Eurekster & The Best Sales Idea I have seen in a long time

I was playing around with Eurekster to get a feel for it . Eurekster is a “wisdom of crowds” search engine. I want to discuss it briefly before I get to theBest Sales Ideabecause it could have some bigupside if they execute on their idea correctly

Theirs is a simple concept.

Add their search engine to your site. They will rank results based on what actions people who search from your site take. Makes perfect sense. There is usually some level of commonality between users of any given site. Sports sites get sports fans. Movie Sites get movie fans. They recognize this and show results that maximize relavance to thesites’ community. That should be a good thing. But its really not the key to whether Eurekster succeeds or fails.

The real question about Eurekster is whether or not they can successfully use the same approach to advertising. More relevant ads should result in more click throughs andhappier advertisers. Happier users and advertisers should result in more money paid to sites that use Eurekster.

That is the trillion dollar question. If sites start to realize that they can make some decent money hosting Eurekster search boxes, they will drop the more typical Google or Yahoo search boxes and quickly replace them with Eurekster.

If Eurekster does the same with an adsense like product and pays back more money to site owners. Well then the better idea will make them rich and upset the search applecart. Which quickly explains why the rumor is that MicroSoft is interested in acquiring them. It will be fun to see what direction Eurekster goes business wise and product wise.Will they be caught up in a”our search isbetter so use us” mantra. Or will they besmart and go for blood with a “our search is better and because of it, we pay you the site publisher much more money than the other guys” approach.

But I digress. The Best Sales Idea ?

Well I was doing a compare Google results to Eurekster results. As is standard with Google, the sponsored text ads show up above the results. Low and behold, what do I see, a link to something that some guy had emailed me about, trying to sell it to me.

Apparently the guy figured that I would be doing vanity searches on my name through Google. (I never use Google for search, I use Icerocket.com for obvious reasons)So when I saw the ad come up, I had to blog about it as the Best Sales Idea I had seen in a long time.

Most people, particularly those who find their name in media from time to time, search for themselves, their companies and whatever else may be personal to them on an ongoing basis. It may be daily, weekly, monthly, but its going to happen.

So if you want to reach that big shot that would never take your call, or respond to your letters, this is your way to do it. Buy their name as a key word.

If you want to reach Katie Holmes to sell her on your new Scientology friendly baby products, buy the keyword “Katie Holmes” across the search engine universe and there is a pretty good chance you will get to her.

How long before we see our first search engine ad Marriage Proposal ?

Hey baby, I think you better Google yourself tonight…

Cheap, easy, original. The hallmark to any great selling idea.

26 thoughts on “Eurekster & The Best Sales Idea I have seen in a long time

  1. What Mr. Cuban said in an interview in a March 20 feature story in Time magazine:

    “Yahoo! was struggling to grow as a search engine, and then Overture came around with pay-per-click, and that saved the entire search industry. And that created enough revenue for Google to become Google. Every step of the way there’s something that comes along that changes the game. And that’s when the fun happens.”

    (source: http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1172234,00.html)

    Comment by JohnD -

  2. I actually created a sort of resume ad on google. I figrued most people google potential employees before they hire. So I created a blog with my stats and misc info on it to show my interest and career achievements. Then created a google ad and bought my name as a keyword. It did not get me a new job but it is the same concept of selling via an ad. I was selling my skills and wanted to seperate myself from the rest.

    I can’t claim the idea as my own because I stole it from a guy who bought an ad to wish his brother happy birthday.

    Comment by Greg -

  3. Yes, But within a couple of years, Google had become the default search engine for anyone who used the Internet regularly, simply because it was able to do a better job of finding the right page quickly.

    Comment by Gener -

  4. new ways to break the dominance of google are coming and eurekster is for sure one of them. but I think that vertical searches are the key to success. I`m not that familiar with the US market, but in japan, china and germany verticals pop up (like game search verticals)… and are pretty successful… are there any game search verticals in the US?

    Comment by Andreas -

  5. FYI: The first marriage proposal via search engine has already happened:
    http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/002596.html
    It was on Ask Jeeves though – not Google.

