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Ink PFI Worked Well for Every Page Submitted
...Except the Homepage...

 4:52 pm on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

New, fourth month old site. PFI worked well for every page submitted (recently), except my homepage, which is nowhere to be found. Most of the subpages I paid for are in top three spots for their important search terms, so it's not like I don't get the basic idea.

Any thoughts on what I might be doing - or not doing - that makes my homepage not acceptable? Perhaps some current wisdom on what Ink may do differently when evaluating homepages versus subpages?

FYI, the homepage is pretty standard: Links to the important subpages, average kw density, kw's in links to subs, etc.




 10:41 am on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Join the club caveman ;) I'm so sorry to hear that.

All my pages do fine in Ink except for my homepage too. Homepage is MIA and has been since the moment I PFI'd (well, actually it came back for a few months and then disappeared again). I'm inclined to think it's not a PFI problem, but rather a problem with Ink and the way that they are displaying homepages. Perhaps Ink gets confused under certain cicumstances (not sure what those are). So strange. Keep us updated if you can find a resolution.


 10:51 am on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

when I was playing the PFI game last year I could never get the index page to rank either and never found an answer I switched pages to another and got that ranking withing a few days



 2:43 pm on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

So it seems there is precedent for all submitted pages doing well, except the homepage.

Possibilities that I can think of:

--Homepage is assessed differently by the algo?

--Dup content filter, especially when homepage is a quasi site map, as mine is?

--Bug? But I hate this, since often "bug" really means "I can't figure it out, so it must just be a bug." (Usually there is a reason, even if it's a dumb one.)

I see other homepages doing well with higher and lower kw density. Sharper and less sharp Titles. Etc. It's driving me crazy.

Tigger, when you say "switched pages" can I conclude that you are implying something like submitting a site map or some similar approach? That might be worth a try.


 8:10 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

My theory is that homepages (that are PFI) are definately treated differently. Every other theory I've had (or heard from others) has been proved wrong.
Furthermore...I've never seen evidence of a non-PFI homepage getting phantomed out (while the rest of the site remains)... only PFI home pages. That's just an observation... not proof. But it can be backed up with several examples.
Now... I just don't know "how" or "why" they are treated differently, or what causes them to get phantomed out.
Still working on it.


 8:33 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does your missing PFI homepage have many inbound links?

Mine doesn't yet, since the site is relatively new. That's the only thing I can think of ... so far.


 8:38 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mine has thousands of inbound links from pages all across the internet (relevant content sites, of course). It was in Ink and doing fine, then was phantomed out immediately after signing up for PFI. Then came back, then was phantomed out again. Now, it's been gone for quite a while.


 8:44 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

For those with the index page problem - how many words were on the index page - relative to the interior pages?


 9:27 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

150 on front page
internal pages that are not phantomed - vary from 100 - 3,000


 9:29 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Keyword density is pretty high, BUT I have an internal page with the exact same keyword density that is also PFI that has not been phantomed.


 10:10 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

My index page is MIA, but 4 of my 301 pages (non-PFI) were relisted again and are ranking well, all showing text from my index page, so it's not a keyword or word count problem.


 10:14 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Number of words on the homepage similar to kanetrain, and similar on the subs too, except never much above 1000 on the high word counts for the subpages.


 2:44 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

INK strongly prefers pages with 250+ words.


 3:58 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)


Appreciate the insight - didn't know that. Still, we have some subpages doing well that were also PFI, and less than 200 words. Do you believe there's a different rule for the homepage?


 2:06 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's a "rule", rather a general guideline.

I realize that many pages do, in fact, do quite well with less text, but overall, INK heavily favors text. It's equivalent to saying that pages with many backlinks do well in Google. Not always the case, but quite often.

Actually, we have done EXTENSIVE research on this and it is definitely the case. Also, I recall an INK rep saying that webmasters need to provide mucho text to expect good results. Oddly enough, I have noticed a bias towards index pages in INK :)

As far as the homepage issue, that was my thought (not enough words). You also have to keep in mind that INK is quite "buggy" and not very reliable in general.

I generally don't post actual research on the forums, but no one reads this one anyway :)


 2:56 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Again, much appreciated. Understand your points...plus it's generally good policy anyway to view the 'rules' more as guidelines. Will let you know if this does the trick.


 7:49 pm on Feb 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has anyone seen homepages return to the index? My PFI home page is still "phantomed"... I like that word by the way, it sounds like we are in a comic book or something.
For those of you with phantomed home pages, what methods are you using to try and them un-phantomed?
I've seen posts at other message boards with users reporting the same problems (phantomed home pages with Inktomi PFI while the rest of the site is fine). With the Yahoo roll-out impending, I'm anxious to find resolution.


