New Google WebSearch Program Pays Publishers For Searches

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

Toolbars and Data Mining
Search Engine Watch Forums

“The amount of data analysis and user behavior that can be culled from downloaded toolbars and search utilities is enormous, and could be useful to marketers willing to pay companies to share reports. How common will this practice become?”

Britain Cracks Down on Paid Search Listings
Webmaster World

“The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Wednesday called on ISP (Internet service provider) Freeserve PLC (now known by the brand name Wanadoo) to make clearer to users which of its Web search results are paid advertisements.”

Buying and Selling Stolen PageRank Scam

“There’s a scam out there, and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s really a scam against website owners–and a lot of innocent webmasters are falling victim to it. I’m hoping that by posting and exposing this scam that you will be more educated as a webmaster and as a consumer.”

Microsoft Introduces New Robots.txt Commands
Webmaster World

“We do support what we call a crawl delay. Basically it allows you to specify via robots.txt an amount of time (in seconds) that MSNBot should wait before retrieving another page from that host. The syntax in your robots.txt file would look something like…”

Vertical Search – The Next Big Thing?
Search Engine Watch Forums

“I remember a few times back in history when others have said vertical search would take over. Personally I do think vertical search is great but it just hasn’t turned out big for anyone yet.”

Country Search Engines & Domain Names

“Transferring your country content to the appropriate country domains will certainly help and overcome the problem you have with using a .com. In my experience, you don’t need to host in individual countries – using the correct TLD [top level domain” is enough. Registration in each country can be tough though, with each country having different rules.”

How Can People Guarantee Traffic?
High Rankings Forum

“I am hearing about SEO companies who are providing guarantees to clients regarding the number of people visiting their site and I am assuming that they are buying traffic in. Would this be right? Is this a reputable practice?”

Will Search Engines Ever Understand…?
Search Engine Watch Forums

“…the true meaning of words and documents indexed? Mikkel deMib Svendsen explores the idea of search engines relying on increased natural language abilities in the future.”

PPC Engine Content Partner Control
Search Engine Watch Forums

“The only PPC [pay per click” engine that offers ‘source exclusion’ functionality is Mirago, whereby a list of partners is readily available and choice as to who you want traffic from is offered. I believe that if all the major PPC engines offer this functionality, then it would certainly be a step in the right direction to unlocking the true conversion and ROI potential in ‘content-match’ type products.”

Search Engine Forums Spotlight courtesy Search Engine Guide.

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