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The 7 Day Itch?

new update time frame



6:56 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm starting to wonder if Ink is going to begin updating
it's DB every 7 days now instead of the normal 3-4 days.
Maybe thats what we're seeing these days instead of something
more serious.

Just a thought. What does everyone else think?


7:24 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Would be nice, if only to see all my rankings return again. has anyone from the uk ever contacted inktomi in London.

I've just picked up a contact name in but he's been out today so I'll try him tomorrow. the department he works in is "search engine results", If only inktomi had some !!!!!


7:31 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm beginning to think that the erratic results we have been seeing lately may be the Portals fault. My pages have been completely stabile in Canada, Anzwers, Hotbot, Looksmart, & Iwon.
Only erratic in MSN and completely out of the AOL-INK data base.

Is it possible that the Portals have some financial incentive to use the small DB when traffic is heavy or when their quota is used up?

It just doesn't make sense to me that the DB is completely stabile in the smaller portals and only erratic (for me anyway) in MSN and AOL. In my case I only have about six pages but they are highly indexed to many key search terms.

Any ideas?



7:42 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)


Yes, we are getting the same results. The reason as to why,
your guess is as good as mine.

MSN IS wacky and AOL is way off base for us as well. It
seems (for us) that AOL is off doing its own thing of sorts
which leads us to believe they are aware of the ink problem/ issue, at least.


7:50 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


sorry not the case over here, I've always found freeserve to be the best bench mark for inktomi and as soon as my clients vanished from freeserve so they did from all the other partners.

nice wish though


9:20 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Same here ... got trashed on all Ink portals.


11:16 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, it seems that we now know as a fact that INK has 2 sets of different databases. And they keep switching it back and forth because they are unhappy with one (which seems to be the "newest" db that is currently down). So that theory helps me to be a little more stable even after Chris Barry said that the "old" db is permanent.


12:31 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm very confused now. Been trying to keep up with the INK story and trying to read all the posts and keep in mind the dates has become very confusing. I DO know that I have been buried on Ink. I found my site so I know it's in there. But for my main KWs I stopped looking at about the 500 mark. Can someone give us a summary on where Ink stands as of right now?


1:33 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Comatose, Scott, following a series of violent seizures.


2:45 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Does anyone have any solid info about the structure of Ink. Is it one massive db, or is Kamikaze right about there being two db's one old and one new. Can anyone confirm this information is correct? If this is right, are there any sources we can use to get information on some kind of timescale for when the full db will come back online?

The problem has got to be with Ink. because I'm still getting no joy all across the Ink. based SE's

So many questions... So many headaches to cure... So many clients to placate...



3:19 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My experience with MSN lead me to believe that there are 2 seperate database. I chose a particular keyword that is pretty competitive but not extremely, and memorized the top 10 results. I always saw 2 different sets of results. When it was on one set, people were happy. When it was on the other sets, webmasterworld was filled with hair and tears. And people called the bad sets as the "old" database and the good one as the "new" database.


4:28 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

According to information from portals I and others have received Inktomi is working on its submit URL process. This has led to sites that have been submitted while this work is proceeding to be in the data base but not ranked properly. There is no information as to when the database will be back to normal.

However, this does mean that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as the current situation is not considered 'normal'. Now the question has got to be - when is it going to be back and if this new submission process has anything to do with the NSI deal?


4:59 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

zero6, below info has been floating around for about a year now, and gives pretty good insight.
Brett if you feel this post is a liability please delete or let me know and I'll take it off.

**** provides a wide range of services to meet the needs of our customers. This list provides the most common issues that must be decided.

When you receive services from ****, you may receive them by means of a Web Mastercluster or a Private Minicluster.

Web Mastercluster

A Mastercluster is a large cluster of interconnected computers, designed to support searching the entire web. When you use a Mastercluster, you share it with other **** customers. By providing shared access to **** resources, **** can deliver search services more efficiently and economically. And, our use of cluster technology allows us to easily expand capacity to grow with our customers.

Private Minicluster

A Minicluster is a smaller cluster of computers. Whereas Masterclusters typically number more than 100 interconnected computers, a Minicluster typically consists of a smaller number of computers. Miniclusters are usually private and dedicated to a single **** customer. Miniclusters are well-suited to custom search functionality and allow higher frequency of data refresh rate.

Mastercluster Choices

When you receive service from **** we will work to come to agreement with you on the following areas:

Database Size

**** provides database access in the following sizes:

110 million documents
54 million documents
Tiering Level
Many **** customers use multiple database sizes. **** can send a percentage of queries to one database tier and the remainder to a different database tier. This can be useful to economically provide complicated queries with access to a larger list of data than might otherwise be possible. For example, a customer might choose to send 80% of their queries to a 54-million document database and the remaining 20% of their queries to the 110-million document database.