 9:21 pm on Feb 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

My home page is still phantomed in Ink. My SubmitIt provider now says that the fact that the URL is indexed twice (once under .net and once under .ca) is causing a problem. Of course, my .net resolves to .ca anyway, which is definitely allowed by the guidelines.

I have no idea how the .net URL got into the index.

I also notice that none of my pages (except ones submitted recently) have been indexed since last October, although they all used to be spidered and indexed regularly.

On certain searches, I can get the .net page to show up at the top and the .ca to show at the bottom, even though the .ca is the hosted web site and the PFI URL.
But most of the time they are buried since all my other pages outrank the home page.

I've taken back my submission and am now working with two others of my most important pages. One of them was already #6 for my preferred search term, so this may be promising.


 10:34 pm on Feb 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, it's been a while so thought I'd bump this up. I added some additional text to the homepage, but so far nothing.

It could be that it just didn't work.

But I also realize that I don't know how often INK updates their SERP's in such a way that a previously lost page might come back (akin to a G update event). I see small fluctuations in the INK SERP's, but nothing major so I'm not sure if enough time has passed yet.

Any thoughts on how much time passes between significant updates (if they even have significant update more than annually!) and/or how long a change might impact a page's ranking?

Any other thoughts on how to bring back a homepage? FYI, I noted this before, but all of my subpages are doing just fine.


 1:11 pm on Feb 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Ink PFI Worked Well for Every Page Submitted
...Except the Homepage..."
maybe you have a penalty just on the homepage? Does it show dead last on the results? I would assume that they penalize the entire domain but who knows, maybe you had a dupe of the homepage somehwere.

Not an authority, just suggesting. My site site is penalized and after PFI it is dead last on the results. Still shows on a few Google /Yahoo results but the average user wouldn't find it.


 6:43 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

A penalty on the homepage seems possible, if not likely. If so, it happened right after they first crawled the page. After I paid for pages in PFI, all but the homepage soon started showing.

I'm trying to sort it out now, i.e., trying to get some feedback. Will post if I learn anything.

Anyone else with light to shed, feel free to jump in! :-{


 6:56 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have you by any chance redirected another page to your homepage? When Ink redirects a page it keeps the original URL in their database with the data from the new redirected page, effectively creating duplicates. I'm convinced that's the deal with my index. Perhaps it's the same for you.


 8:08 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I believe this is the case. Recently, my redirected page (steelrail.net) ranked at the top for the search "steel rail" "official site", while the actual home page (steelrail.ca) was at the bottom. And of course, neither actually shows up in the search for "steel rail".

My search submission partner, bCentral, has grudgingly admitted that this is a problem, despite the fact that Ink's own guidelines say that gtld's redirected to the main web site are acceptable and indeed common practice.

Of course, even if I could get steelrail.net removed from the index and then took it offline, there is no guarantee that steelrail.ca would come out of the doghouse. And of course Inktomi and their search submit partners refuse to deal with this problem, although at least bCentral did acknowledge the problem (after many frustrating exchanges). By the way, PositionTech did not even do that much.

It's all very frustrating. At this point I am ready to support any campaign to urge the public to boycott Inktomi-based search engines (e.g. msn.com), and to switch to Google when Yahoo goes to Inktomi (does anyone know when this is happening?). I belive this will happen anyway, because Inktomi has so many problems that Yahoo will be unable to hold onto their share for very long after cutover.


 10:23 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"even if I could get steelrail.net removed from the index and then took it offline, there is no guarantee that steelrail.ca would come out of the doghouse"

I doubt it too. I recently removed my .net offline, linked to the (now gone) .net to let Slurp know that it's off and all it does is only get the robots.txt from my .com. Nothing else. A few 6+ month old pages with the .net are still indexed.

For the past few months it had a 301 redirect, it didn't help and the penalty doesn't seem to be lifted automatically. Extremely flawed and unfair system. Let's hope they get their act together.


 10:35 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes there was a redirect involved though not precisely like what you describe. It's embarrassing to admit but without getting into the story, we changed the filename from .html to .htm. Still, those are entirely different things, and so we did a 301.

I've read in numerous places that INK has trouble with 301's. It never dawned on me that doing things properly would result in a problem with any SE...let alone a big one link INK...but the evidence is starting to build.

Will keep all informed as I learn. Man, INK has a way to go on the basics, huh?


 10:44 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding your htm to html, over the 6 years of my site, it's gone from htm to html to shtml. The old URLs that Ink has are htm. So you're not alone ;-)


 10:45 pm on Feb 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Man, INK has a way to go on the basics, huh? "
I guess that's why they never went that far.

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