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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    AltaVista Trusted Feed

    Hey Gang,

    If any of you have been to the AltaVista Submission page recently you might have noticed a change.

    http://www.altavista.com/sites/search/addurl

    AltaVista now has three ways to submit a site.

    1) Submit via the free Ransom Note
    2) Paid Submit via Info-Spider
    3) Paid Submit via what they are calling "Trusted Feed"

    The new program allows you to submit 500 URL's to AltaVista, and as you might expect AV lists lots of advantages to this new program.

    http://www.altavista.com/sites/search/trustedfeed

    Additionally, of paticular interest is the fact that pricing is based on a PPC model.

    ------------

    Trying to find some more info about this program I contacted AltaVista, and this is what I can relay.

    First, the program is only for those domains and domains plus sub.domains that have 500+ total URL's. In other words, if you have three clients and between the three they have 1,200 pages - you can't get them in the program.

    Second, the program is being pitched as the solution for web pages which are difficult to crawl. Users who participate in the program will be able to submit custom content. As stated by AltaVista, "Trusted Feed enables submission of custom titles, keywords and abstracts."

    When I spoke to AltaVista about his I asked, then, what made this any different from cloaking? But the explaination was lacking.

    The Rep explained that cloaking was a deceptive practice whereby the content presented to the spider was different than what was seen by the viewer - (i.e. misleading). OF course, I tried to explain that while this was possible with cloaking, that was not the value of it. But I guess we just didn't connect mentally on this issue.

    Getting your Title in AltaVista and also your Description is fairly easy. Except for the cloaking-type component of this program, I can't see the value of this "custom title and description" delivery.

    Anybody have any thoughts on these issues?
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net

  2. #2
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    AV say clients "can specify detailed page information including titles, descriptions and keywords. These elements are used to determine how the pages are ranked on the search result pages, as well as how the page listing appears."
    So, they are saying that they will continue to rank sites as usual, but if you are submitting 500 pages from your site, and you can structure your titles and descriptions etc. properly (with AV's traffic analysis helping out), you should be on a winner with AV.
    The cloaking analogy is good, and it also says you can control your sites appearance on the results page - that sounds like cloaking in spirit to me.
    If the price is PPC, and you are not paying for position, then you are paying for the customer support, refreshes, traffic analysis, privileged guaranteed crawls etc which might possibly be worth it. So why are they reticent about the price? And why a pay-per-click model?
    I believe AV are muscling in on SEOs - if they can get a big site, tell the owners how to optimise their pages and rank well, the site owners get traffic and AV get the money. It is clearly in AVs interest to get 'trusted feed' sites to rank well or they don't get the money, do they? And also they do not get the backlash from being 'pay for position' which many surfers say devalues the search - clever.
    This worries me a bit - not about AV, but about the strategy, which is: forget the SEO guys, we'll give you traffic analysis, we'll give you better ranking (since it's our engine), we'll give you a guaranteed weekly re-index (which SEO's cannot offer) and you only pay for the traffic you get.
    I don't want to get all doom and gloom, but those are the assumptions I have arrived at.

  3. #3
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    Second, the program is being pitched as the solution for web pages which are difficult to crawl. Users who participate in the program will be able to submit custom content. As stated by AltaVista, "Trusted Feed enables submission of custom titles, keywords and abstracts."
    Sounds just like GoTo's program.


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