One of the many options available to promote a Web site on search engines is “paid inclusion.” Although there are several different kinds of paid inclusion (including pay-per-click and “trusted” or “direct” feed programs), this article deals specifically with the simplest form, in which an annual fee is paid for each page included in a search engine index.

Many people are unsure how paid URL inclusion works, and it is sometimes a controversial concept. It is perhaps easiest to understand by recognizing that in most cases there are two ways in which search engines that offer paid URL inclusion can find your pages.

‘Organic' Spider

Each search engine purports to be the most comprehensive source of information, and so each has an automated program (commonly called a “spider”) that goes out and indexes all the pages that it can find on the Web. This means that your Web site will eventually get indexed for free by each of the major engines that offer paid inclusion (provided there is one or more outside links pointing to your site that the spider can follow).

“Eventually,” of course, is the key term.

Paid Spider

When a search engine offers paid URL inclusion, it uses an additional spider that goes out and indexes specific pages that have been paid for.

In other words, whereas the “free” spider would eventually find your site, follow your links, and index all of your pages, the “paid” spider will index the URLs for which you have plunked down an annual fee (but it will do so immediately).

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image of Scott Buresh

Scott Buresh is founder and CEO of Medium Blue, an award-winning search engine optimization company.

LinkedIn: Scott Buresh