joined:July 14, 2009
Recently I keep reading of a much-hyped Search service that claims to be "one of the only incentivized
search engines to feature google results".
Without dropping any URLs, their name consists of a alang term for stolen goods followed by a slang term for money.
They intermingle Google Search Partner ads throughout the page, mixed among the SERPs they show. An advertiser on the Search Network could be paying whatever bid to be number 24 on their pages.
They claim to denote the sponsored results, but do so by showing your green Display URL (which is clickable) labelled "Sponsored By [www....] example. com/index.html
where "example" is the Adwords advertiser's domain.
By using their Search site, also available as a widget for your blog or toolbar, you "earn" eponymously named points for searches that you perform. Just checking it out after reading about it in "how to save money" type articles gained me some points - redeemable for gift certificates.
There is a casino style progressive ticker on the right side continuously updating which shows how much "John P." or whoever just earned on a search.
I see bad Search Partners in my logs all the time but like the rest of us accept them in order to reap the good search portals. However, this one is spreading virally throughout the web -- everyone is a winner except the Adwords advertisers.
1) Searchers get "points" simply by searching Google results, a "dynamic mix of sponsored and organic results" (the company's words).
2) People putting up the widget on their blogs get "points" too. Admittedly this is not so unlike the Google Search Box that Adsense Publishers can use, but Adsense publishers must adhere to strict TOS and not encourage clicks.
3) This reeks of MLM because one gets 100 free points for every "friend" they refer. (USE THE FRIEND REFERRAL! It is a great way to pad your account)
4) The sponsored results returned are not properly relevant to the queries by any means.
I've shuddered countless times over what passes for Google Search Partners, but does anyone else feel this one is a little bit over the top?