Keen On Snap; But's Let's See the Dollars
Snap.com has been generating attention of late with some interesting new features. Visual search results and a cost-per-action (CPA)pricing model for advertisers could help Snap compete against the larger networks. However, while many search and Internet industry experts approve of the new Snap.com technology, others believe it will be challenging to compete without an affiliate/publisher program that gets coupled with this new and, in my humble opinion, exciting search platform. Both the Snap Preview Anywhere feature and the Snap Search Anywhere feature (discussed below) could be ideal for publishers that want to add helpful functionality to their site. But as far as earning a few dollars on the side, website owners will continue to be left to their own devices to monetize their websites, the general default being Adsense. If Snap were to make the commitment to the long-tail affiliate community and divvy up the earnings with smaller publishers, you be sure that their general search numbers and advertisers ranks would grow.
The Snap Preview Anywhere™ tool displays a preview of any site that is hyperlinked from your page when moused over - similar to page previews used by Ask.com in their search results. Now available for independent sites, it's a slick feature resulting in a more professional-looking and usable site. This could be a great location to place a contextual link using Snap's CPA system. Offering publishers a revenue share for sponsored links that are clicked by users could definitely increase the breadth of the Snap advertiser network, enhance their own branding and secure some mindshare with the fickle "make 'em or break 'em" affiliate community.
The Snap Search Anywhere™ tool (search tool) enables users to search directly from your site. While not an innovation in itself, users that conduct searches receive Snap search results which means they will have visual previews of what they're searching for - a welcome alternative to the pages of links traditionally presented from big search providers like Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask. CPA models present some interesting challenges to hosting an affiliate community, suffering from slower adoption than the contextual networks (Adsense, YPN, etc.) But providing a revenue share on CPA would appeal to medium to large publishers more so than many ill-conceived pay per search models.