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Fast paid inclusion
Seems this is pretty interesting

 2:13 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just stumbled upon this press release [fastsearch.com]

Note especially:

"Guaranteed site re-indexing — FAST PartnerSite™ customers’ sites are re-indexed daily to ensure the most up-to-date web search results"


"Search results information – Site owners will receive important information on how well they achieved their visibility objectives so they can fine-tune their Web site to be more attractive to their target user base."

Looks like we're out of a job...

"Further, Webmasters and marketing professionals will know when their site’s been located, which is another key benefit to PartnerSite™,” added Fisher. “We’ll provide reporting and keyword tracking tools.” "

Still, at least wpg won't be clogging up their servers.



 3:51 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Now all they need is more traffic for American webmasters.


 3:54 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

“Further, Webmasters and marketing professionals will know when their site’s been located, which is another key benefit to PartnerSite™,”

I was wondering if they are going to take our sites off, bump us down the list or even ban the sites/url. One more idea, how are they going to let us know when we have been located. These are all good ideas, but I would like to see how it all pans out.


 4:09 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

"As the Internet continues to grow, it is becoming more and more difficult for small and medium sized enterprises to be visible to their target users online."
Enhanced visibility, that´s what Fast promises here, but do they deliver? Daily reindexing is fine, but the key benefit really would be a better ranking. And I certainly hope Fast will NOT offer this.


 4:56 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Based on the press release it sounds like it will be a very good program. If nothing else at least I can get my dropped domains back in!


 7:34 pm on Jun 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Interesting that 45 days ago, we heard from Fast themselves that they had no plans to introduce paid submission.



 4:36 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

An interesting story. Any details on how much they are going to charge?


 4:54 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Some other opinions... [webmasterworld.com]


 6:08 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. Since Fast reindexes my site already on practically a daily basis, I don't see what paying them money is going to get me. ;)


 8:37 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...it's a nice idea, but nothing ever works out the way you planned - Murphy's Law. It just shows me that the current excellent service, where Xoc is right, I do see daily reindexing, will stop, and the only people available to that service are the ones paying the money. However, I know they have to pay their wages somehow, and Fast doesn't have advertising, it is a clean search engine, just like Infoseek used to be. Where do they make their money? I like Alltheweb.com, it's my favorite SE next to Google, and it's European, which kind of makes me proud, (nothing against Americans though), so all I have to say is, DON'T DO IT, FAST!!!!


 10:56 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Danny Sullivan gives an excellent analysis of the dilemma facing search engines in their quest for sustainable revenue. The article, "Can Portals Resist the Dark Side?", is at [searchenginewatch.com...] Most of you have probably read it. Fast's marketing department probably hasn't.

This piece succinctly encapsulates the debate that has raged since the VC entered Search with dollar signs in their eyes and left remaining staff and us to pick up the pieces. Sullivan neatly highlights the dilemma paid placement poses engine and portal owners: short-term liquidity or their audience. He injects reason into what is most often a vitriolic, absolutist standoff, i.e. only engines and directories not using a pay-to-play model can be of use to searchers. Danny's well-reasoned point is that a modicum of both appears to serve the engines, directories, searchers, and the searched equally well.

Albeit of the standard we've come to take for granted from Sullivan, this piece does not adequately explain Inktomi's Mir-like fall to earth. Inktomi does not push payees up the ladder and those not coughing up still stand a good chance of ranking well on engines it serves. Yet, Inktomi is imploding like every other short-sighted, dollar-driven engine this side of the fire wall.

Fast could be following AltaVista (not in the way many skeptics might think). AV's European (non-US) sites are clean, lean, local-market driven and language specific. If, with their push into the corporate solutions market, AV holds off on cluttering global sites with various types of promised advertising, i.e. banners, pop-ups and the like, keyword targeting, intercepts, and multimedia searches (leaving the muck to the US market), we could see it picking up in the medium term.

Fast is probably using a similar strategy. As JonB points out in another thread, "...they automatically serve you with the page depending where you come from? thats cool!" and with Google opening .ca, the concept of regional search with "concept" rather than "technology" transfers derived from corporate experience appears to be the trend at the moment. It's a good one. Search has been carved up before - rotating serps are nothing new. Carving up the Web offers greater flexibility. The problem is to what extent and to where they intend targeting the generic cash-generating rubbish - if it is indeed rubbish.

