Pan-European search engine godado.co.uk launched this June in the UK. It's the first auction-based search engine to hit the UK market, whereby keywords are the commodity up for grabs. The highest bidder, rather than the most popular site, makes its way to the top of the rankings.
The auction model operates on a cost-per-click basis. Advertisers select the keywords that they feel best describe their site, and then bid to purchase them. A minimum bid can be no less than two pence, and the Web sites are listed in accordance with their bidding price, on a first-come, first-served basis. Advertisers are only obliged to pay up when a visitor to godado actually clicks through.
"We do not claim to be another Yahoo!," argues Denise Albuquerque, affiliation manager for Godado. "We are a low profile company looking at a niche market."
It's an innovative idea, but do Internet users really want to find Web sites with the biggest advertising budget rather than the most useful content? It may be one way of making things democratic, but the success of such a search engine will be limited when set against advanced vertical searches offered by the likes of Ask Jeeves, or results based on the number of links pointing to a site, as on google.com. The trend in search engines is moving towards sites where users can get single exact answers to very specialised questions.
The service: Godado.co.uk
What it does: Search engine that gives pole position to the highest bidder
How it works: Web sites bid online for keywords relevant to themselves, and the highest bidder is listed first
Who it's for: Web sites willing to pay to stay at the top of the list
The verdict: Interesting concept, but only time will tell whether it's useful Startup Spotlight brings you the best and worst new Web sites every week. For more see the Spotlight archive. See techTrader for more technology investment news, plus quotes and research. What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.