How important is a fresh index to a search engine? I'd say it's pretty important. Ask Jeeves seems to freshen what's already in their index, but is likely the slowest of all the search engines to index new sites. This post is about balancing Paid Inclusion with a Fresh Index.
AltaVista and Inktomi do a fairly good job of coverage, and I pay for inclusion with them to get a handle of what's going on.
The issue here is, how effective can Ask Jeeves be if their snapshot of the web has gaping holes in it?
Is their implementation of paid inclusion hurting them?
I agree wholeheartedly. Teoma returns some surprisingly good results on some topics. But, this is tempered by the failure to regularly update the index.
Over the past 6 months I have been forced to use a compbination of AV, ATW and Ask/Teoma to fill in the gaps left by Google. While it depends on the search, AV has generally been one of the best of the three.