Monetization update 🔥

Monetization update: We continue to connect the dots and are now generating revenue from Amazon.com, eBay, Coinzilla, and others.

Increased revenue = increased dev activity + marketing resources + increased PRE buybacks.

Presearch is the way!

#SearchAI #tech #AI

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This is a great first step and initiative (which I do believe came from a community member)!

I applaud and recognize the Team’s efforts to get these new monetization methods across the goal line and initially implemented so quickly. This happened way faster than I thought would be possible. Kudos :clap:

Is there a plan to develop mechanisms that will further incentivize the use of these monetization channels for Presearch and also for other affiliate marketers? I see integration of affiliate program in Q4 but does not specify exactly what that means.

Having these monetization Opportunities is AWESOME! I have already purchased some things from eBay and Amazon via the Presearch platform partnered links. However, not everyone will do this, most will revert to their current habits and ease of use which is go directly to Amazon or eBay or those respective apps and then search and purchase items as most currently do. It is another step and a substantial change in habit to come to Presearch first search; maybe not find what you are looking for if not then go back to those sites find exactly what you are looking for, then come back to presearch to see if you can find that thing with a partnered link. I am doing that now but most will not.

Recommendations:

  1. You can however, change people’s habits if you incentivize them. The easiest way to do this is to pay them PRE. If someone uses the partner/affiliate link Presearch could award some percentage of that earned revenue back to those users. To do this while protecting privacy, admittedly may be a difficult problem to solve. But if it was solvable or if the data needed to do this was not a breach of privacy this would supercharge the use of those partner/affiliate links and get many times more successful purchases = more income.

a. Perhaps if a logged user clicked and completed a purchase that unique presearch user ID would get either a general credit for a ‘completed purchase’ or perhaps specific credit for ‘that purchase’. The later starts to mess with privacy concerns while the former might maintain privacy of the individual user. Then those members who actively participated and went out of their way to earn Presearch income could receive some compensation percentage of that affiliate revenue in the form of PRE. Give to those who are actually contributing to the networks success in proportion to their contributions! This is in 100% alignment with the strategic vision.

b. Conversely you could offer the more specific reward percentage for users who chose to give up a little privacy for a greater reward. This would only collect necessary information to reward the user and they would get a privacy pop up perhaps that explains what will be collected for that specific transactional agreement auto-resetting every time or for those that don’t care a toggle to keep that option on.

  1. Assuming we could solve the privacy issue with this concept, the same could be leveraged for other affiliate marketers trying to use the platform for their own benefit.

a. An example would be if Presearch was able to successfully implement the above recommendation the number of purchases would sky rocket from the current numbers and it would be its own advertising for another benefit/feature of using the platform. It makes it more sticky and ensures greater user time on platform, which is great for advertisers. But, if you don’t also implement a similar mechanism for other affiliate marketers you are basically shutting them out. So offer them a similar option or a pre-bid capability where they could put PRE in an escrow stake that would allow them to say hey instead of clicking on Presearch affiliate link which is simple and easy a marketer could offer perhaps more PRE or more benefit to the end user. So now if I see a partnered link and know I might earn x amount of PRE or I could click this other non-presearch option and earn more PRE the user now has more choices and the platform remains enticing to affiliate marketers. Plus there are so many affiliate programs that Presearch will never be able to be a partner of them all so again niche areas for marketers and niche buyers as well as general marketers and general buyers are all better able to mutually support each other on this platform. The more competition and Opportunity you have the better for all. More views, longer use, more clicks, more purchases, more affiliates, more savings/benefits, all drawing more users.

This feature may not even always be used for products or services either it could also be used to further increase likelihood of click-throughs or views of other linked information. It simply provides greater Opportunity to advertisers, affiliate marketers, Presearch, and end users.

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Yes, it was me who recommended this kind of monetization via affiliate programs. You can find the discussions and explanations in this proposal:

The current implementation uses one of my 3 proposed “buttons/links”.

With respect to rewarding users for clicking on “affiliate links”…

Often the affiliate program doesn’t allow this. For example, the Amazon Associates program has this very clear “requirement” (Section 6g Content on your site):

You will not offer any person or entity any consideration, reward, or incentive (including any money, rebate, discount, points, donation to charity or other organization, or other benefit) for using Special Links. For example, you cannot implement any “rewards” or loyalty program that incentivizes persons or entities to visit an Amazon Site via your Special Links.

