Fed up with search results? Now you can create your own engine
We at the Mequoda Group are very fond of our website archetypes.
They are website designs from which all similar websites are patterned—kind of like a category.
We’ve previously identified seven distinct archetypes, and each has its own unique tactics and strategies. Some may sound very familiar to you, like:
- Membership Websites
- Brand Websites
- Internet Hubs
- Lead Generation Websites
But as the Web grows, our list grows.
Through our research, we have recently discovered another website archetype that you could create to drive traffic and make money online: the Search Engine archetype.
That’s right, you can create you own search engine.
This may sound nearly impossible with search giants like Google and Yahoo dominating the market, but—believe it or not—your search engine could have a very sharp edge on these sprawling portals.
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“Users, business users specifically, are getting frustrated with the types of results they are getting from Google,” said Search Channel President William Furlong.
Search Channel specializes in creating and maintaining niche topic search engines for media companies.
The idea is to create a search engine on a focused topic. This is called Vertical Search and it is much more precise than the Google’s sprawling horizontal style of search.
For example, pretend “you’re a dentist, you go to Google and type in ceramics, which is a type of material used in dentistry. You’ll get ten million results from Google and it’s mostly about pottery.”
“Then you go to our publisher’s vertical dentistry search engine…put in ceramics and you get thousands of results and they’re articles on how to use the material, companies that make ceramics, blogs that talk about it—but no pottery,” Furlong said.
Ad Revenue and Marketing Tool
There are many different reasons for creating your own search engine.
First of all, you can control how the engine is monetized.
The large majority of publishers with search engines use them to generate PPC and CPM advertising revenue, but some also sell subscriptions to their engines, Furlong said.
Another reason to own your own engine is that you can control what content it delivers, possibly charging companies for good rankings or even putting your website on top of every search results page.
Not every publisher is brazen enough to put them selves at the top of every results page, but some will display their company’s relevant links next to the search results, Furlong said.
Creating Your Engine
While the benefits of owning your own search engine are powerful, it does take some work to establish one.
“If you build it, they don’t come,” Furlong said.
Your search engine has to be thoroughly SEOed and marketed to attract website traffic.
Also, someone has to index all the websites your engine will search through and outsourcing this process to companies like Search Channel is not free.
It costs about $10,000 to $20,000 for Search Channel to establish your engine and some publishers have additional contracts with Search Channel to add tools, perform maintenance or provide advertising consulting, Furlong said.
Mountains of Un-indexed Content
Still not sure if creating you own search engine is a good idea?
Well, according to Furlong, only about 20 percent of all the Web’s content is indexed, leaving massive piles of content just waiting to be added to someone’s search engine, and it could be yours.
Why not take advantage of all of that content—content you didn’t even create—and start using it to sell advertising, much like Google does.
Search engines, however, are only one type of website archetype that you could be using to generate online revenue and website traffic.
Learn how to design other archetypes in our Generating Website Revenue special report. This book will teach you to develop websites that are optimized to execute specific strategies that will lead your publication to success online.