$ for searching

Allan Doyle adoyle@intl-interfaces.com
Tue, 15 Jan 2002 15:19:50 -0500

Good spammish subject line, eh?

I just saw that Northern Light is about to stop allowing free
searches. This doesn't cause me too much pain, because I never used
them for searching anyway. But it does bring up an issue. Do I want to
provide content for them to index if they are not going to let people
find it for free?

What other search engines out there have this policy? Is there a
central list? Are people building robot.txt files to block non-free

I'm going to have to think about this for a little while. They hold 25
records that came from my sites. That's a drop in the bucket, but hey,
someone has to stand up for the free engines. If I pull my content
from non-free engines, that makes them just a little less desirable and
will swing the pendulum an infinitesimal amount away from them. Thus
market forces may prevail, driving traffic to the free sites up,
enabling them to generate more revenue from advertising.

But we all know it's not so black and white. A lot of sites that let
you search for free also take money for good placement. So what's a
socially conscious web page owner to do?


Allan Doyle                         http://www.intl-interfaces.com