    Comment by Shaun Ryan -

  6. So did you buy the guy’s product/service or what?

    Comment by funny shirts -

  7. That certainly is an original twist on celebrity stalking…you must have blown their adsense budget though…all that I’m seeing now is “buy Mark Cuban on eBay” :)

    Comment by au current -

  8. Hey Mark … Are you alluding to the guy trying to sell the sportster.com domain? I wonder if purchasing the sponsored link on Google — using keyword ‘Mark Cuban’– was worth the cost? I guess it depends on the price of the sponsored link and whether or not the domain actually sells (for a profit).

    Selling domain names is a very difficult proposition. I own about (80) targeted, well thought out domain names. Over the course of two years I’ve actively marketed these domains using various creative advertising vehicles (online). To be honest, I’ve yet to sell a single domain. To be brutally honest, I haven’t received a solitary offer. Again very difficult.

    An example … I own the domain name SpiderWeblogs.com. I purchased this domain via Yahoo during a $2.99/domain special. Seemed like a good risk/reward. SpiderWeblogs.com is a catchy play-on-words and the domain name is memorable. Weblogs are rapidly gaining mainstream popularity. In purchasing the domain, my intention was to be ‘Johnny on the Spot’ with a creative and potentially valuable weblog related domain property. The trick is finding the target buyer. I know a buyer is out there, but can I find them? … SpiderWeblogs.com

    On a more humorous note, I also own Spider(s)Weblog.com. I wonder if John ‘Spider’ Salley would be interested in starting his own blog?

    Selling. That’s the hard part. Different people have different strengths. I’ve always been a conceptual person, an ‘ideas’ guy. Some people can take ideas once conceived and run with them. Still others are natural salespeople. I know my strengths and I’m aware of my weaknesses. That’s part of the reason I’m here at blog maverick … I want to learn. I believe I have good ideas, I just don’t yet have an effective plan. Still I’m willing to learn …

    Jim Parham ~ Yuba City, CA

    Comment by SpiderWeblogs -

  9. James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds” praises the Google search algorithm as a “wisdom of crowds” archetype:

    “This intelligence, or what I’ll call ‘the wisdom of crowds,’ is at work in the world in many different guises. It’s the reason the Internet search engine Google can scan a billion Web pages and find the one page that has the exact piece of information you were looking for … If you use the Internet regularly, these examples of Google’s performance will not surprise you. This is what we have come to expect form Google: instantaneous responses with the exact page we need up high in the rankings. But if possible, it’s worth letting yourself be a little amazed at what happend during those routine searches. Each time, Google surveyed billions of Web pages and picked exactly the pages that I would find most useful … Google started in 1998, at a time when Yahoo! seemed to have a stranglehold on the search business- and if Yahoo! stumbled, then AltaVista or Lycos looked certain to be the last man standing. But within a couple of years, Google had become the default search engine for anyone who used the Internet regularly, simply because it was able to do a better job of finding the right page quickly. And the way it doe that- and does it while surveying three billion Web pages- is built on the wisdom of crowds … [T]he core of the Google system is the PageRank algorithm … PageRank is an algorithm- a calculating method- that attempts to let all the Web pages on the Internet decide which pages are most relevant to a particular search … ”

    (This excerpt is from the discussion of Google on pp. 4 and 15- 17 in the hardcover edition)

    Comment by JohnD -

  10. Wow!
    This is very interesting! Just the other day I had a conversation with a corporate IT director about the possibilities of making a search engine for corporate intranets to get information about specific departmental/communities subject matter searched by employees to the corporate intranet community that could be faster, efficient, and more focused to that employee or department’s related issues. No one is really focusing on the corporate intranets desperate need for such search engines? Maybe, besides the public, Eurekster may have a great idea for corporate communities as well as industry based communities?

    Comment by Mitchell -

  11. Mark,

    Thanks for the heads up on this one. I’ll be installing the Eurekster search boxes tonight on all of my sites. Google search quality has been going down hill for years. There’s just too much emphasis on how many incoming links a site has.

    IOW, old dinosaur sites launched during and last updated back in the Korean War days show up first by virtue of the fact that they have been around long enough to accumulate more incoming than the competition.

    Try http://www.clusty.com for searches as well.

    Peter
    http://www.antiventurecapital.

    Comment by Peter -

  12. Not bad idea. Do you incarnate them in real life? Or it just ideas for anyone to incarnate?

    Comment by Ted -

  13. Consider the other side – buying your own name as a keyword. Now you can make sure every search for your name has your own personal spin at the top!

