Imagine if every Internet query you did earned your favorite charity a donation.
Charity searches are an up-and-coming concept in Web search. There’s nothing too different about the content or how you search for it; the difference is that charity search engines donate money to a cause of your choice every single time you use them. Here’s what you need to know:
How it Works
A search engine like Goodsearch, one of the more prominent charity search engines, begins by asking you to pick a cause. If you don’t have a charity in mind, they have a few listed for you to select from. Next, do a search. The search engine donates a small amount of money collected from ad revenue generated by your search. The amount donated is usually in the area of a penny or so, which doesn’t sound like much, but scaled over thousands of users doing hundreds of searches, it adds up quickly.
After you’ve been using an engine for a little while, you can see how much you’ve earned for your chosen charity. At Goodsearch.com you see this right up front. Some search engines are dedicated to specific causes or specific charities, while others allow you to donate to nearly any charity you might wish.
The Growing Influence of Charity Search Engines
Right now, charity search engines are still catching on. According to www.internetproviders.com, Bing and Google have the features and name-brand recognition that enable them to dominate Internet search. Charity search engines like Good Search and Love Charity still have a way to go if they hope to displace any of the top five engines, and it’s unlikely that they’ll ever topple Google. This means that there’s more pressure on the individual user to rely on charity search engines in order to help out their favorite cause.
The Future of Charity Search
The concept of a charity search engine is a good one, but currently they can’t compete with the three major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) for performance and visibility. Of course, they might not need to climb to the top of the heap in order to make a difference. Everyclick.com, a U.K-based charity search engine, has earned over £3,000,000 for its charities and is supported by over 200,000 fundraisers. Even the smaller engine, Search Kindly, has raised over $7,000.
These engines are catching on, and more importantly, the concept is catching on. The only confusing thing about them is that somebody didn’t come along with one much sooner, and that Google hasn’t used a charity search feature from the start. Advertisers in the Western world still throw around a lot of money, and it only makes sense to give some of it to worthy causes.
Kelly Liu is a green living guru whose day job is developing mobile apps.
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