Yahoo’s ‘GoodSearch’ – a search engine with a heart
This new search engine concept means that a nonprofit’s supporters can donate money to the organization each time they conduct a simple Web search.
GoodSearch is a Los Angeles based search engine that diverts nearly 50% of its ad-generated revenue to various charities, nonprofits, and educational institutions throughout the United States.
They plan to go international but as yet GoodSearch is only available to American nonprofits.
NB The GoodSearch website thanks bloggers for spreading the word – PWF is thinking ‘Why shouldn’t Australian bloggers spread the word here and push for a speedy international application? Neighbourhood Houses could certainly do with a bit of extra help!
The GoodSearch Story
Launched in November 2005 through a partnership with Yahoo, GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo’s search engine and therefore returns the exact same results as its better-known partner. But unlike Yahoo, GoodSearch features a field where visitors can enter their favorite nonprofit or educational institution, essentially naming that organization as the beneficiary of the money their searches earn.
Most search engines make money primarily by hosting advertisements that appear based on keywords in a user’s query; for instance, typing “donation software” might return ads from commercial software vendors and organizations that accept donated cars. Whenever a user clicks one of these sponsored links the advertiser pays the search engine a certain amount of money for the referral.
GoodSearch’s sponsored links, also served up by Yahoo, generate revenue in the same manner as ads featured on other search engines, only the service donates half of this money to user-specified nonprofits.
“When I read that Internet search engines generated close to $6 billion in advertising,” said GoodSearch co-founder Ken Ramberg, “I thought to myself, ‘What if even a fraction of that money could go toward good causes?'”
Although GoodSearch only makes money when someone clicks an ad, it will disperse funds to a user’s charity of choice every time they conduct a Web search — regardless of whether they have clicked a sponsored link. “It’s really an effortless way for people to support their favorite charity or school,” said Ramberg.
GoodSearch estimates that each time a nonprofit’s supporter conducts a unique Web search, an organization will receive approximately one cent. And while this might not sound like a substantial amount of money, organizations that persuade the majority of their constituents to regularly use GoodSearch will find that the pennies can add up quickly. A nonprofit with 1,000 supporters who each perform two GoodSearch queries per day, for example, would earn more than $7,000 in just one year.
This good news ICT story is published on communiT.info.
The site has lots of useful content and news on information communication technology (ICT) in nonprofit settings AND they are looking for news, articles, feeds, opinions, product recommendations etc. from people like PWF readers!
CommunIT has an article exchange arrangement with both TechSoup in the US and the ICT Hub in the UK, so stories could end up with a world-wide audience.
CEO Doug Jacquier says, “It doesn’t have to be War and Peace; a few words with appropriate links are fine, or join or start a discussion. Be a devil and be a bit provocative; all’s fair that’s not libellous or obscene.”
You just go to the site and register if you haven’t already and add your 2c worth, or send articles etc to Simon via the Contact Us section of the site.
DO let us know what you think about spreading the GoodSearch idea in Australia?