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OK, so there's Google. If you select the right keywords and invest a little time, Google will reward you. Google is free and Google delivers traffic. However, naming one engine doesn't make an article. Which one is next? I sat there for a while and my head was completely empty. It wasn't because I had writer's block. It was because honestly I could not name another serious engine that offered free submission.
Sure, if you include PPC search engines and directories, it's easy to come up with a long list. Yahoo, Looksmart, GoTo and so on. But if you limit your choices to the search engines that
a) Have a database and offer free submission to it
b) Produce decent amounts of referrals compared to the effort required
c) Don't look like they're going to die tomorrow
, well then I just can't think of a single one except Google.
- FAST: In financial trouble, won't last six months or so they say.
- Alta: Everyone seems to be complaining that a good ranking at Alta doesn't really produce referrals anymore, and the JMM etc. statistics seem to back up these thoughts. The last time I checked, Alta's financial situation was nothing to brag about.
- Excite: Erm, didn't they just die?
- Inktomi: Reading Search Engine World Quarterly and Webmaster World, it seems to me like the chances of submitting via the free route to Ink, getting a high ranking and getting some traffic from that ranking are comparable to a snowball's chance in hell. Also in financial trouble.
- Direct Hit: They seem to be unable to become a serious contender.
- Teoma, Wisenut: Still small fishes and it's unsure whether they will survive to become anything.
Anyone have any ideas? From where I'm standing, it seems like Google is just about the only "free" search engine left. Others have already died or seem to be slowly dying.
Perhaps 'six months' was being a bit harsh, as I willingly admit that I haven't researched their financial background too much.
However, FAST is cutting costs in a way that seems to indicate that they aren't exactly rolling in cash. With the overall economic situation being what it is, I wouldn't say that FAST is standing on solid ground at the moment.