Searching Search Engines

Alta Vista, Yahoo!, Infoseek, etc all make a few bucks by flashing banners for eBay and Amazon.com at you while you’re searching. So, they can continue letting you search for free cause of the banner support.

Sites like Ask Jeeves suck off of Alta Vista et al and display their search results without showing you the eBay banner that eBay expects you to be looking at when you use Alta Vista.

So what gives? Would I have to pay Alta Vista to use their search database on my engine? Wouldn’t that make it cheaper for Ask Jeeves to get their own database? I mean, say eBay pays A.J. 3 cents per banner clock (I’m making numbers up here) and eBay pays A.V. 4 cents since A.V. gets more traffic. And let’s say A.V. charges A.J. 1 cent per search of the engine. This means that A.J. is getting, at most, 2 cents per use provided that you click the banner and -1 cents if they don’t click it. So A.J. is losing buckets of cash.

But if A.V. doesn’t charge for use, then they’re losing hits where I should be seeing a banner, but I’m not. Which makes their site less attractive to eBay. So A.V. loses cash because they have less power to charge for placing a banner on their site.

So… you get the idea of my question. How does the financial end work?


“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Oh, my my.

Not to answer your question but perhaps you should buy some software that searches all of them for you and displays no banners whatsoever, cause you paid for it :slight_smile:

Im sure they all pay a monthly use fee. Just like newsgroup feed. Altopia pays $65,000 per month to get AT&T’s newsfeed.

The banners don’t bother me, I was just curious as to the logisitics of it.

Even with your software, if you enter in +Cecil +God, then your SearchMaster2000 is just accessing Alta Vista and asking it to look up +Cecil +God, and Alta Vista is missing out on the potential income they’d get if you actually went to the site. While I doubt this is illegal, I think it is perhaps unethical and I’m suprised the search engines don’t bother the software companies about it. After all, their entire income comes from ‘physical’ visits to the site.


“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”