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The Walla! Website is one of the veteran portals in Israel. Walla started its way as a site index that imitated the American Yahoo! Index. Over the years, many services were added for the site's visitors, and its site index has become more and more secondary. The Walla! Site index is a combined index. The information search that the Walla! Index enables is performed on its internal database and as well as a free text search via the Inktomi search engine.

Required Data for submitting a new site to Walla!

Update type: New site / update of an existing site. Updates of an existing site are rarely performed today.

Site language: The language of the website's text (Hebrew/English etc).

Email and name of submitter: These will be used by the Walla! Sales team to contact the submitter in order to offer him advertising options on the site, in case the site appears to be commercial.

Website Name: This is the most important part of the process, since it will serve as the anchor text to your site.

URL: Web Address.

English and Hebrew keywords: These will be used for searches. It is important to separate the keywords with a single space (no commas).

Short description: Will also be used for searches.

A site's score and rating

The Walla! index editors define a score for each new site as they see fit. This score is numerical and it ranges between 1-6 (a 6 score is marked with an exclamation point). This score will stay the same during a website's lifetime, and there is almost no way to change it. This is the reason why you should make sure that your site is completely ready before submitting it to the index. In addition, Walla! Visitors can give scores to websites by using the "additional information and similar sites" link that appears next to every search result, but this score is probably not used for any practical purpose. Finally, Walla! Gives a rating score to every site that indicates the number of visitors that clicked the site's link. It looks like this rating score is seldom updated, if at all.

Walla! Search options

First, let me state that Walla! enables several search types: website search, news, stock market info, forum postings, downloads and clips. In this case we will focus on websites search.

The basic search on the Walla! Index is by using the topic tree. The topic tree has 12 main branches and it splits to thousands of sub-branches. The user can choose a topic, a sub-topic a sub-sub topic and so on. The list of websites for each topic displays sponsored links (ads) on top, followed by the websites in the category sorted by the site score (that was given by the index editors).

The second search option is by typing search words in a free text search box.

Walla! Search results types

When performing a free text search on Walla!, the search results are divided to three parts:

Sponsored search results: These results are sold to advertisers. Every advertiser defines for which keywords he wants his site to be displayed, and the placement in the results. A better placement (higher on the page and on an earlier page) and more popular keywords mean a higher cost.

Index search: These search results display sites that appear in the Walla! Sites index. Read below for the way Walla! sorts the search results.

Free text search: In case the index search results didn't yield enough sites, there is a third search that displays search results from the Inktomi free text search results.

Search results list display

Walla!'s display of the list of sites that comply with the search query contains two parts:

Filtering relevant sites: Here the search engine locates all sites that contain the search words in their name, description or submitted keywords.

Rating the chosen sites: After choosing the sites, each of them receives a score )that appears as "rating" in the search results), that is based on the level of relevance to the search words, Walla's site score (as given by its editors) and the number of users that clicked the link to the site while searching for similar terms in the past.

How to advance in Walla!'s search results

  • Purchasing a sponsored placement.
  • Improving the texts that accompany the website: website name, description and keywords.
  • Search engine optimization that affects the Inktomi search engine (the third part of the displayed results).

Pro Walla!

Number of Visitors: The number of visitors in the Walla! Portal is the highest of all Israeli sites, therefore the exposure of advertising in Walla! Is very high.

Con Walla!

Walla! Index update level: Walla!'s sites' index is full of websites that haven't been active for years. Walla! Doesn't perform any checks to see if the listed sites still exist.

Free text search results: The Inktomi search engine results are of significantly lower quality than those of other engines such as Google.

The new site submit process: Several months may pass from the time you submit a new site to the Walla! Index until it is actually displayed. The way to bypass this problem is by paying for quick submission.

Updating an existing site: As of today there is almost no way to ask for alterations regarding a site that was already submitted to Walla!. Submitted update requests are not handled by Walla!

A customer that couldn't find you is your competitor's customer..

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