[note: this was split off from this related discussion [webmasterworld.com]]
I just had a site listed in Fast this morning, so I have a bunch of notes that might be of use and I thought I'd write them up...
Actually there were two sites, which I'll call site-A and site-B, covering different aspects of services provided by the same parent company.
Site-A and site-B are interlinked, but, because site-B competes with clients of site-A, there are only 2 inconspicuous links between the sites. Site-B isn't fully polished yet for directory submission, so it hasn't been submitted anywhere, but it was OK to be spidered.
I submitted site-A to Fast on 2/23/01, the same day I submitted it to ODP. I noted that it appeared in ODP as of 3/8/01 (didn't check every day). Both the ODP listing and spidered results for site-A appeared in Fast this morning, 3/23/01. Site-B had also been spidered and was indexed in Fast. Both were doing quite well for targeted terms, mostly in top-10 (not very competitive, I must confess). As of late this morning, they weren't in Lycos.
Tonight, about 9 hours later, I notice that both sites are in Lycos, and that Lycos also shows the ODP listing for site-A. Across the board, to confirm what Marcia is saying, rankings in Lycos are higher than in Fast.
Initially, I guessed that this was because Lycos probably uses only part of the Fast database. Then I had second thoughts, thinking that if Lycos had only part of the database, they'd take the top ranked sites... until, as I thought further, it struck me that until specific searches were run, there's no way of defining what a top ranked site is.
Both sites were optimized to deliver results peculiar to the San Francisco area, as in <keyword1 keyword2 San Francisco>. Just for the hell of it, I ran some of the searches without the San Francisco modifier.
For Site-A (which is listed in ODP):
A phrase that's #21 in Fast is #2 in Lycos. Another, that's #9 in Fast is #1 in Lycos. Another that's #11 in Fast is #4 in Lycos.
For Site-B (not yet listed in ODP):
A phrase that's #5 in Fast is #2 in Lycos. A phrase that I couldn't even find in Fast is #2 in Lycos.
Lycos is also still displaying results for an earlier version of site-B, which doesn't rank on anything except the company name.
One difference I noticed between the two engines in what's highlighted... Lycos sees the possessive form of a keyword (keyword's) as the keyword, whereas Fast does not. This accounts for perhaps one of the disparities in the above rankings, but not the rest.