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New Google WebSearch Program Pays Publishers For Searches

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Google has released two new services allowing site owners to install web search capabilities on their own sites, including one that pays.

Google WebSearch allows publishers to add a Google web search box to their web sites. Searches generated then show both Google's paid and unpaid listings. The publisher receives a share of all revenue generated from clicks on the paid listings.

Anyone already involved in the Google AdSense program can make use of Google WebSearch, Google says. Those who aren't can apply for the Google AdSense program to make use of the search and contextual ads that AdSense provides.

The new program harkens back to the search box affiliate programs that emerged in 1999 and 2000. Overture, then GoTo, launched the first significant one in January 1999 paying $0.03 per search. By the following year, others such as AltaVista, Lycos and even Google were paying up to three cents themselves.

The dotcom downturn seemed to prompt the closure of these programs. Toward the end of 2001, both AltaVista and Google had closed theirs, for example. In the wake of Google's new offering, it may be that we'll see a renaissance in these type of offerings.

Google's also unveiled a new tweak to the web search feature it has long offered publishers. Called Site-Flavored Google Search, this lets publishers set ranking criteria to favor particular categories of web pages.

For example, a site about computers could offer web searching via Google where the search results boost pages classified as being related to computers. A site dealing with news could offer web search that boosts news content.

The service takes advantage of classification features that are part of the Google Personalized Web Search service that was released in March. That feature lets users do category weighting for their own personal use. In contrast, the new Site-Flavored Google Search lets publishers create customization for an entire audience of searchers.

Google still offers "unflavored" web search to publishers, as well as a feature to search with a specific site. This service has been rebranded as Google Free. Other companies also offer such services, and Avi Rappoport's Search Tools web site is a good place to explore options.

Search Engine Forums Spotlight

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight courtesy Search Engine Guide.

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