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Paid URL Inclusion, Continued


Paid URL Inclusion, Continued


There are many ways to promote your website and one of the

most efficient ways is to use search engines. Search

engines are the first stop for most people trying to find

information, services, and products online. Because of

this, it is essential that your website appears quickly in

search results.

The Internet contains numerous search engines, some of

which offer what is known as "paid inclusion." This means

that you pay the specific search engine an annual fee for

your web page to be included in their index.

Of course, every search engine already has an automated

program commonly called a "spider" that indexes all the web

pages it locates online, and it does this for free. So

whether you pay or not, your web page will eventually be

indexed by all Internet search engines, as long as the

spider can follow a link to your page. The major issue is,

then, how quickly your page is indexed.

A search engine that offers a paid URL inclusion uses an

extra spider that is programmed to index the particular

pages that have been paid for. The difference between the

spider that indexes pages for free and the spider that

indexes only pages for a fee is speed. If you have paid for

inclusion, the additional search engine spider will index

your page immediately.

The debate over paid URL inclusion centers around the

annual fee. Since the regular spider of these search

engines would eventually get around to indexing your web

page anyway, why is a renewal fee necessary? The fee is

necessary to keep your pages in the search engine's index.

If you go the route of paid inclusion, you should be aware

that at the end of the pay period, on some search engines,

your page will be removed from their index for a certain

amount of time.

It's easy to get confused about whether you would benefit

from paid inclusion since the spider of any search engine

will eventually index your page without the additional

cost. There are both advantages and disadvantages to paid

URL inclusion, and it is only by weighing your pros and

cons that you will be able to decide whether to spring for

the extra cash or not.

The advantages are obvious: rapid inclusion and rapid

re-indexing. Paid inclusion means that your pages will be

indexed quickly and added to search results in a very short

time after you have paid the fee. The time difference

between when the regular spider will index your pages and

when the paid spider will is a matter of months. The spider

for paid inclusion usually indexes your pages in a day or

two. Be aware that if you have no incoming links to your

pages, the regular spider will never locate them at all.

Additionally, paid inclusion spiders will go back to your

pages often, sometimes even daily. The advantage of this is

that you can update your pages constantly to improve the

ranking in which they appear in search engines, and the

paid URL inclusion spider will show that result in a matter

of days.

First and foremost, the disadvantage is the cost. For a ten

page website, the costs of paid URL inclusion range from

0 for Fast/Lycos to 0 for Altavista, and you have to

pay each engine their annual fee. How relevant the cost

factor is will depend on your company.

Another, and perhaps more important, disadvantage is the

limited reach of paid URL inclusions. The largest search

engines, Google, Yahoo, and AOL, do not offer paid URL

inclusion. That means that the search engines you choose to

pay an inclusion fee will amount to a small fraction of the

traffic to your site on a daily basis.

Google usually updates its index every month, and there is

no way you can speed up this process. You will have to wait

for the Google spider to index your new pages no matter how

many other search engines you have paid to update their

index daily. Be aware that it is only after Google updates

their index that your pages will show up in Google, Yahoo,

or AOL results.

One way to figure out whether paid URL inclusion is a good

deal for your company is to consider some common factors.

First, find out if search engines have already indexed your

pages. To do this, you may have to enter a number of

different keywords, but the quickest way to find out is to

enter your URL address in quotes. If your pages appear when

you enter the URL address but do not appear when you enter

keywords, using paid inclusion will not be beneficial. This

is because your pages have already been indexed and ranked

by the regular spider. If this is the case, your money

would be better spent by updating your pages to improve

your ranking in search results. Once you accomplish this,

you can then consider using paid inclusion if you want to

speed up the time it will take for the regular spider to

revisit your pages.

The most important factor in deciding whether to use paid

URL inclusion is to decide if it's a good investment. To

figure this out, you have to look at the overall picture:

what kind of product or service are you selling and how

much traffic are you dependent on to see a profit?

If your company sells an inexpensive product that requires

a large volume of traffic to your site, paid inclusion may

not be the best investment for you; the biggest search

engines do not offer it, and they are the engines that will

bring you the majority of hits. On the other hand, if you

have a business that offers an expensive service or product

and requires a certain quality of traffic to your site, a

paid URL inclusion is most likely an excellent investment.

Another factor is whether or not your pages are updated

frequently. If the content changes on a daily or weekly

basis, paid inclusion will insure that your new pages are

indexed often and quickly. The new content is indexed by

the paid spider and then appears when new relevant keywords

are entered in the search engines. Using paid inclusion in

this case will guarantee that your pages are being indexed

in a timely manner.

You should also base your decision on whether or not your

pages are dynamically generated. These types of pages are

often difficult for regular spiders to locate and index.

Paying to include the most important pages of a dynamically

generated website will insure that the paid spider will

index them.

Sometimes a regular spider will drop pages from its search

engine, although these pages usually reappear in a few

months. There are a number of reasons why this can happen,

but by using paid URL inclusion, you will avoid the

possibility. Paid URL inclusion guarantees that your pages

are indexed, and if they are inadvertently dropped, the

search engine will be on the lookout to locate them


As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when

it comes to paid URL inclusion. It can be a valuable

investment depending on your situation. Evaluate your

business needs and your website to determine if paid URL

inclusion is a wise investment for your business goals.

About the Author: Charles Preston is President of Click Response a website marketing firm that focuses on better ROI for small businesses and affordable search engine optimization solutions. Search engine optimization and compelling marketing copy is the key to small business success online. Visit

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