The tremendous rise in search engine usage and popularity has been driven by the free nature of the media. Users have a wealth of information at their fingertips for free. So how could things get better? It’s simple – imagine getting rewarded for searching.
The competition between search engines is driving the new push to reward searchers. As many of the major search engines are storing more information than most of us will need in a lifetime, and the algorithms used to generate rankings are getting much more intelligent and user-centric, how will users select which search engine to use? It appears rewards programs could be the deciding factor.
MSN and Yahoo! were the first major search engines to enter the reward for search space. MSN have a 3 month competition in place, where searchers will be offered prizes for using the MSN search engine.
Yahoo! is also busily setting up its own rewards program. Currently completing research within its Yahoo! Mail customer base, they are aiming to set-up their incentive program around a Yahoo Search Rewards toolbar. Some of the incentives being researched include frequent flier miles, Netflix discounts and upgrades within their own online software services.
Prefound.com, a community based search engine, is taking the rewards system to a new level. In a system that relies on its users providing the content from their own search experiences, prefound.com need to increase its index content quickly. So what better way to do it than offer to pay users for supplying the content?
To participate, you can become a prefound.com Featured Finder, whereby you will receive any AdSense revenue that is derived from your page on the prefound.com site. As community based search engines continue to gain in popularity, expect to see more of them using similar reward tactics to bolster their indexes.
Other mediums such as radio and newspapers have been rewarding their audiences for years, in an effort to maintain and/or grow their active customer base. It was only a matter of time before search engines followed suit. And the best part is – we (searchers) get to continue doing what we do best, “surfing the net”, and now can get prizes or even money for doing it…viva la search!