Winzy.com launched in April of 2006 and has added a social networking and 2.0 search approach to the ‘search & win’ model. Before looking into Winzy, let’s look at the history of search & win.
The concept of paying back search engines users with incentives, prizes or revenue share is not a new one. CBS began the main stream prize oriented search engine model seven years ago when they launched iWon, which is now an IAC property and part of the Ask.com family.
Ever since the launch of iWon however, there have not been very many prize oriented search engines which have made a name for themselves. MSN Search tried this strategy about a year ago with MSN Search & Win but the technique to win over new searchers did not really take off.
Enter Winzy, a more Web 2.0 style of the Search & Win model. Winzy, currently in beta, has a list of major prizes in its treasure box including iPods, $500, and Xbox 360’s. 2.0 design and giving away Xbox 360’s, sounds like a match made in heaven for the techie generation and college kids.
Their search technology is powered by Ask.com, as are Winzy’s sponsored results, which appear to be partnered with Ask.com’s Sponsored Listings (a mouseover shows an tmsyn.wm.ask.com url as the targets), the revenue from the Sponsored Listings must fuel the prize model in this case.
Winzy also offers clustered results (similar to Ask.com), the ability to Narrow a search, and to Expand a search. For example, a search for checks prompts the user to narrow their search down to “personal checks” or a check printing brand such as “Current Checks”, the Expand option suggests other products to the user such as Address Labels.
Prizes, Rewards & Perks
Winzy works in a very simple fashion:
* Search using Winzy
* Each search is a chance to win. Search at the right time and you get to play a game to find out what you’ve won.
* Games include spinning prize wheels, slot machines, and opening suitcases with prizes hidden inside.
* Register with Winzy and earn Winzy Points which enter you into month-end sweepstakes. There is no cost to register or earn points.
* Win prizes by inviting friends to join Winzy. If your friend wins, you win the same prize.
Other tools from Winzy include :
* Networking : Friends can keep track of how their Winzy contacts are doing using their social style friends pages.
* Fan Club : Users can earn points for joining the club, win monthly prizes and win if referred fan club friends also win.
* Toolbars : Winzy also offers toolbars for Firefox and IE, along with Image search.
Search & Win Right For You?
In my personal experience I never caught on with the Search & Win model from iWon as I found the experience too intruding, cluttered and interferring with my search engine intentions.
Winzy is a little different as its sleeker design lends to a more swift user experience when searching and less intrusion. Being that Winzy results are powered by Ask.com, if one does not use all of the Ask.com bells & whistles, perhaps using Winzy as a default would be a profitable alternative.