Well Gang it's late and I'm still up so I guess that means I must be ready to rant. This is about the new Inktomi pay plan that's listed just a few posts down.

I'm not against paying for placement. So, even though INK now wants payment for crawling I won't be joining the "everything on the Internet was meant to be free" crowd. However, the INK plan does raise concerns to me that I've not had with other plans.

My first concern is with price. I haven't gone over their plan with a fine tooth comb so there may be some things about it that I don't understand yet. But if I am understanding things correctly it would cost well in excess of $1,000 to have INK index all the pages on my site.

I believe the value of being listed in INK or not being listed in INK should rise and fall on it's own merits. But why should it cost over $1,000 to get INK to do something that Google will do for free?

There is also the problem of placement. As I understand the INK program does nothing to ensure that any of my pages will treated more favorably than anything else in the index. So, even though I may make it into the index, I have no idea where my site will come up.

Also, INK is primarily providing secondary listings to other engines. And has anyone seen how that's working for them? If not try a search on HotBot for the phrase "Search Engine Watch." The #2 and #3 results are for sites about Beenie Babies!!!!

I've also have not yet bought into the Inktomi's claim that the new pay program is needed to clean up spam at Inktomi.
Sure, the pay plan at Inktomi is going to cut down on the number of spam pages submitted to the index. But will the XXX industry and the Gambling casino's be the ones who quit submitting pages? Or will it be the small business owners who are trying to turn their 'not yet profitable' but good web sites into winners?

That's not my heart going out for the underdog or the little guy here. It's just that if INK has a valuable product and wants to make money off of it let them step up - tell us they have a valuable product - and then tell us what it's going to cost.

Lastly, we have no idea of knowing what's going to happen to INK in the coming months - and look at the fine print folks. We have no guarantees.

How would you like to have been the business owner that spent over $1,000 to have all of your pages listed in the Inktomi index, and then seen Yahoo drop your prized Inktomi pages for Google pages?

That kind of gives you something to think about doesn't it? And with the GoTo.com service buying it's way into the top placements of places like AOL Search and Netscape search, wouldn't you rather put your money on a sure winner?

In the end I believe this move by INK represents an attempt to recreate the credit card spending freenzy that went on when LookSmart became pay-or-no-play. I can't say that I blame them, and again, I am not one of those who believes everything on the Internet is supposed to be free.

Nevertheless, before I spend a large sum of money at Inktomi, I'm going to run a query for "Search Engine Watch" on HotBot and make sure I don't pull up sites about Beenie Babies.

But that's just my plan. It might be wrong.