Sunday, June 26, 2005

InterSearch Helps Institutions Profit from Web Searching

It seemed to be for the most part a fish out of water at the SIA Show (weblog coverage) but one of the more interesting booths was a display by InterSearch Group, Inc.. InterSearch was announcing its Search Equity corporate search engine technology, which enables companies to profit from employees clicking on ads appearing in search results. With the Search Equity setup users have essentially the same search experience, but when someone at a participating enterprise clicks on a sponsored link it goes into a revenue share pool, from which InterSearch and their clients take a cut. InterSearch estimates that for each 1,000 employees a participating enterprise could take home more than $18,000 annually - a pretty tidy number. It's a very simple proposition that may have a lot of appeal to companies that provide access to open Web search engines anyway, though it's really just the tip of the iceberg. Companies are used to their content providers claiming the "real estate" in front of their staff as their own, when in fact it's via infrastructure paid for by the client. This is a small step towards companies beginning to recognize that their employees' desktops are valuable places for other businesses to communicate with them with value that they should be claiming for their own top and bottom lines more effectively. Should companies be paying aggregators for distribution of content? Or should they be charging aggregators for monetization rights on their internal networks? Sponsored search ads are just one monetization model to be used behind the firewall for external content sources providing contextual content value, with many new and repackaged models to come.
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