One could plausibly argue that it's crazy to do anything in the general ("horizontal") search marketplace. But new engines continue to launch. The latest, having been in semi-stealth mode for the past several weeks, is Zotspot. Zotspot is a general-purpose engine that officially launched yesterday. Here's the press release.
Like a number of others before it, the idea here is to "reward" users for searching. It claims to be the first engine to "pay users in cash for their normal search behavior." If you don't want the cash you can donate it to one of numerous partner charities.
You essentially get paid for referrals in a "multi-level" fashion. Here's how Zotspot explains how users get paid. Search engine ChaCha doesn't reward its users, but has a comparable payment structure for its "guides."
The theme here is "share the wealth." The question is will that be incentive enough to get people off their G-Y-M habit? One wants to root for companies that have their eye on the larger social good, but Zotspot's results at a minimum have to be as good as Google's or no one will be swayed.
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