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I've been very frustrated trying to monitor iWon, MSN, HotBot etc., since they seem to tailor the results so much.
I know that Ink offers several options to their partner sites (four, I think I read somewhere), but my guess right now is that GoTo is pretty vanilla Inktomi. Anyone else ever watch GoTo for this purpose?
If GoTo uses the standard default Ink Algo, then all the other partners seem to have selected the same custom options.
I just ran a quick check on a three word term that Ink indexed through the paid plan. Here is what I found.
MSN - #14 (four were directory results, and there were six duplicate listings from Go.com. That put the actual Ink listing at #4)
HotBot - #13 (first 10 were directhit. Actual placement #3)
Iwon - #5
Canada.com - #5
Running the same search at Goto showed no results. The biggest difference I can see is that GoTo rarely lists anything other than the home page. This includes listing far fewer subdomains. They seem to make an exception for About.com sites, but other than that, they rarely show up.
It could be a case of them having a link pop option turned up quite a bit.
If I had to choose one or two engines to analyze for the proper Ink page, I think I would stick with either HotBot results from #11 on or Canada.com
I have a client who ranks like this (single keyword, paid page):
GoTo - #1
iWon - #9
HotBot - #25
MSN - #78
Canada - beyond #200
It's making me crazy, and I really want to get a handle on this. My other clients are not quite so chaotic, but this is especially tough.
makemetop, thanks for the hint. hotbot.co.uk returns a #9 for my problem page, same as iWon.
What INK does and how it plays out in the INK partner portals are two very different things. I use to spend hours crawling all over Anzwers.com for their pure INK results. Anzwers results were within a hair of INK.yahoo also.
Now we watch MSN for our middle of the road INK. Tweak a page to do well in MSN (regardless of the directory listing) and you will at least do fair with the other INK partners. Once you hit that middle of the road, then you can start tweaking out your pages for the other INK partners.
I use to get a large amount of "free" GOTO/INK traffic - not anymore. Their PPCs rule.
The page used to hold a #7 on MSN and then the bottom fell out somewhere over the last week or two. Now I see four results in the top ten that come from lord-knows-where, complete unknowns on other search engines. Not our normal companions, you know?
What factors do you think might be making such a big difference between an MSN rank at #78 and a rank at iWon and HotBotUK at #9?
MSN rank means a whole lot more traffic to this site than rank on the other Ink partners, and that alone is enough reason to focus there.
We use exactly the same pages that ranked well a year ago (before all this PTP stuff) And we use them for our "find me if you can" and "ptp" INK projects.
These are also the same pages that did great in INK.YAHOO
I see no dilution there with anything but Ink results, and it does not seem to be taking very long, even with the unpaid.
It is an index.htm page and PositionTech has not been used.
Once I set the option to "one result per domain" everything makes sense -- the site is still at #7 instad of #78.
My other clients' pages seem much more well-behaved. But this site, for some reason, is a very hyperactive one on many search engines, not just Ink.
MSN, HB, GoTo (allowing for paid, directory, and DH) are pretty much identical...
It took me a while to figure out what was happening with ICQit... they don't tell you that the first results they deliver are directory results. You have to click the little pointing finger down below to make that happen (makes you wonder why we try so hard to get search position).
The site doesn't appear at all on Canada.com or iWon. The results on Canada and iWon are the same and look very old.
On MSN in very popular categories, by the way, it's possible to get completely buried by LookSmart results. I just did a test search there for an area I'm working on and got 93 directory results preceding any search results. Again, makes you wonder why we put in all this effort....
ICQit doesn't show urls in their web results, which makes it tough to use for researching other sites, unless you know all their titles. Also, if there are a lot of directory listings, it takes forever to get to the option to do a web search.
Any other suggestions?