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Fighting Global Poverty by Searching the Web
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by Adrian Muller

Most of us perform a lot Web searches. In fact, American internet users alone pose about 4 billion queries per month, which generate most of the revenues in Internet advertising. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, in 2006 alone, the industry earned $16.9 billion.

Melbourne-based Ripple has recently launched and Internet search engine that leverages the market for Internet advertising to make fighting poverty as easy as searching the Web. Users earn money for one of the four charitable causes simply by conducting their daily searches from the Ripple page (powered by Google) or by clicking on a ‘Give Panel’ located in the Ripple homepage.

In the first case, a portion of any revenue earned by Google from the search is directed to Ripple, which passes 100% of this amount directly on to one of the four charities they have selected to help fight global poverty. In the second case, people can add between one and five cents to a cause just by visiting the website and viewing an advertiser’s message (Wishlist.com, AMP, Microsoft and Western Union so far).

Right now the beneficiaries include the Oxfam Foundation, Oaktree Australia, WaterAid and the Grameen Foundation. All concerned with fighting global poverty In the future, some sort of advocacy network could be established to help Ripple evaluate the worth of the causes and suggest other beneficiaries based on a ranking system powered by its members. The Ripple home page would then be an online repository for different causes, each sponsored by its own set of like-minded companies.

The affiliate marketing scheme that allows website publishers to earn commissions on the links they generate is something that has long been in use, but donating all proceeds to charity is not. Both GoodSearch.com in the United States and Everyclick.com in the UK, have a very similar model, but are powered by Yahoo and Ask.com respectively, and not all benefits are given to charity.

The reach of a small donor model like Ripple’s is vast:

If we could capture just one per cent of the MySpace member base we could generate over $5 million for charity each year. Imagine the potential if we could inspire 10 or 20 times that number.

In just a few weeks the website has managed to attract between 4,500 and 5,000 visitors per day. In the near future, each visitor will be able to track the impact their web searching has through a contribution counter.

Under the Ripple model, every internet user is a potential philanthropist, and will earn money for a charitable cause by doing what he or she already does -- searching the web for information on a daily basis. Not only is Ripple a powerful tool to benefit small donors, but it requires no real change in our daily habits.

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Comments

Ripple update: Unfortunately, Ripple does not earn any money from Google, nor do they currently donate any money per search.

This is from the Ripple blog - http://blog.ripple.org/

June 11th, 2007

“Ripple Search has encountered a couple of issues and ads are no longer appearing on the Google search results page - unfortunately this means that ripple Search is not presently earning money for our charities.”


Posted by: McC on 24 Jun 07

Ripple update: Unfortunately, Ripple does not earn any money from Google, nor do they currently donate any money per search.

This is from the Ripple blog - http://blog.ripple.org/

June 11th, 2007

“Ripple Search has encountered a couple of issues and ads are no longer appearing on the Google search results page - unfortunately this means that ripple Search is not presently earning money for our charities.”


Posted by: McC on 24 Jun 07



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