Engine Offers Restricted Content From Publishers

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A new search engine is working with publishers to provide their premium, restricted content to prospective subscribers.

Congoo, Branchburg, NJ, is partnering with several financial, trade and news publications to let its users view content typically restricted on the publishers' sites. Congoo president/CEO Ash Nashed, who founded Choice Media which DrKoop.com, HealthCentral.com and other Web sites, said he could not identify the publications until the service formally launches in January.

Also, the actual congoo.com site is not in beta now. It isn't launched. The expert congoo builder is in beta as they collect expert suggestions prior to launching the actual search engine.

Most online publishers offer prospective customers a free 30-day trial, or other sampling offer, to access their articles. With Congoo, users could view "limited" content, typically five to 10 free articles a month, which may generate more subscription buys than 30-day trials, Nashed said.

"We believe that the ongoing limited access ... will help users gradually get used to the content from our publisher partners and will spur subscriptions in order to access even more content from them," he said.

To access the information, Congoo users register for a free Congoo Net pass. The pass lets holders access all forms of premium content without continually filling out forms or providing credit card numbers.

Congoo also differentiates itself by offering search results based on information provided by experts. If a user searches for "diabetes," he sees results collected from doctors and authorities on diabetes instead of links and information that may not be helpful.

Congoo seeks experts on specific topics to submit their content, which in turn publicizes the experts and their organizations.

"We are already getting a tremendous response from marketing and PR execs who would like experts from their organizations to join our expert panel," Nashed said.

Experts create a "Congoo," a collection of links, insights and information on themselves. A direct marketing expert, for example, could create a Congoo on DM that includes links to direct marketing sources along with information about the person and a link to her Web site.

Congoos most preferred by its users will be ranked at the top of Congoo's results. The Congoos will be syndicated to other sites as well.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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