Refresh Frequency

Currently, all **** Masterclusters are refreshed approximately monthly.

Physical Access Point

**** provides service from multiple databases in several geographical locations. **** customers are expected to connect to **** datacenters in one of the following locations:

Santa Clara, California (Exodus facility)
Herndon, Virginia (Exodus facility)
Europe (Location TBD, availability 1Q99)
Japan (contact ****)
Editorial Tagging
**** can tag a subset of a MasterCluster index. This enables a customer to create a custom search by specially identifying a useful set of MasterCluster data. For example, if a customer had a list of California web pages, we could tag them all with a single tag that enabled the customer to provide a California focused search. Only documents that already exist in the **** database can be tagged on the Web MasterCluster.

Tagging is implemented in one of two ways. Customers may attach a metaword to selected documents in the index. This method can only be applied when less than 10% of the total web index will be tagged. These tags can only be modified or changed when a page is refreshed on our normal refreshed crawling schedule (approximately once per month.)

The second method allows a customer to tag with a series of bits. These flags may be turned on or off for each URL in the database. Customers may then filter search results based on the values of these bit fields. Bitfield tagging may be done either weekly or semi-weekly.

Customers can choose whether or not to allow other **** customers to access the customersí tags.

Private Minicluster

****ís Private Minicluster service delivers the maximum amount of flexibility and control to ****ís customers.

We will come to agreement with you regarding the following areas:

Database Size

Private Minicluster databases can be any size, and actual implementations range from 20,000 documents to 20 million documents. Generally, we will need to estimate the number of pages in advance to determine your hardware needs.

Data Source

**** can readily accommodate the following data sources:

Customer provides **** with a list of URLís which **** crawls to generate a search index
Customer provides **** with web content that has been preprocessed for indexing. This file is indexed directly, without crawling.
Refresh Frequency
Standard **** refresh options include the following:

Monthly refresh
Weekly refresh
Daily refresh
Hourly refresh
Editorial Tagging
**** can apply tags to Minicluster data. This enables a customer to create multiple custom searches out of one piece of crawling infrastructure. Tagging is generally done in conjunction with crawling and indexing.

Physical Access Point

Currently, all Private Miniclusters are deployed in ****ís California facilities.


5:24 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

The explanation of the various INK SE options supports my theory that the PORTALS may have as big a part to play in the current erratic operation at MSN as INK.

As I previously mentioned, my pages are ALL stabile in Hotbot, Canada, Anzwers. Freeserve, Iwon, Looksmart, and GOO.jp. By this I mean the positions are all within two/three ranking spots each time I do a test search.

Only MSN has been erratic lately. AOL is still on the small/bad
DB for us. In MSN I will get the large (good) DB sometimes and probably fifty percent of the time the small DB that only contains my home page.

This of course only relates to my small number of pages but they are highly optimized for several hundred key search terms (obscure medical terminology) and I currently am in the top ten for most of the key search words. There is definately a small data base as that is where I find my single home page when everything else in INK tanks.



5:33 pm on Aug 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wow, that is strange Gil. That is not the case for me. Seems like my pages all act the same as it does in MSN. I used to get some traffic from Iwon, Canada, Hotbot, and especially MSN but now I get none.


10:46 am on Aug 18, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks PeteU,
That is some pretty useful information,
It suggests to me that the portals under normal circumstances can recieve multiple database information. Agreed between the db provider and the portal, they can choose to use two or three different db's to provide the results for a query. And a portal can choose to use a 100m+ db and 50m+ db to query.

The Ink.based portals are obviously using this system; one big mastercluster crawling and indexing the entire web and portals buying into a certain number of documents to filter and index with the aim to provide unique and relevant results.

However if one part of this system fails, like the db provider loosing any part of the mastercluster network then the portal will only recieve partial results.

I would imagine the reason that Gil and Kamikaze are getting different results is because there must be some kind of breakdown in providing larger quantities of documents for all the portals, and Gil's pages must be coming from smaller more stable db's being provided to and filtered by Hotbot, Canada, Anzwers. Freeserve, Iwon, Looksmart, and GOO.jp. This might be due to having more obscure content. MSN and AOL could be buying larger chunks of the Ink. mastercluster and therefore relying more heavily upon the larger quantities of documents which Ink.could be having the problem with. This would explain why Gil is getting nothing out of MSN and AOL but gets results from the others.

Kamikaze is in the same situation as myself, pages that once ranked well have now been totally dropped or buried by all Ink. based SE's. It could be because our keyword content is more popular, forcing the portals to get results from the larger document db they have with Ink.

So it could be that for one reason or another, Ink. is having problems providing larger db info to its clients. I can only assume that this is a temporary situation and either a technical breakdown, or a clear out.

This is of course all theory so dont hold me to it.
Please shoot me down if need be. Would like to think I've got my head around it.



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