Source: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/policies

(Also note section 6f with respect to keyword usage on Search Engines)

Finally, there are required policies with respect to disclosure of being an affiliate.

As far as I can see, the team should still inform its users more “clearly” about this before being fully accepted as Amazon Associate.

Anyway, yes your thoughts about rewarding user “activities” that will lead to more affiliate income make sense but are not always allowed (even if part of the rewards/income will be given away to “charity”).

That said, there are “advertisers” and “affiliate programs” that allow user “rewards”.

Finally, there are affiliate programs that don’t allow promotion via search engines. That’s why Google has a “blacklist” of websites/URLs (or redirects to these URLs) that may not be promoted.

(Google doesn’t like affiliates promoting in many cases and prefers organizations to promote by themselves or by professional advertisers/agencies. For Presearch, this can be a USP for keyword staking/advertising)

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@Ben I wasn’t going to name names but thanks for your contributions :wink:

Good points on the affiliates fine print, wouldn’t want Presearch to go against any policies. Would have to checkout which programs this concept could be used for and see if it was worth while.
It seems like a good idea even if it is not for every program because it starts to build new habits and even if not offered for certain programs if the habit is built people might just use those anyway out of habit.

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It’s now about 3 months later after I proposed my 3 easy methods to earn affiliate income. I’m happy that the team started to implement at least 2 of them and made progress so far.

Now, let’s look at the current status and discuss some more low hanging fruit with respect to affiliate income.

Original proposed Low hanging fruit (the 3 buttons):

  1. Convert Organic search URLs for Affiliate links (and add Partner icon to emphasize this to users). Current status. The team made a great start with subscription to hundreds of affiliate programs, using TakeAds (privacy-focussed) services for redirects, implemented “product carrousel ads”, and adding the new “Shopping” Tab/Filter (and autocomplete monetization). I would say… just continue and expand. However, do take care of the affiliate program rules and (legal) requirements. So, add legal requirements as “Affiliate Disclosure”, Privacy, Terms, and FAQ in the “footer” of the platform website (not just in the logged-in section, but for “guests” as well) and clearly explain the “affiliate monetization” to users. This should be done not only inside these legal pages, but with information along the affiliate hyperlinks or partner buttons (in short, explain the Partner affiliate links, and fact that search results are not impacted by (potential) favoring affiliate links). Side step… Speaking about the footer/bottom… look at what DDG is doing there… it’s a great place to inform (potential new) users about Presearch and its product/services, for example with banners/links to browser extensions and Apps. (You know, for new visitors there is no info, this info can be found on a different .io domain (duh) or on Medium blog. Hence, the current homepage is not optimized as first landing page to “convert” potential new users to use the platform, and inform them about all features and benefits.)
  2. Replace Portal (Meta search) redirects for affiliate links, and adjust default “search platform icons” for relevant groups of icons (for example shopping platforms, news, crypto icons) based on actual search term(s). Current status. Here is still work to be done. A) Add relevant new supported “vendors” who have a “search” feature on their website to the “portal”. B) Create “themes” with group of icons (the user can select on the portal, i.e. homepage, and C) show these themed icons in search results pages. See crypto example below.
  3. Fill (“idle”, i.e. not used) Keyword Ad spaces with “own” ads “promoting” affiliate products/services. Here, there is no progress yet. Maybe the team is waiting until the new “consumptive” keyword system is in place with easier key word management and bidding system. If so, I can understand. My (additional) proposal… see below.