(A consistently under-weighted factor in discussing the future of Search is the phenomenal growth on the non-North American Web-using public. It has to be borne in mind when examining the often apparently bizarre moves made by the engines.)

Either way, even if they're doing the middle-of-the-road Google / Inktomi thing a la AV, Fast is walking a highwire without a safety net. Is the European / Australasian market large enough and insular enough to sustain it, and do they have a sufficiently unquestioning user base (like Google), a loyal following (like AV), or are they running on empty (Inktomi)? My feeling - if they're going for a variant of pay-for-position - is that they're investing offshore a tad too soon.

In search, as in most things, we can be sure of only one thing. Change is the enduring constant and Fast are not fighting shy of it. It's just a pity that this development comes on the heels of what appears to be duplicitous doublespeak on the part of a Fast spokesman eulogized for his openness and spontaneous participation in these forums.


 11:19 am on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, aren´t we a bit FAST on this? (Or am I beeing naive?)
This press release does not say anything about pay for play really.
Basically it comes as an offer for site search, combined with guaranteed indexing on a daily basis.
Nothing is said about other sites not getting spidered, and, what´s most important, nothing is said about improved ranking as part of the deal.
We should not forget, that Fast´s business, apart from serving their own showcase, alltheweb, is to sell their search to Lycos and others. Would those partners like to pay for diluted SERPs? Wouldn´t they switch to Google pretty fast?


 1:56 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>>Hmmm. Since Fast reindexes my site already on practically a daily basis, I don't see what paying them money is going to get me.

Totally agree. I've been getting new sites indexed within 4-5 days after submission. They spider the site about 1-2 days after submission. Follow all the links off the root index page and then list the site 2 or 3 days later.


 2:08 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>This press release does not say anything about pay for play really.

True. Looks more like some kind of new category system(or something) they will be adding to their partners sites. Like a special e-commerce section that get's updated daily. Similar to Yahoo's shopping section.


 3:18 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Its definately seems to be pay-for-inclusion.

"Guaranteed inclusion in the FAST Web Search index — Member sites are fully integrated with the FAST Web Search index"

The difference between this introduction and the Inktomi situation is that when Inktomi introduced PfP, their crawling was pretty abysmal anyway so people were willing to pay for better indexing. FAST has excellent spidering (although I don't think many sites get indexed on a daily basis at the moment,) so perhaps the need for this program isn't as obvious as the Inktomi move.

But... Many people reported pages being dropped out of the Ink index when they introduced PfP. Of course FAST can't afford to be as arrogant as INK as it doesn't have the traffic pull that INK had that made it an essential inclusion. But, if the indexing does drop off...

Note how they describing most search engine indexing as typical search engines take as long as 45 days to update their listings [fastsearch.com]


 9:15 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

In Fast´s products section [fastsearch.com] this is stated:
"FAST PartnerSite works for you by indexing more than 600 million, full-text web pages, and updating its listings every two weeks"


 9:33 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Inktomi's crawling and database integrity did not fall until near the time pf their launch of the PfP scam. This was not by chance -- it was the way they artificially built the need to pay the PT ransom.

Expect Fast to do the same thing. They have to, otherwise what they are offering has no value.


 11:10 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Littleman is correct. No accident here... they will make PFP the only reliable way of getting in there. This much is surely obvious.

Some excellent points above as well. PFP is far far too early for FAST... a big error of judgement. Before pulling a stunt like that they would have been far better off establishing themselves as a really MAJOR force in the SE world.

I fear another AV coming on... grab cash now, forget next week. Same consequence... goodbye FAST in the longer term.

Depressing really... let's just watch out for the next, emerging AV/FAST..... it will surely come as these sell out on what searchers are actually looking for: honest results based upon relevency only.


 11:22 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

It would be better if Fast was to establish itself in the US as a major engine before they decide to PfP. It is my understanding that Fast is big in Europe and not as often used in the US. Does anyone have a site that is in the US that gets a good deal of traffic want to share how many visitors Fast brings to them as an example?


