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>That is not to say my sites are all in the top ten. I wish they were. The most critical sites are in the top ten, and that's good enough for me...>
I do not wish to preach to the choir. I have extremely limited technical knowledge and I honestly don't understand half of what most of you are talking about. You are tracking more than 60 web sites and I am only keeping track of 2. The difference between us is that those 2 sites produce 100% of my income by way of internet inquiries.
While everyone debates what may or may not be happening at Inktomi and the "pay to submit" issue, I am going out of business! If the only solution to my immediate financial challenge is to pay for url listings then you bet I will be first in the cue at Intomi's door ready to throw my money at them! In addition, I plan to pay Yahoo to list my site within the next two weeks. Its a matter of survival for me and has nothing to do with a moralistic or idealistic view of how the search engines "should" or were "originally intended" to work. I'm in business and would like to stay that way.
Market position, top 10 rankings and being included on all search engines is of primary importance to my survival. I'm afraid that being number 20, 30 or even lower is NOT ... "good enough for me"!
I have done 32 separate keyword searches on the 10 major search engines which have indexed my site to determine my rankings. I believe I have managed rather well. (Anyone who would like a copy is welcome). My site address is bareboatsbvi.com and before anyone starts critiquing the site, please keep in mind that I wrote all the text, the meta tags and designed the layout myself. I then hired a local fellow to put it all together for me. I know it isn't "technically" impressive or even special in any way ... but it does the job and it is all I can afford at this point.
If you search for "bareboat charters BVI" or "sailing charters BVI" or "motor yacht charters BVI" ... and my page doesn't come up in the top 10 on most (non-Inktomi) sites, then I'll be surprised. Try it on LookSmart, MSN or Snap and see what happens. My other site is bvivacations.com. It does pretty well too ... even on Inktomi.
I am in favour of anything which will get the bill collectors off my doorstep ... bring on the paid submissions!