Now, let’s add some other low hanging fruit with respect to potential affiliate income…

  1. Autocomplete monetization. As far as I can see, for transactional and commercial intent search queries, (sometimes) an ad text is showing in the autocomplete results tab. For example, by typing “running shoes”, the ad “shop at Reebok” is shown. Great, although I don’t know whether it’s possible, I would like to see that “navigational” entries (to partner sites) are also being monetized. For example, by typing in “Amazon”, you will see in the autocomplete “https://amazon.com”, and after clicking on it, it will open up the search results for this term… while the user (maybe) expects or wants to go to Amazon.com directly. So, adding the “monetized” option “Go to Amazon.com directly” would be a great addition.
  2. The default Tab “All” results do now include “Text” and the shopping carrousel. However, you should also expect the other “filters” as Images, Videos, and News (and in future Maps). Both Google and DDG do include in the “All” tab “snippets” of these other filters. For now, afaik there is no monetization at all for the filters Images, Videos, and News (is this the reason these are not included in the ‘All” tab?) Besides that the “quality” of these tabs is “inferior” in comparison to DDG and G, the team should think about proper monetization of these filters. Some ideas… monetize images with (a bunch of) “stock image” affiliate programs and add (affiliate) links to images on supported partner websites (why are there no clickable links to the websites containing the image anyway? Or is this just not possible on my iPad I’m using now?) Monetize news. Add affiliate program links to news sites with an affiliate program. Add more news search sources to the “portal”. Add “premium”/“paid” content where Presearch users can get access to either after subscription or by paying a small number of PRE to get access to the news article. Many news “suppliers” use high-converting attention-grabbing “clickbait” (content recommendation) ads and ad platforms as Outbrain and Taboola. I know these platforms use cookies and tracking, but maybe the team can use TakeAds (private) redirects. Or the team can set up a similar “news carousel”. Monetization of videos. Again use affiliate links to supported video content providers. Monetize Maps. G is monetizing its own Maps with Booking, while DDG is using Apple’s Maps with Tripadvisor as monetization. Presearch just has to select its own Maps provider and monetization partner.
  3. Portal themes and grouped search platform icons. Already mentioned above but now with an example, a “Crypto” portal theme where we combine all relevant crypto search “providers” as CMC, Coingecko, all CEXs to show quotes/charts (easy affiliate income) and DEXs, blockchain scanners, TradingView, etc. We can just start with combining all the crypto search platform icons, and show these relevant items in the left side of the search results (now irrelevant default ones are shown). But why not go one step further and create a dashboard with main news, charts, and buy buttons (i.e. affiliate links)? (Preferable customizable by logged-in users).
  4. Use ads on the Presearch platform to promote specific affiliate products. If the team has idle (private) ad capacity (and there is a lot) why not use it to promote either “own” content to inform them and stimulate users to use all platform features/benefits, place “barter” ads (you promote me, I promote you), or to promote interesting (high-converting) affiliate products? Be creative and try out as many ad types and placements. And look for partners with the same type of user base.
  5. Keyword ads. My (additional) proposal is to fill the thousands of “high-converting” transactional and commercial (intent) keyword terms by the team. Of course, there will be interest in these terms from “regular” keyword advertisers. Now, you can “keep” these terms yourself, or you can allow “keyword advertisers” to overbid. In this case, I propose to introduce higher minimum keyword stake numbers (and CPC) for these high-converting terms than the default 100 PRE. (Let’s say 1,000 PRE and 5 PRE CPC). Note: there is nothing wrong to “forbid” certain keywords, and use these for own monetization (think about all CEXs, major shopping portals as Amazon and eBay, hosting partners, etc.).
  6. Create a page with all the supported list of “partners” (with clickable affiliate link). In theory, this can be a page with thousands of supported partners. So, use filters/themes.
  7. Create a blog or page where node operators can find all hosting providers (of course with affiliate links).

Privacy vs Personalization and monetization strategies

Last week in the Friday Weekly News and Update, Tim explained why the monetization is now focused on “affiliate” advertising income.

In short, most (if not all) text and display Ad Networks (such as Adsense, Media.net, Ezoic, and Coinzilla) use cookies and tracking mechanisms “violating” Presearch’s aimed “Privacy policy”.

You know…

We do not store your search terms.

We do not track or store your GPS location.

We do not use third-party cookies.

We do not track users across sites.

There are many reasons why these Ad Networks use tracking mechanisms, but the main reason is that they act as agency/middleman between advertisers and publishers. And both do want stats and “proof” about views/clicks and “optimize” their results. For advertisers think about campaign ROI, (re)targeting the right audience, set maximum number of views per visitor, signal and avoid click fraud, etc. For publishers think about maximizing RPM.