 11:40 pm on Jun 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

I only wish you all wouldn´t sound so convincing.
And there are no dementis from Fast....


 12:59 pm on Jun 10, 2001 (gmt 0)


 9:19 am on Jun 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Miles, to be quite honest, and no offence to you or anyone else, but our clients, and us, don't care about the US. We look internationally, and that means fast is important. Collectively, from fast's search engines, WOL, Lycos, etc, we get more referrals than from any other search engine. Also, when fast indexs our site, it updates Lycos etc the same day. Something ODP doesn't do.


 9:33 am on Jun 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Right Backus,
in Germany Fast results are used by Lycos and Web.de, both in the top 5 of german portals.
With a staggering AV, unclear future of Infoseek, Fast db may very well become the most important db to be included.
But then: What about the rumours Terralycos might team up with AV?


 9:39 am on Jun 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

terralycos is massive, team up with AV? Nah! Buy AV? Yes!


 3:44 pm on Jun 11, 2001 (gmt 0)


I agree with you, Fast is one of the most important for international business and the Europian market.

“As the Internet continues to grow, it is becoming more and more difficult for small and medium sized enterprises to be visible to their target users online.” This statement makes it sound they are targeting Mom and Pop business. It does not seem to make sence to me that if Fast is going to target the small to mid sized business, when you know that the large corporations and businesses with the most money will get the listings. That is what I have been thinking about more so than the US market.


 3:54 pm on Jun 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

I disagree. All our clients are small-mid businesses. We beat all the major corporations on position. Apartments.com have lost out to our clients in the major search engines. We've knocked them well down. However, they don't care because they've paid for banner ads.


 1:56 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Re: Fast Paid Inclusion

See Per Koch's take on the subject at Pandia [pandia.com].

Who's next? Mind you, who's left?


 11:39 am on Jun 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

"IBM signs site search agreement with Fast Search & Transfer to power search capabilities on ibm.com in 25 languages" [fastsearch.com]
Now, this is business!
Offering one of the best free web-searches, thus promoting Fast technology AND selling it to big companies: sounds much better than trying to make some bucks with paid inclusion and ruining ones reputation, doesn´t it?


 1:32 pm on Jun 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

...and it would be great business were it not for Fast's decision to wear two hats at the same time.

While this seems to bear out what we were saying at Fast Search: Now a major player? [webmasterworld.com], it also shows FAST is looking to have its bread buttered on both sides.

"This is where, in the chase for the filthy lucre, the enterprise will always win out. The Web searcher will remain a guinea pig for experimentation and will either benefit from developing technologies or will, as has been the case for years now, be left in the lurch with outdated databases, meaningless search results, and trite public relations releases. It is a morass from which there is no escape. It is ‘how things are done’. It is our lot..."

As I've held Fast in high regard, the above comes across as a bit cynical. Nevertheless, the gist of it is borne out in Fast being better positioned than other large players to exploit a burgeoning global market looking for enterprise solutions while carrying on its former role as the engine keeping Google honest.

And this why FAST CTO John M. Lervik's following statement about their decision to go pay-to-play is so disheartening. "As the Internet continues to grow, it is becoming more and more difficult for small and medium sized enterprises to be visible to their target users online. When you consider that searching is the second most popular Internet application to e-mail and that a majority of e-commerce transactions originate with a search listing, visibility becomes paramount for business success."

You can't get much more cynical than that. It means exactly nothing. The nut of the whole thing is that "...the seriousness with which search providers focus on search might be seen as inversely proportional to their commitment to corporate solutions."

Good luck to FAST. They've given us great value. We can only wish them well with IBM and PartnerSite.


 8:17 pm on Jun 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

All is quiet on the northern front...
It´s been 10 days that I sent a request to Fast for further info on their PartnerSite programme - no answer whatsoever. Has anybody tried this with more luck?
The site in question was in their lowest traffic category (well, on top of the lowest!), but weren´t they promising to help "small and medium sized enterprises to be visible to their target users online"?
Oh, by the way: Lycos Europe Leads Market With Highest Reach in Europe [biz.yahoo.com]
It´s not that Fast couldn´t deliver....

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