Congoo search engine gives you "premium" content
is a new search engine that offers a single service that the big guys don't.
Congoo gives you the ability to search what normally would be subscription-only content at sites like Financial Times and Institutional Investor, and many more places. It is able to do so because it has negotiated access deals with each publisher. So each publisher has agreed to give Congoo users a different number of free passes. At some point, the free ride ends, and you are slapped with a registration page to sign up.
So it is a bit of a tease.
Anyway, Congoo does all this by offering you a software, called Netpass, that you download (there are both IE and Firefox versions) on your computer. That software then talks with the publishers sites, so that it knows which sites you have accessed enough times for your Netpass to run out.
Congoo has partnered with Google, which provides Congoo with Google search results. Congoo is useful if you want regular access to premium content that is not crawled by the big search engines as rigorously. Congoo crawls behind the firewall of these paid sites on a regular basis, so that it will always deliver you the search results, so that you can see what is there -- regardless of whether you click through or not.
Still, we see Congoo's chances as a sort of hail mary pass. Its challenge will be to draw enough users who really care about getting all this content. Most readers care about one or two publications enough to pay for them, and then what's stopping those users from simply doing one-off searches at those publications' sites and then using Google for everything else?
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August 2, 2006 5:37 AM
Free premium content unavailable anywhere else? Yaaa, why would anyone want that?? I'd much rather pay for it myself.
It says the software allows you to access the subscription content. I guess you could give your credit card number and not have to download the software....thats always an option.
I think they are getting more traffic then they want or something because I went to the site and it says page cannot be displayed
Actually, it's a great idea... Do you know how many people need Institutional Investor data for research? The bad deal is that it's not always free!! Prime targets: small businesses, new entrepreneurs, etc... I've been looking for something like this to appear for 2 years now. I'm only surprised it didn't arrive earlier. Don't know how fully priced articles will work out, but if prices are dropped for the mass market it's going to take off - just like iTunes (big media in small bites ;)
Good point Cynthia.
In other words, if you have to go to a public library site to search for articles that are in periodicals not scanned by Google, you are hosed -- and thus it is good to have Congee scanning those articles. But then again, isn't Google in the process of scanning and indexing a lot of those periodicals anyway?
Isn't the idea here, at least for the publishers, to attract some new "eyes" to the premium content that otherwise wouldn't be available to them?
And maybe, just maybe, one of those "eyes" becomes a premium member after the trial runs out?
From the publisher's stand-point, it certainly makes sense.
Sure, but how do you make money from this in the long run?
if there is only a trickle of new people coming into to Congoo to see these pubs (because after a while, people with either have subscribed, or they will have run out of their free trials), that's not enough to sustain a business, right?
They say they have indexed nearly 300 sources of premium content. What person is going to subscribe to 300 premium content sources? It says that a user gets free access every single month so it never runs out. I dont think they care if even one person subscribes, they just want eyeballs on their ads. The revenue model is the same as any search engines, sponsored links. Free stuff that wasnt free before is the single most viral thing on the Web!
Great idea and good BETA version. But,
Let's change the name. Congoo... uhmm. no.
How about Monga? (a play a monger)
Then you can do different services:
I keep seeing this congoo thing so I searched it....
Hmmmm, why didnt I think of this
the problem i have is that there is no where on their site, identifying which sites give you the prem. access to...that is what is crummy about it.
i had tried congoo earlier. but i could not delete the details of sites searched. suggest how to do this.
If you have that netpass plugin, click on the down arrow by the logo and click, erase search history