So, the common Display Ad Networks are by far the easiest and fastest way to monetize (as it only takes a subscription to the Network, choose ad placements and add types, and place some “ad snippets code” to the search result URLs). But due to Presearch’s Privacy policy, these can’t be used.

The alternatives as A) Private Ads, B) Keyword advertising, and C) Affiliate advertising all involve way more time and effort to develop, implement, and manage. Let alone to attract and communicate with (potential) advertisers.

So far, we saw some “experimenting” with the Homepage Takeover Ad, some reciprocity advertising as with CMC (both Private Ads), the recent start with affiliate advertising, and some trials with Ad display Networks (as Coinzilla) that ultimately failed as a result of “violation” of the Privacy “rules”.

Now before going into more detail about the alternatives, let’s look at our “competition”…

Google:

Daily searches: 8.5B

Yearly ad income searches: $170B (Youtube and Google Network excluded)

Yearly income per search (365 days of 1 average search query): $20

Duckduckgo (DDG):

Daily searches: 100M

Yearly ad income searches: $100M+

Yearly income per search (365 days of 1 average search query): $1

Note: $1 ad income per search generated in 365 days equals about $2.74 RPM (Revenue Per Thousand Impressions) (1,000/365). So, Google’s RPM is $54.80.

Hence, Google is as 20x as effective in generating ad income in comparison to DDG!

(Plus Youtube and the Google Adsense Network yearly generates each over $30B)

What’s the main reason for this huge difference?

Well, you have to look at the different ways of monetization.

For those of you who don’t know how DDG is monetizing, read this blog post…

In short, by making money from private ads, affiliate partnerships, and most and for all by search ad clicks that are managed by Microsoft’s ad network. And…

“Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad-click behavior with a user profile. It also does not store or share that information other than for accounting purposes.”

However, in early 2022, Zach Edwards discovered that while DuckDuckGo blocks the Google and Facebook trackers, it allows the trackers of Microsoft owned Bing and LinkedIn to track searchers’ activities on the browser. (aka as third-party cookies).

This “privacy violation” is one of the reasons DDG is now struggling to grow and increase advertising income.

Google on the other hand has optimized its keyword advertising income model over the years to achieve this amazing high advertisers income.

That said, the keyword advertising model could only become more and more effective as a result of the continuing huge growth “flywheel” with growth in users/searches, will lead to more traffic per keyword phrase, attracting more advertisers, who are overbidding each other, resulting in more ad income, that can be spend to grow user base, etc.

Or to say it in other words… for Presearch… just as for Google… keyword advertising income can become a “flywheel” but it will start low and takes time to attract more and more users and advertisers.

So, yes, Presearch should definitely invest in and expand “keyword advertising” with a consumptive “bidding” model, but expect that it will take time before the flywheel will speed up, and the aimed income effects will take place.

For the affiliate income… it will also take energy and time to set up further and optimize (just see my points above about still to “grab low hanging fruit”).

For Private ads… it will also take time and energy to find (potential) advertisers and to “fill” all advertising “spaces”.

Hence, I do expect that it will take “some time” for Presearch to achieve the same “yearly income per search” of 1 dollar as DDG is generating (you know 4M daily searches should lead to $4M yearly ad income) if it should come primarily from affiliate income.

So, what’s a possible solution to achieve this goal sooner?

For me, it all comes down to purely focusing on “maximum of privacy” (as currently is the case) vs allowing users to “give up” some “privacy”, i.e. allowing advertising tracking, in response for better personalized search AND ad results.

Of course, by using one or more of the common Ad Networks and show only ads to users who gave their permission.

To stimulate “personalized advertising”, the PRE token can be used. Just reward this “group” with (slightly) higher search rewards.

So, use “privacy levels”… for example…

A) Highest privacy level for users who don’t want any tracking or see any ads. This group (that often already uses VPNs and ad blockers) will have to pay for ad free searching.

B) Default Privacy level. Current status for (guest) users without any tracking and current default ads (no Ad Network ads). No search rewards.

C) Logged-in/Registered user with default privacy setting (same as B) but now earning minimal PRE for searching.

