SearchTrade is Revolutionizing the Search Engine
A new startup – SearchTrade, armed with a simple but ground-breaking concept is looking to change the way we use the most widely used resource on the internet – the search engine.
SearchTrade uses a methodology and concept that is strikingly different to conventional, established models of search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo. The difference? It aims to reward you for the time spent searching while on search engines, with Bitcoin.
“I began my research with an objective of finding a digital asset that had properties similar to that of a physical asset,” notes Vishal Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of SearchTrade on his advent into looking at search engines in a new way.
“While doing my research, It dawned upon me that most commonly indulged activity on the internet is searching, since everything we do on the internet starts with an act of search. I then put my mind on designing a system that would turn the act of ‘searching’ into an economic opportunity for all,” Gupta explains.
The startup is currently garnering plenty of interest by selling ‘keywords’ to buyers interested in claiming them as assets. Keywords used during a search creates revenue for the owner of the keyword, besides the Bitcoin payout guaranteed to the user searching for the keywords.
SearchTrade has already raised over 200 Bitcoins, (approx USD $45,000) within a week of the launch of its crowd-sale where 500 keywords were snapped up by investors. The company is planning more crowd-sales for other keywords in the coming days.
At the time of writing this, the startup is currently gearing itself for the launch of its search platform in 85 days.
The Concept – a Fully Realized, Rewarding Search Engine
The search engine industry is a significant one and is unsurprisingly dominated by Google – both in reach and revenue. Internet marketers spend billions of dollars every year on search advertising, and it’s easy to see why. Localized searches performed by millions of internet users looking for a product or a service nearby are online leads that convert to sales. This sure-fire business model coupled with the pay-per-click concept for keywords (AdWords) that place targeted advertisements has businesses opting for search engines as a significant medium for marketing.
Despite the successes of the search engine industry, Gupta sees the potential for building a better search-engine business model where wealth is created and shared between users and the business since it’s users’ participation that creates the wealth in first place.
“I strongly believe that search is the most neglected business on the internet,” contends Gupta. He means to tap into it by rewarding stakeholders for every act of search – including the end-user searching for anything on the search engine, with Bitcoin.
On SearchTrade, users can choose from a variety of search engines listed on their app market to do a search from. They are also actively building their own search-based applications ahead of their launch. The demo site is currently available here.
The Four Stakeholders Gaining from the Search Process
“There is a need to create business models that spread the wealth being generated by internet businesses amongst more people, to both empower them and create opportunities for people to make a livelihood from the internet,” reasons Gupta when explaining the need to split the monetary windfall generated by a search engine.
The four gainers or stakeholders involved in the SearchTrade search process are:
- The Initiator – The person doing the search that triggers and sustains the entire search industry.
- The Miner – The investor who owns the keyword or phrase that is being searched for on the search engine.
- The Developer – The innovator who builds applications that users use on the search platform.
- The Advertiser – The marketer who pays to advertise their products and services among the search results.
SearchTrade monetizes the searches by selling ads to marketers and then shares the revenue with various stakeholders involved.
Keywords – a Key Resource for All
In licensing keywords as assets, SearchTrade has a proven new investment opportunity for those looking to buy-in to the company’s methodology.
Quite simply, keyword owners will earn bitcoins every time an end-user performs a search that contains keyword they own within SearchTrade’s search engine. As an example, if someone owned the word “Hotel” they would get paid in bitcoin every time it became part of a search query, such as “Hotel in London”. Furthermore, these keywords can also be traded with other SearchTrade users, the way commodities are traded. Users are also free to make an offer on keywords owned by others.
Gupta confirms that third party ad services will be integrated into SearchTrade to begin with, in order to generate ad income initially. The company’s own ad program will be added to the search engine over time as traffic on the site increases. This move will contribute to a bigger pool of revenue that is to be shared among its stakeholders.
The SearchTrade Community Pool
Elaborating on earnings of the pool, SearchTrade currently operates on five sources of income. They are:
- Advertising. The revenue brought in from advertisers and internet marketers.
- Keyword First Sale. The sale of keywords to investors, as demonstrated in its initial sale of 500 keywords (and counting).
- Keyword Trading Commission. SearchTrade charges a commission fee whenever keywords are traded among SearchTrade users.
- Keyword Renewal Fee. A fee of $1 is charged every year to every keyword licensed by users.
- Sale of Search Data to 3rd Parties. The revenue brought in from the sale of search data API(s) to 3rd party ad programs.
All of the above sources of income are added to the SearchTrade Community Pool that is proportionally distributed amongst all stakeholders every time a search takes place. The methodology being: total income divided by the total number of searches and arriving at average income per search that becomes the payout per search.
The Potential & Promise for App Developers
Gupta believes there is currently little room for innovation in the search-engine space for independent developers who could otherwise do wonders with specialized search engines that target niche markets or users, but are encumbered due to lack of monetization possibilities.
“The dominance of a few large players because of scale they have achieved is making it unviable for coders to build specialized search engines that cater to niche demands,” Gupta says, looking at the current landscape in search engine industry.
“We hope to provide such innovators with a platform to showcase their searched based application ideas to SearchTrade users and also provide them with a business model wherein they can make money and sustain their businesses,” explains Gupta.
In a call out to developers to innovate with new ideas and applications, SearchTrade is currently sharing 25% of the payout of every search generated, toward the developer. The payout is made every time a search is made by SearchTrade user using the developer’s search application while they are logged in.
The potential is staggering, and the vision inherent has the ideology to shake-up the entire search industry. Vishal Gupta and his company’s goals to contribute to the search engine industry and the wider internet are simple.
“We hope to see a more collaborative internet where there are more opportunities for an average Joe to participate and make a living from the web without having to be a coder or a computer expert,” adds Gupta, at the helm of SearchTrade, a company equipped with a unique, revolutionizing take of the search engine.
This is a Showcase. Featured image from Shutterstock.