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Google AdSense has, to no small degree, revolutionised the independent web publishing business this year with the debut of a banner-based search results syndication program. Investing in Google's content analysis technology, AdSense possesses the ability to target advertising content by contextaul relevance. By doing so, the system not only provides advertising content that fails to detract from one's own site, but which is also more likely to attract above-average response rates by appealing to a visitor's own topical interests. Further to this, AdSense offers the ability for publishers to select their own colour scheme associated with the ads, so as to better integrate the creatives into one's content. Publishers are presented with a revenue-share earnings model, online reporting and NET30 payments. AdSense presently supports 468x60 banners, 120x600 skyscrapers, 300x250 in-line rectangles and 728x90 leaderboard ads. Highly recommended.

MetaMission is a meta search engine that is presently managing an affiliate program that pays 2 cents/search performed through one of their searchboxes that is responded to be the searcher (ie a 2nd-click program). Searches made that initiate from banner clicks pay up to 8 cents/response. Payments are made on a NET14 schedule once $50 has been reached. Real-time online stats are available. Worth exploring.

Overture (formerly GoTo.com) [GOTO] is the world's most popular pay-for-placement engine. Despite this, their own referral program is not nearly as rewarding as many of those that aggregate results from a variety of pay-for-placement sources. GoTo's program is managed through Be Free's Reporting.net system, and pays a flat rate of 2 cents/search on a 1st-click basis (this was reduced from the former rate of 3 cents/click on March 31st). Prepopulation of the search box is nolonger permitted, and the program now supports only publishers based in Canada or the US of A. Recommended.

SearchReferral allows you to be compensated in the amount of 3 cents/1st-click on low bidded search or 1/2 of the bid price on a 2nd-click basis for high-bidded searches made from the company's Search123 pay-for-placement portal. Under this scheme, if a user searches for a high-bidded term, such as "casino" or "web hosting", for example, and clicks on the top bidded search result (which, for the sake of argument, is valued at 60 cents), you will receive a mammoth 30 cents. On the other hand, if they search for a high-bidded term, but click on nothing, you will receive nothing. Searches on low-bidded terms, such as "free britney spears pictures" will net the publisher a flat 3 cents. SearchReferral also recently expanded their program to offer a co-branding option, allowing you to better integrate the search results within your own design templates. Worth exploring.

SearchRevenue promises its affiliates 6 cents/search on a moderately unbranded search box (What do you want to Findaroo?...hmm...), and supports prefills. The program works on a second-click basis, although the website fails to mention this, and has suffered from many reports of non-payment. Payments are supposed to be sent monthly on a NET10 basis. Not recommended.

SearchTraffic.com offers a flexible search-box program that pays you 6 cents (on a 2nd-click basis) for each search performed from your website. You are free to choose from customizable boxes (which may be prefilled with high-bidded terms), or banner-style search boxes. Payment is made 15 days after the conclusion of each monthly pay period once the minimum payment threshold has been reached. Recommended.

Snooply is a new searchbox program created by Kaumil Patel of CashCommunity fame. It supports both prefills and text links for those terms that return top-bidded results above $0.10. You will earn a flat rate of 2 cents/search (1st-click), with checks cut quarterly for all accounts that have ammassed more than $25 in valid revenues. Only English-language sites are accepted.
UPDATE (1st August, 2001): This program initially received a "Recommended" rating, but this has been downgraded to Worth exploring as a result of dramatic undercounting/filtering reported by affiliates. For more information about how Snooply discount searches originating from various IP blocks read this.
UPDATE (24th January, 2002): The Snooply affliate program has been dramatically overhauled, and now pays its partners a 45% revenue share (rather than a flat 2 cents) on a 2nd-click basis. Payment terms are now NET45, and checks are dispatched monthly. These changes have collectively streamlined the program, allowing for the heavy filtering mentioned above to be removed. Still, the new payment structure is unlikely to match the results that one could achieve with a flat CPC model, so the verdict remains worth exploring.

TargetWords presents a flexible search-oriented program that offers webmasters a quasi revenue-share CPC program that offers between 1-8 cents/search performed from your site. Text links and searchboxes are both supported. Payments are made NET60, after the month in which the relatively high $50 minimum payment threshold has been reached. This program is quite new, but appears to be shaping up well. Definitely worth exploring.
UPDATE (27th January, 2002): Payments are now issued on a rapid NET15 basis for revenue totals exceeding $25. This change, coupled with positive feedback concerning this and Oversee's other program (PopupSponsor) earns Targetwords the revised rating of Recommended.


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