D) Logged-in user with chosen “allowing of personalized search/ads” with slightly higher PRE for searching. Seeing Ad Network ads and other personalized ads.

No big changes, just add the 2 options for “ad free searching” and “personalized search/ads” to improve monetization.

Maybe on first sight, if looking at number of daily logged-in users it may seem not a big effect immediately… but it should be the target of the team to “upgrade” guest users into registered and logged-in users for several reasons as:

  • convert them into “fans” (promoting the platform and token), community members, and token holders/stakers.

  • possibility to reach out to users via email marketing.

  • to offer additional (paid) products/services.

  • stimulate users to get PRE rewards (referring friends, performing tasks as install browser extension or App).

  • stimulate users to click on affiliate links and ads to support the project.

Anyway, for me, and probably many other Presearch stakeholders, there is no need to stringently focus on the small group of potential “maximum privacy-minded” users as there are many (potential) users who just want a great Search Engine (or better Meta Search Portal) and do want personalized search/ads (especially if getting some additional PRE rewards. You know… many people are anti Big Tech, not because of the “privacy violation” but as a result that these companies earn “big” money by “selling” and “exploiting” user data… at least users should be compensated and get a piece of the revenue pie, and if so, users don’t have problems with giving up some privacy).

Great points. I don’t know if you have seen some of my other comments in TG or here over the last year or more but I would just like to add some possibilities for affiliate incentive programs that would not go against Amazon or other affiliate partners guidelines.

In fact I propose we don’t offer any incentive to visit any affiliate link within our platform via any special link, ever. What I have proposed countless times is we offer incentives to visit Presearch.com and it’s pages via special links that offer revenue share for user loyalty. I propose we do this using a third party affiliate tracking platform or software that keeps track of points that equate to revenue share company wide. This opens the door wide open to non crypto related influencers and platforms to help us grow beyond our wildest dreams in my opinion.

And just for clarity, preventing users from creating “custom links” to affiliate links or affiliate offers that would violate the approved links would be as easy as clicking a setting that says “do not allow custom links” so that only certain landing pages would be allowed within the points system affiliate program. For example only the home page, referral page, information pages, news, social media pages, etc. These would be preprogrammed links. These landing pages will be on a special website created just for this program and will forward the user to the desired page within Presearch and will be used for placing the tracking code to track the revenue share affiliate program only. No tracking code will be placed on Presearch.com or any of it’s pages.

I hold strong to the idea of a revenue share point system in addition to the current affiliate program. It just makes sense to me. While I like the updated affiliate program and referral reward incentive for PRE, it has proven to statistically ineffective in user conversions that remain loyal users of the platform. Out of 29 personal referrals only 2 have rewarded me PRE.

I also believe that an affiliate referral profit sharing points system can be tied into the new custom site search API allowing site search owners to convert their existing audience into revenue generators by awarding points for every referral that creates a Presearch account using this third party points tracking system. Those points never expire and equate to a percentage of Presearch revenue share ownership. Any marketer or current Presearch member could participate, not just Site Search owners but now would be the time in order to launch these two opportunities together.

Personal visits for all users within a 24 hour period would also be rewarded points. Clicks on your referral link to join presearch or visits as a result of a click on any of the preapproved affiliate links anywhere on the internet would also earn points. Opening your browser with Presearch installed as the default would also earn users the daily point. Every point equates to your share of company profits. Why would anyone use any other platform?

I believe we are missing out on a whole slew of traditional marketers that could care less about Crypto. By having both affiliate methods linked together we get crossover by default. So they could care less about the free crypto. Well no problem. Now you have a traditional profit sharing affiliate program with a twist.

The question is how much revenue is Presearch willing to put on the table to to try a new method that is outside the box of what any other search engine is currently doing? I suggest a sliding scale starting at 10% and then increasing it based on the volume of company revenue all the way up to 50% or more.

What do we have to lose? We are already dollar short so I see only one way this can go. The problem is, and always will be, user loyalty. The points system affiliate program fixes this by adding an extra loyalty layer between the current affiliate system and the new profit sharing affiliate points system.

This opens up so many more advertising opportunities for users and marketers to push Presearch. Especially with traditional marketing methods. Just my two cents worth.

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