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Thursday, October 13, 2005

New Search Engine Will Give Users...

New Search Engine Will Give Users Premium Content, For Free

A NEW SEARCH ENGINE, CONGOO, is currently partnering with premium content providers so that upon its projected launch a month from now, it can give that content away free. In a nutshell, consumers will be asked to fill out a basic registration form when they first search on Congoo. Then, when they conduct a search, Congoo will spider content from its premium partners, and display those results prominently above standard results from one of the top three search engines--with which Congoo plans, but has yet to partner.

There are limits, however, to how much premium content members can access. Generally, the maximum will be one free piece of content per search; in addition, each participating publication will establish a maximum number of stories that any user can access within a certain time frame.

The company's founder, Ash Nashed, who secured a patent in 2003 for his business plan, said that a number of general news, financial, and trade publications have already signed up.

But, he said, Congoo will have to walk a fine line to meet both consumers' and publishers' expectations. "Consumers want free content, and publishers want to use this as a way to market their content," said Nashed. "For the core audience that would normally subscribe to these publications, we're hoping the level of access we provide will be sufficient so they won't unsubscribe," he said, adding: "We want to give enough away to attract new readers who will hopefully become part of that publication's core audience."