your pages are picked up naturally.
And how do you get picked up naturally? As with Google, think links. Teoma is likely to pick up your pages for free, if you have good links pointing at them. The More About Link Analysis page below will guide you through the process of building good links.
How about a free Add URL page? Teoma still doesn't yet offer one.
"Since we are scaling the Teoma database dramatically in the next couple of months, we do not feel that a free submit service is necessary at this time. After we have grown the database to our target level we may reconsider this service," said Ask Jeeves spokesperson Alexa McCann.
McCann also added, "We expect our index to consist of approximately 10 percent paid inclusion URLs and 90 percent organically generated URLs. This means that we plan to expand our index by crawling more of the web rather than relying on site submissions for growth.
It certainly would be a good PR move to get a free Add URL page out there, because that can be reassuring to those with new web sites to feel they've at least done something to submit and without having to pay for it. However, the reality is that the Add URL pages of major crawlers such as Google and FAST make little real difference to whether a page gets picked up.
Instead, these days its left to the crawlers to seek out and find the best pages to include, without help. And how do they find those pages? By looking for links -- making link building to your web site important not just for ranking purposes but also to get included at all.
Also, a bulk submit program for sites with more than 1000 URLs will be introduced in the future, but there's no immediate timing on this.
Ask Jeeves/Teoma Site Submit
You can sign-up for the program and get more information here.
Site Submit Terms of Service
The terms outline things that aren't allowed in submitted pages. Unlike AltaVista and Inktomi, cloaked pages appear barred, as the terms rule out "web pages that show different content than the spidered pages."
Site Submit FAQ
Doorway pages are OK. The FAQ suggests that only one doorway page per "destination" web site, is allowed. However, Ask Jeeves clarified this to say that you can have one doorway page for each "real" page on your web site.
Teoma will accept URLs starting tomorrow
Webmaster World, Feb. 14, 2002
Comments about the program by those frequenting the Webmaster World forum. Lots of "watch and see" posts, along with "rip-off" posts and some expressing disappointment.
How Ask Jeeves Works
Explains how Teoma results are integrated into Ask Jeeves results. The "Teoma Results" section has links to recent articles about how the Teoma service gathers listings and ranks them.
Crawler Submission Chart
Compare and contrast the various paid inclusion programs that are offered here.
More About Link Analysis
Explains how search engines make use of links from across the web to find pages and rank them in relation to searches. Includes many tips on how to locate "important" sites and request links that can help you with search engine positioning efforts.