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I also got some confirmation that they have definitely been adding a spam penalty to free submissions and that they will remove the penalty if you pay.
I used to get hundreds of visitors a day from the Ink partners, particularly MSN. Now I only get a few visits a day. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that free pages are getting some kind of heavy penalization now, and the net effect is that more visitors are being directed to the paid listings. So my second point is that paid listings wind up with an indirect favoritism over free listings.
What I don't understand is how the spammer got so many pages indexed in Ink/MSN. I'm sure they are getting a ton of traffic, because they dominate the index in a lot of reasonably competitive keywords/phrases. I've seen those spam pages stick while my non-spam pages disappear from their index. I can't imagine those spam pages are paid listings ... they are just too spammy and there are too many of them. So I'm left to believe that the spammer has found some trick to get in the free listings and stay there, or were just lucky enough to be in the right Ink database. I'm sure if that person frequents this forum they are not complaining about Inktomi dropping free listings. Especially now that Ink is dropping so many of their competition's pages.
By the way, I don't believe the spam pages I'm talking about (I will not name them or report them) are cloaked because I can find them in Google's cache and they are the same as the regular page. So I conclude that the Ink/MSN spam filter is quite ineffective, or turned off.
"As a netizen, I am saddened. One of the best things about this medium was that joesoftware.com had as much chance as microsoft.com if Joe's software was as good."
And then she also said:
"Would you rather see a site about great danes which was put together by some guy who is passionate about dogs in Pocatello or by Purina, whose goal is not to give information but to take your money?"
I recently received a condolence gift purchased online - major mfr (high search engine listing) - a mass-produced candle, totally impersonal. Appreciated, but not meaningful like a hand-poured, home-made candle with a personalized, hand-written note would have been. If I give a gift of lace or soap, I want lace or soap hand crafted by someone (or their grandmother), not mass-produced by some far off exploited factory workers in a sweatshop.
What will happen to the small or home based entrepreneur who doesn't have the capital to play? How will searchers find their services and wares?
With craftsman being crowded out by imports in shops and shows, the internet remains the last hope of being able to continue and survive.
What will happen to the aspiring individual craftsman or businessperson if this trend takes over? Will it be the end for them? Will they have to give up and work assembly lines in sweatshops, or meld in to the corporate world as just another number? What happens to the webmaster whose decision is to render services to this segment of the economy?
I fully understand P&L statements and balance sheets. But I've also watched someone start out counting out loose change for grocery money end up supporting a family in comfort through friendship, opportunity and promotion on the internet. Will this become a dead dream or remain a reality?
There's a lot at stake, including what a lot of us can remember being taught in school about this being a land of opportunity for all.
The internet, which started out as a source of information and a venue for opportunity and self-expression, is beginning to feel and look a little too much like a Southern California boiler room to me. It's scary.
What about LookSmart, in spite of paid listings and paid editors, recently acquiring Zeal, volunteer-based. I cannot for the life of me reason out how that relates to the scheme of things with paying for Ink. It almost seems like anti-logic, a dichotomy in reasoning.
It almost seems like volunteering for ODP is the last remaining bastion of socially redemptive activism possible. Where do I go to sign up?
a) Submit through free submit and get spam penalty.
b) Submit through paid submit get no spam penalty - normal ranking algo.
c) Don't submit and (maybe) get found through quality external links, when listed no spam penalty, normal ranking algo.
You pay and you get listed quickly but take your chances against whoever is already in the DB, but are spidered regularly to 'tweak' against the competition. You don't pay, may get listed well but can't count on changing your site to improve your rankings until you are next spidered, which could be months away. In the meantime, people who are paying are bumping you down!
You make some good points, though you are wrong that in every other form of media the distributor payes for content. The distributor does not pay for advertising... which most SEO's work on. Si in 95% of cases maybe more it is advertising or at least advertorial. We run a magazine so are not commerical as such. Our content is found in Search Engines becuase it had been reviewed by some directorires and included, and people link to it. We therefore dont really need to submit but do get involved in submitting as it is a good way to get more exposure. Good content will find its way onto Search Engine databases and directories without submitting - if it doesn't the major SE/Directories are little more than commercial yellow pages. So as a person who has the most to lose from the loss of free listings in Search Engines (we appeal to a very small group with mainly research and intellectual content), I still dont see Inktomi's strategy to fund their survival any worse or better than other revenue models - yH and LS $200 reviews, PPC, or advertising/Payforspecial listing etc. Whether SE's or directories..
Its just different, it may well change, and in the end, the market will decide.
The add url went away many moons ago - what is there to miss?
This selling of indexing by Inktomi is a last ditch act of desperation on their part to stare off the inevitable closing of their se doors. With Inktomi now playing 2nd fiddle on every major and most minor portals they service, their SE services outlook is bleak.
>paid placement is also on the rise.
>Does that mean SEOers should panic. Absolutely not.
Not seo'ers - we'll never panic as optimizers - we get paid no matter what. The more the search engines like Inktomi go down the tubes, the more business site owners will come crawling to us with checkbook in hand for help.
The problem is small site owners, Both nonprofit and small mom & pops that are being disenfranchised from the whole system. Who will be their voice in the net wilderness? How will anyone ever find their site? Not likely through a search engine.
It is time we start telling site owners the truth about search engines: their days as a legitimate method of site promotion for small sites are numbered. It is time to begin looking at every alternative to search engines available.