Fundraising: Charity search engine to offer keywords for sale

Charity search engine Everyclick is to sell keyword advertising in a bid to rival internet giants such as Google and raise £3m for good causes.

The social enterprise, which gives 50 per cent of its profits to charities, announced plans for its keyword service to the sector last week, and is expected to offer the service to the commercial sector from this week.

The search engine, which was founded last year, is designed to take advantage of what has become the UK's fastest-growing advertising medium. Its target is to raise £3m in the first year.

Everyclick's move comes as new figures published by YouGov show that the average British internet user spends 23 hours a week online.

Polly Gowers, managing director of Everyclick, said: "The new keyword service means we can raise even more money for charities."

Advertisers hoping to attract internet users to their products buy advertising keywords. The medium works by displaying a link to the advertiser's site at the top of the page of search results when a search is made on the word the advertiser 'owns'. For example, if a user types 'mobile phone' into a search engine, links to mobile phone companies that own the link are displayed on the results page.

Everyclick's keywords will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, for a fixed price and term, and keywords will cost advertisers from 1p per day. Charities registered with the site will be eligible for a 50 per cent discount on tariffs offered to the corporate sector.

"We wanted to give charities the chance to buy up their keywords before the big boys get in," said Emma Walton, a spokeswoman for Everyclick.

Internet advertising is predicted to be worth £52bn by 2010, according to the annual media outlook report from analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It has overtaken cinema, posters and radio advertising in terms of value, and next year it is expected to challenge national newspapers as the third most valuable advertising medium.

Everyclick has raised £42,000 for its 1,451 charity partners since its launch in 2005. Gowers and co-founder Julia Felton have been nominated for this year's Daily Telegraph Business Personality of the Year award.

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