Last newsletter, I wrote that HotBot UK had switched from using Inktomi results to FAST results. Another change also happened with that -- the last dependable free add URL page feeding Inktomi also disappeared. I asked Inktomi for alternatives and was told that none exist.
"We don't have a free submission, although we do of course include sites for free that are discovered as part of our crawling process and as our index continues to grow, we are discovering more and more URLs this way," said Ken Norton, director of product marketing for Inktomi's web search division.
The cynical will say this is a nice way for Inktomi to force people to use their paid inclusion program, and that's certainly what Inktomi recommends, for those worried about being included.
"To absolutely ensure inclusion in a timely fashion, people should use our paid inclusion programs," said Norton.
Of course, the reality is that many pages will also get picked up for free, through Inktomi's natural crawling. It's also true that free add URL pages generally have offered little value to the crawlers, since they get overwhelmed by a few people who submit a large number of junk URLs.
Nevertheless, there's something reassuring for people to be able to put their URL into a form. It's a bit sad to see Inktomi no longer provide any support, and it's certainly a bad PR move, but it is probably more honest than setting up a form that will get ignored.
Submit It: Inktomi Free Add URL
This page for submitting to Inktomi is still alive, but it probably does nothing. MSN nor Microsoft-owned bCentral have not linked to it for ages. Inktomi also says it was unaware of the page and isn't sure what's happening to the URL going into it. I well imagine it will probably disappear in the near future, not that it was doing anything, anyway.
Inktomi Search Submit
This program is designed for those with small web sites, typically where they have only a few pages they'd like to submit. Pricing is on a flat-fee, annual basis.
Inktomi Index Connect
This program is designed for those with thousands of pages they'd like listed and offers CPC pricing. Major partners are listed here.
Use the tips here to ensure more of your web site gets picked up "naturally."