Search engine to share revenue with content firms

By Published on .

WebCrawler Monday unveils an enhanced searching capability called WebCrawler Shortcuts that creates shared revenue streams between the search engine and its content partners.

Via partnerships with companies including Music Boulevard, Classifieds2000, MapQuest,, Deja News and WhoWhere?, WebCrawler will begin integrating content alongside query results. Users will have the option to purchase products, search for more detailed information and participate in special promotions.

While other search engines have formed content partnerships, no services seem to be as integrated -- both financially and editorially -- as WebCrawler Shortcuts.


"In a very real sense we're endorsing our partners because we're wrapping our brand around their content," said Adam Hertz, general manager of WebCrawler, which is owned by Excite.

Sponsorship fees vary: Some are based on exposure rates; some deals are bounty-based; and still others are straight revenue splits between WebCrawler and the individual partners.


For example, WebCrawler will receive a cut from all Music Boulevard sales that originate from the search site.

"This new arrangement gives WebCrawler users direct access to content and value-added services," said Sani El-Fishawy, president-CEO of Classifieds2000, another WebCrawler partner. "We increase our viewership and are able to tap into WebCrawler's loyal audience as well as generate additional revenue from transactions and banner ads on WebCrawler's area."

To support the new service, WebCrawler is launching a promotion called "Thanks a Million Miles" that offers prizes of up to 1 million frequent flier miles on American Airlines and United Airlines. Running today through July 5, each day of the promotion five participants who enter the sweepstakes on WebCrawler's site will be awarded various amounts of frequent flier miles.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

Most Popular
In this article: