Search Engine LeapFish To Launch Ad Keyword Resale Site
LeapFish.com is building an online marketplace where advertisers can resell keywords bought on the company's search engine. The site should launch in late 2009 or early 2010, according to CEO Ben Behrouzi.
Brands pay an annual registration and renewal fee to purchase advertising keywords on LeapFish.com, similar to Web site domain names, rather than use a cost-per-click (CPC) advertising model on the Web.
If a marketer pays $10,000 for the keyword, they pay $500 yearly to renew it. Behrouzi said the model lets companies register keywords in one of the three positions available on the site. "Imagine a cross between eBay and Sedo where folks can bid or place a buy now price for resell," Behrouzi said, noting that keyword terms have been resold on eBay.
LeapFish.com, which relaunched in late 2008 as an "information aggregator," allows searchers to type in keyword terms, returning the most relevant results for news, blogs, photos and videos with each character the searcher types without a click. Through APIs, the engine's relationships with Google, Yahoo, MSN and others allow searchers to simultaneously search multiple portals at once.
Some of the sold-out keywords on LeapFish.com include diet, automotive, annuity, Montana real estate, Maui wedding, refinance, Viagra, and Web traffic. The keyword "diet" sold for nearly $8,000 while "Viagra" sold for $7,000 and "annuity" for $2,000.
Keyword prices are set by combining traffic data, number mentions across the Web, and the amount that companies pay for words based on the cost per click (CPC) model. The data, combined with algorithms, spits out the value. LeapFish.com, a division of DotNext, a startup incubator headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.
Acting as an information aggregator could help boost the advertising model--but as Kevin Lee, chairman and CEO at Didit, points out, a similar model has been tried before by DesRealNames and AOL. And despite Behrouzi's continued success in numerous Internet startups, getting the resale site up and running might not prove as easy as some think.
Behrouzi, who started his first Internet business at age 15, also co-founded Reply.com at age 20. The company produced more than 20 multimillion-dollar profitable service provider products and services, growing to more than $30 million in revenue within five years.