Oparla Brings New Approach to Search Space
A new search engine has been launched which promises to pay users to use its service to search. Although currently in Beta, New Media Knowledge took a look at Oparla.com and assesses its prospects in a tough market.
New search engine Oparla.com hopes to turn the search market on its head by paying users to surf via its site. Oparla says it offers exactly the same exposure and visibility as traditional pay-per-click (PPC) ads but with a standard monthly fee instead, and promises surfers will see relevant ads at the side of their searches.
Oparla’s engine draws on social media technology and user-generated content. Visitors are encouraged to rank sites, comment on results and message other users seeking help and advice.
Jupp for Joy
Although currently in Beta and details are light, founder Daniel Jupp says registered users could be paid anything between £10 and £1,000 for using the service via the company’s daily prize draw system.
“I had a vision to create a search engine which utilises the ability to say ‘thank you’ to its customers with cool, hard cash,” Jupp said. “Yes, the economic situation it rather grim, but online media is certainly the way forward for companies seeking to survive the recession and encourage new custom. Those who register and comment on the search results will be helping to shape the development of a search engine in way that previously was unheard of.”
Jupp continued: “Customers are becoming much more demanding and are always on the lookout for something different, which will make life much easier for them, and this is where Oparla really comes into its own. Unlike Google, Oparla will not be charging its advertisers on a cost-per-click basic, but instead a fixed monthly rate to advertise on its search engine, making it much more cost effective in both the long and short-term.”
Searching High and Low
Oparla says it combines a “cutting edge approach to Web-based information retrieval” and search engine technology with a completely new approach to traditional business thinking. But industry analysts are sceptical as to the potential of Oparla’s impact on the crowded search market.
“It’s almost impossible to oust Google at this stage,” said Clive Longbottom of analyst group Quocirca. “Historically, we saw incumbents ousted - for example, Alta Vista by Yahoo, Yahoo by Google. However, that was before there had been high penetration by the search engines. Now, the majority of people have chosen their tool of choice.”
Longbottom told NMK that for Oparla to try and differentiate itself by using a paid model is a problem in itself.
“The user doesn't just get paid for browsing. [When using a search engine] I'm generally in a rush and want a quick response, not a few pence for being slowed down,” he said.
“It may have a niche that will keep it going for a period of time, but without critical mass, it won't be able to serve the user base sufficiently,” Longbottom concluded. “[Therefore Oparla] won't be able to bring in the revenues, and so won't be able to pay its user base, which will shrink, so lowering the critical mass. Not one in the ‘quick, rush to buy shares’ category.”
The final version of Oparla expects to go live in June.