    Or maybe just a note… “Hey this is Brian. Why are you Googling me?”

    Comment by Brian Yennie -

  14. Their (Rusty Brick and Yisha Tversky) official wedding/proposal site.

    http://www.yishaandbarry.com/search.php

    Comment by Daniel Wayne Johnston -

  15. Mark – rustybrick (of seo fame) proposed to his girlfriend through ask.com so I guess you could say that the first search engine proposal already happened.

    Here is the story: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=8081

    Comment by Preston Wily -

  16. I could work with popular sites – but with websites like imdb.com and other category portals – I’m tired of getting results with a lot of advertising that isn’t relevant to what I want.

    But I guess it would work for advertisers as it is targeting niche markets.

    Interesting concept. We’ll see how it’ll fare.

    Comment by Forex Trading -

  17. The thing is, when I go to websites i don’t like using their search – especially if it is linked to google search or any other affiliate – because I am aware of the advertisements, and a lot of the time the results given to me is not what I am after.

    I prefer to go to the search engines direct.

    Comment by Share Trading -

  18. We’ve been working with Eurekster for a while now and are very impressed with the work they’ve done relating to social search so far. Extending the work they’ve done with search results into the area of sponsored links seems like such a natural, I’d be surprised if they haven’t been pursuing it. We believe that the now-exploding social networking world is going to support social search, in many iterations, combined with user-generated content and/or user organized (direct and indirect) search results and it is going to be a very significant force influencing the future of search. The technologies, supplied by Eurekster and others, could help push the social networking community, already well over 100 million members strong, into becoming a powerful entity in search, and a way to dislodge page-ranking as the dominant method of organizing SERP’s. Additionally, it gives the social networking sites a new revenue stream and a powerful sponsored link advertising model, combining Eurekster-like technologies applied to sponsored links and the demographic information that the social networking sites store. A new paradigm… maybe…

    Comment by Steve Mansfield -

  19. This is what we have come to expect form Google: instantaneous responses with the exact page we need up high in the rankings. But if possible, it’s worth letting yourself be a little amazed at what happend during those routine searches. Each time, Google surveyed billions of Web pages and picked exactly the pages that I would find most useful …

    Comment by runescape money -

  20. The technologies, supplied by Eurekster and others, could help push the social networking community, already well over 100 million members strong, into becoming a powerful entity in search, and a way to dislodge page-ranking as the dominant method of organizing SERP’s.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  21. I didn’t know about Eurekster until now. I will try them in my site very soon and I will compare with other affiliates services to see which one is better.
    For other webmasters:
    How is Eurekster in comparation with others ?

    Comment by cars passion -

  22. Hey Mark my name is Sean Ferry and i am from Holland Michigan. I am a huge pistons fan and i love the fact that someone actually spoke up and said something about reffing. I am so sick of the terrible calls made by the refs in such crucial games. I hope to see the Mavs in the Championship against the Pistons. Good Luck!!!!

    Comment by Sean Ferry -

  23. The sportster.com guy has an outrageous sales expectation. Perhaps reasonable pricing would had led to a domain sale. So much for the ‘Best Sales Idea’ …

    Below is the email I received regarding the sportster domain …

    ** (We would like to thank everyone for their interest in sportster.com. We have had over a dozen serious offers and just a ton of interest overall.

    Given our current offers, we have decided to set an auction closing date of Thursday, May 18th, 2006.

    The minimum bid we will accept will be $100,000.00. (You may submit bids less than $100,000, but they will not be reviewed until after May 18th, 2006, and only if the current auction does not close.)

    If you would like for us to close the auction earlier with a higher bid, please feel free to email at mrmakkar @ gmail.com with your proposal.

    We can also sell sportstr.com for those interested.

    Best of luck.) **

    Comment by Radio Maverick -

  24. It worked in this case because a) it was novel and b) the intended audience (you) was the type who would care to do vanity searches.

    But if you’re trying to reach someone very well known, it would cost a lot of money since everyone doing a search on that person would end up clicking on the ad out of curiosity. And the intended person himself might never see it.

    Comment by del.icio.us/tag/melanie+phung -

  25. Sounds good to me. Does anyone know if they are going to do have an IPO soon?

    Comment by Robert K Dean -

  26. So did you buy the guy’s product/service or what?

    Comment by Article -

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