Can you provide a list of all the search engines that provide paid inclusions?

John Liang


Hi John,

Here's a list of the paid inclusion programs currently provided by the major search engines and directories:

i) Inktomi - By using Inktomi's paid inclusion program, you can get your site listed within 48 hours in Inktomi's index which provides results for other major engines like Hotbot, IWon and MSN. The current cost of getting yourself listed in Inktomi through one of their paid inclusion partners named Trellian is $38.95 for the first URL and $24.95 for each subsequent URL. We provide a special co-branded Inktomi inclusion service for our customers through Trellian. You can access this at:

While Inktomi says that it may still spider sites which have not paid to be included, our tests indicate that for most sites that have not paid, Inktomi only spiders 1 page from that site and ignores most of the other pages. Also note that paying Inktomi for inclusion does not guarantee that your site will be ranked well in the Inktomi affiliated engines - it only guarantees that your pages will be spidered by Inktomi.

ii) Yahoo! - Yahoo!'s $299 business express submission service allows your site to get reviewed by a Yahoo! editor for possible inclusion in their directory. This is an annual fee - i.e. if your site is accepted after the review, Yahoo! will charge you $299 every year for keeping your site listed in their directory. Note that the $299 fee does not guarantee that your site will be listed in Yahoo!'s directory - it only guarantees that a Yahoo! editor will review your site within 7 business days. You can find out more information about Yahoo!'s business express submission service at Paying Yahoo! the $299 fee to get listed is mandatory for commercial sites and optional for non-commercial sites. You can find out how to get the best results from your submission to Yahoo! by reading my article at:

We also offer a guaranteed Yahoo! registration service in which, for a consultation fee of $199, we will guarantee that your site will be listed in Yahoo! after you have paid the $299 business express submission fee. If your site is not listed, we will return not only our $199 consultation fee but also the $299 fee that Yahoo! charges. You can find out more about our guaranteed Yahoo! registration service at:

iii) AltaVista - AltaVista's paid inclusion program allows you to get your site listed in AltaVista's index within 2 business days for a period of 6 months. From August 1 - August 15, they are offering a discount of up to 50% for their paid inclusion program. The prices charged by them until August 15 for 6 months of guaranteed inclusion are as follows:

1st URL: $29
URLs 2 - 10: $19 each
URLs 11 - 500: $17 each

You can find out more information about AltaVista's paid inclusion service at:

Like Inktomi's service, AltaVista's service does not guarantee that you will be ranked well in AltaVista - it only guarantees that your site will be listed in it.

iv) Fast - Fast provides the results for its own engine at as well as for Lycos. Its paid inclusion program allows you to get your site listed in its database within 48 hours. It charges an annual membership fee of $18 and an additional $12 per year for every URL that you want to submit.

You can find out more about this program at:

Like Inktomi and AltaVista's services, Fast's program does not guarantee that you will be ranked well in Fast or Lycos - it only guarantees that your site will be listed in its index.

v) Looksmart - Looksmart's paid inclusion program is actually based on a pay per click model - you pay 15 cents for every visitor that Looksmart sends to your site. In order to use this service, you need to pay a setup fee of $49 and a minimum refundable deposit of $150 which would be used to pay for the clicks.

You can find out more about this program at:

Among the paid inclusion programs mentioned above, we currently recommend only Inktomi's and Yahoo!'s programs.

We recommend Inktomi's program because while getting included in Inktomi does not guarantee a top ranking in the Inktomi affiliated engines, if you do manage to get your site ranked well, you will be able to get a reasonably large amount of traffic from the Inktomi affiliated engines. Furthermore, it has become almost impossible getting more than 1 page in your site included in Inktomi's database without paying.

We recommend Yahoo!'s program because a good ranking for some of your keywords in Yahoo! can lead to a substantial amount of traffic to your site.

We don't recommend AltaVista's program because our tests indicate that while sites which do not pay AltaVista do take a while to get spidered, they eventually DO get spidered. Furthermore, AltaVista's popularity among users has dropped remarkably of late - we have seen sites that have top rankings in AltaVista for extremely popular keywords get as little as 1 visitor a day from AltaVista while top rankings for the sites in Google for the same keywords have led to dozens of visitors every day. Lastly, AltaVista's prices are for a 6 month period, and you have to renew after 6 months. This makes AltaVista's program prohibitively expensive for most web site owners.

We generally don't recommend Fast's program because like our tests with AltaVista, our tests with Fast indicate that sites which do not pay Fast can get listed eventually. However, unlike AltaVista, Fast (and Lycos which takes its results from Fast) can send a reasonable number of visitors to your site if you get ranked well in it. So if you are in a hurry to get as many visitors as possible and don't want to wait until Fast spiders your site, you may consider paying Fast to get listed. Another point in favor of Fast is that its prices are quite reasonable as compared to Inktomi and AltaVista.

Earlier, Looksmart used to charge a one-time fee of $299 to get listed in its directory. We used to recommend that clients get listed in Looksmart by paying the $299 fee because it gave them the opportunity to get a good ranking in MSN (whose primary search results are taken from Looksmart). However, we no longer recommend Looksmart's program because we have serious reservations about the quality of the visitors that Looksmart has been providing after it switched from its one-time $299 submission fee to its 15 cents per click program.



Does page cloaking differ from cloaking your meta tags to prevent competitors from mimicking your work to get good positions? If so, how is it different. If not, how do you protect your meta tags?

Jim Smith



Hi Jim,

Page cloaking refers to the technique of presenting a particular version of a page to a human visitor and another version of the same page to a search engine. It is generally used to present a keyword rich page to a search engine and an aesthetically pleasing page to a human visitor. For more information on page cloaking and why you should not use it, refer to my article on this topic at:

Cloaking meta tags refers to the process of ensuring that the meta tags that you have used in a page are not visible to your visitors when they try to look at the source code of your page. You can find more information on how to cloak meta tags at:

However, in my opinion, there is hardly any reason why you would want to cloak your meta tags. The reason is that unlike what many people still believe, the meta tags that you have used hardly affect your rankings any more. What is much more important is the Title tag that you have used and the content in the body of the page. Hence, if you are ranked well in the search engines and if competitors think that they can get good rankings by simply copying your meta tags, good luck to them. They must do a lot more than simply copy your meta tags in order to get good rankings.

The only other reason that someone might want to cloak meta tags is to prevent competitors from looking at the keywords for which you want to get top rankings in the search engines. While this may be a plausible reason, when tools like WordTracker are available to anyone on the Internet who wants to know what keywords to target, competitors won't need to look at your source code to see what keywords they should be targeting. WordTracker's keyword research tool is available at:
August 14, 2002

Sumantra Roy, president of 1st Search Engine, is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. Sumantra's articles on search engine optimization have been widely published and quoted in different web sites and newsletters on the Internet. His unique formula for establishing the most appropriate keywords for a site has been used by WordTracker, the most popular keyword research tool on the Internet. This formula is also used by many other search engine optimization companies for establishing the most appropriate keywords for their clients' sites.

Search Engine Guide > Sumantra Roy > Paid Inclusion Programs and Cloaking Meta Tags