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PORTAL PARTNER PRESS - 2000

July 20, 2001

Subject: Portal Partner Press 7-19-01

Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 12:43:24 -0500

From: bobking bobking@searchking.com

The Portal Partner Press is sent each week for the education, and entertainment of the people who own and operate a SearchKing hosted portal. It is intended to help you learn to better operate, maintain and market your own portal. Anytime you have a question about any item in an issue of the PPP, please visit our forums at http://forums.searchking.com and feel free to ask any questions or post any comments about your portal, about SearchKing or about internet marketing in general.


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Portal Partner Press
July 18th, 2001
Using SearchKing For Time Sensitive Pages

The Portal Plus Isn't Such a Good Deal Anymore

USING SEARCHKING FOR TIME SENSITIVE PAGES

It recently came to my attention that many of our own portal partners were under the impression that only domains could be submitted and indexed to SearchKing. Not true. SearchKing will index ANY page instantly, all we ask is that each page represents different keywords. In other words, we don't allow duplicate listings. You can't have one page from one domain show up more than once for any keyword search.

So, what is the advantage to that?

Well for starters, what about breaking news? About a month or so ago, I read a post in a forum about smart tags. Within 72 hours I saw posts aout smart tags in dozen of forums. So my guess is that hundreds, maybe thousands, of forums were all talking about smart tags all within a matter of hours. Obviously there is some interest in this topic. What happens on the net when a topic gets hot? People start going to search engines and searching for information about that topic. But, guess what. That information isn't there yet.

You see with almost every major search service in the world, it can take days or even weeks to get indexed. There are very few engines that offer instant indexing and of those SearchKing is very likely the biggest. Yet search for smart tags and SearchKing doesn't have any sites listed either.

If I could find a way to get even a certain percentage of people submitting time sensitive information, it wouldn't be long before people would start coming to SK to find that inforamtion. If there is a big news story and you decided to write a page about that news, what good does it do to submit to Google and wait to see if it shows up in 6 weeks. By that time, your news is old news and the public is searching for something else. If you would submit that page to SearchKing, (remember also that you get to pick as many keywords as you like), that page would be available instantly.

What about writing pages just for Mother's day for example. Halloween, 4th of July. All those things don't get searched for much until it's TIME. When it is time, the searches go way up and it could be your page that gets seen. With SearchKing you can wait until the day before AND, your page is very likely to come up right at the very top of the results!

What about closeouts. One of a kind offers. Sale ends Saturday. Two airline tickets for the 24th, and on and on. There's only one good place that I know of to list those pages and get them seen..

SearchKing accepts and indexes instantly as many pages as you want to submit as long as they are not duplicate keywords. Why not take advantage of it?


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THE PORTAL PLUS ISN'T SUCH A GOOD DEAL ANYMORE

Well, we took the leap and limited the features of the portal plus. If you remember, I first mentioned the problems we had with the pluses several months ago. It has not been an easy decision but now that we've made it, I'm confident it's the right one.

A portal plus now comes with 10 megs of space and a search engine that will hold up to 1,000 urls. That's just about it. It's still free you just don't get all the goodies. All the goodies are now a paid upgrade. The bannermaster, the classifieds, the forums, chat, e-mail, all the things we had to install, are now $5 per month each or you can order them when you first sign up for a one time fee of $49. Not a month or a year, but a one time fee.

Also, we still have the one free portal per person policy. If you have a free portal plus and want another one, each additional one will cost you the one time fee of $29. So, if you wanted a second portal with all the features installed, it would cost you a total of $78 one time. Bummer huh?

The reason for this isn't just about the money. Of course SK wants to make money like anyone else, but it actually has more to do with the fact that I hate it that we give away so much for free and so few even use them. Of course this is bad news for those of you who have actually worked hard, learned to use the tools and built good sites using the free pluses, but it is just too much for free.

The whole idea in the first place was that we would offer all the tools to give you a chance to start your site and not have to pay for anything until your business could justify the expense. Then you could you upgrade to more features and less limitations as your business grew. That just was not working out. We found three key factors holding this whole concept up.

  • . It's just a little too much and a little too hard to learn to be able to master quickly. Even with all the support we have in the forums, it is still too frustrating. We realize that we need more documentation to help, but I honestly don't think that is going to be our answer. In spite of popular opinion, there is a lot of documentation, but we have seen far too many cases where people weren't even reading what was available, so it didn't seem that adding more documentation was the answer. We felt the answer was in limiting the features you had to deal with to get the site running. We feel that the less features, the less there is to learn.
  • . Far too many people seemed more worried about possibly having to spend some money on their business than they were worrying about using the tools to build their business. We have had well over a hundred phone calls and emails over the last year or so, asking for special scripts or features or upgrades, but everyone that we told there would be a charge involved, with the exception of only two, said, "nevermind". I don't blame anybody for asking. After all why wouldn't anyone assume that if we are giving all this other stuff away for free, why not ask for something else and see if it's free too?
  • If it's free, it must not be worth much. This is the one that probably bugs me the worst. We have close to 4,000 free portals hosted and less than 200 in the directory. The whole idea was that we we were going to turn SearchKing into a portal of portals. Remember those early PPP's when I talked about providing a service that would return a list of portals for a keyword search instead of just a list of urls? Well, it hasn't worked out to well so far and I am pretty convinced a big part of the reason is that a lot of people just want to check it out, and others figure a free program can't be that good, some just want it to spam with it, (which is getting to be a pretty big problem for all of us), while still others feel like there must be a catch. It appears though that the single biggest reason is that there is no motivation, no investment to make you want to get your money's worth out of it. You know the strange thing? Out of those 200 portals in the SK directory I mentioned, the majority of them are them
One other reason we decided to make this move of charging for the additional features, was the affiliates. I believe the affiliate program could make a huge impact for all of us, but not if everyone is going to just take free services. We have to generate some income to be able to pay out. This is just one more step in providing extreme value for PAID services instead of just free ones.

Finally, it's just the right thing to do. $49 for this programis so incredibly cheap it's ridiculous and I'm tired of having people tell me things like, "I just can't afford it right now". My answer to that statement is BULL****. If someone can't afford $49 to build a business, they simply have no business considering going into business. That excuse has never held water. Keep in mind this does not limit anyone that may actually believe they can't afford $49 for a search engine, bannermaster, chat, forums a classified program and vanity e-mail. You can still build your free portal and only take the features you feel like you need as you need them. It's just from now on, we're not going to be giving away programs that we have spent a lot of money on, worked very hard on and and continue to upgrade.

Well, that will do it for this week kids, except for one thing.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate the people we do have. I realize that this PPP may sound like I'm bitter or mad at people who won't pay for something. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more people I find that would take advantage, the more grateful I am to have so many portal partners who have invested their time and money into building something better. Something more honest, more fair. Something that is actually building a better web. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you all so much.

Bob
Publisher -- Bob Massa
bobking@searchking.com
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