Google dominates the market in terms of search engine. It has some competition from Yahoo and ASK, but essentially rules the roost. Well a new player is entering the scene, and though we wish them well, their USP better be very good as otherwise they’ll be swallowed up.
The new search engine is called Oparla, and how it aims to attract people to its service is by giving them cash. Yes, that’s right, cold hard cash. The idea is that every time you use their service to search, you’ll be building up a cash tally and after you’ve used it for a long time that will equate to money being transferred to your account. It’s just leaving beta stage at the moment, so there’s no real info as to how you actually make the money- or what searches count for more, but they say you’ll be rewarded just by using their service to search.
Registering for Oparla is very easy, though I was a bit wary when they requested my birthdates and address; even if they said it was so they could ‘post your gifts to you’. They say they’re going to add social interaction features to the site, to make searching more of a ‘social’ experience, with other users able to suggest ways to finesse your results. You’ll also be able to leave comments on the accuracy of the results they’ve found for you, and see related searches by other users.
Their business model seems to revolve around allowing advertisers to make monthly payments for ads rather than using keywords or a cost per click approach, which should make the site cleaner to view, if not as tailored to your results.
It’s not the first search engine to try something like this though, as we’ve seen Scour and Yahoo both offer cash incentives for people using it as their main browser.
Using the site is simple as it has a refreshingly clean layout with zero ads (so far) on the homepage. Search results come up in a neat list which you can click through, or you can opt for Classic View to have the results displayed in a Google style layout.
I was intrigued by what results came up though, as stories I wrote about years ago were placed higher than recent articles. The image search isn’t as comprehensive as Google either as when looking for pictures of myself; I only had one page of results rather than six.
It’s early days though, so we’ll just have to wait and see if this site will be profitable- for ourselves AND its creators.
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