How does Mint make money through search engines?

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How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby enedene on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:34 am

I've seen blog post (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1851) about new Mint 12. This is the part I'm interested in:
Going forward, we won’t be using a custom search engine anymore. Linux Mint is the 4th most popular desktop OS in the World, with millions of users, and possibly outgrowing Ubuntu this year. The revenue Mint users generate when they see and click on ads within search engines is quite significant. So far this revenue’s entirely gone towards search engines and browsers. Our goal is to give users a good search experience while funding ourselves by receiving a share of this income. Search engines who do not share the income generated by our users, are removed from Linux Mint and might get their ads blocked.

In Linux Mint 12 and upcoming releases we’re hoping to provide users with the following commercial search engines: Ask.com, Google, Amazon, eBay, and the non-commercial Wikipedia.

It won’t only be down to donations and sponsorships anymore, your activity on the web, every search query you make and product you buy will help fund our project.

I'm not sure how am I donating when searching, do I need to search from a specific page, from a specific browser? I usually remove the default home page and then search and use google-chrome, but If I need to keep the default page for Mint to make money, I'll gladly do that.
Could you please explain what do I need to do (or what not to do) for Mint to earn money from my searches?
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby remoulder on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:42 am

enedene wrote:your activity on the web, every search query you make and product you buy

I too would like an answer to that question as this smacks of user profiling and or web tracking to me which I would be very much against.
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby AlbertP on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:47 am

It isn't different at all from the tracking which the normal Google does.

Mint 12 will have another, better, search engine.
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby craig10x on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:22 pm

yahoo and google search engines track you all the time in order to target ads to your interests, anyway...so why not let mint get something out of it...don't they deserve your support...you use their distro, right? :wink:

by the way, this is why i am always amused when someone says...well, i prefer to use the open source Chromium browser instead of the branded Google Chrome browser because they track you and chromium doesn't...heck...even if you are using chromium but say, use yahoo search engine, home page, google search, or most other search engines, even with chromium, you are still being tracked anyway...
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby remoulder on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:46 pm

craig10x wrote:search engines track you all the time in order to target ads to your interests, anyway

You mean the web tracking that various governments are looking into the legality of?
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby dagon on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:02 pm

I've pretty much resigned...
http://donttrack.us/

We are a bunch of people who share a house on the swedish west coast. This summer two German girls moved in and now sometimes I get ads in German.
None of them have borrowed my computer ever so they must be tracking the ip...
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby richyrich on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:19 pm

Please correct me if I am in error . . :)
The amount of money that Google bills their clients is determined by the amount of clicks that have been generated on their specific advertisements, wherever that ad may reside or pop-up in the pages of the WWWeb. Mint is payed a small portion or percentage (royalty?) of the revenue that is received by Google when their many clients pay for their many targeted ads that have been clicked on Mint's pages.

Have I confused everyone ?
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby enedene on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Could we please get back to the question. What should I do/not do to get linux mint money when searching?
Can I put http://www.google.com as my home page and still contribute, or should I use a specific startpage/browser?
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby richyrich on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:34 pm

Simple, before you leave Mint's pages, remember to click on an Ad or two that interest you, every so often. I find that I have time to do it on weekends.

This search page is the one I use:

http://www.linuxmint.com/start/
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby enedene on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:57 pm

richyrich wrote:Simple, before you leave Mint's pages, remember to click on an Ad or two that interest you, every so often. I find that I have time to do it on weekends.

This search page is the one I use:

http://www.linuxmint.com/start/

Ok, that's what I'm interested at, I'll put it as my start page right away.
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby sunewbie on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:22 pm

I have tried to discuss this issues with friends and some web developers. As I understand, a Search engine generally earns from ads, banners, selling keywords (more common the keyword, higher is the bidding price since many companies will want it). Some search companies may track net usage to collect data and sell it to companies or to make it's sponsored links more effective by displaying relevant sponsored content as first search result, which increases the probability of it being clicked.

Lets talk about Google.

Google has pay per click and sponsored links, which are shown on top and on right side. Google will only earn if somebody clicks on a sponsored link. A person will only click on that link if he/she is using Google search. So Google tries to make Google Search reach to as many people as possible, to increase the probability of someone clicking on sponsored links. To surf internet, people use a browser. The most easiest and effective way for Google to promote it's search, is to have it as a default search engine for a browser so you do not have to go to http://www.google.com to search something. e.g. Opera has Google as it's first default search engine. Free version of Opera prior to 8.5 used ad banners to financially support itself. After Opera had signed a contract with Google, by making it as default search engine, Google, who gets revenue from advertisers, funded OPERA Software ASA and so Opera no more needs to depend upon advertisers for it's survival.

In the same way, Linux Mint is 4th most widely used OS and so it has large user base. Similar to Opera-Google Partnership, Mint had signed a partnership with Duck-Duck-go. This will help Duck-Duck-go to increase it's reach to a new market and thereby increasing probability to get someone to click on sponsored links.

So Duck-Duck-go will share it's revenue, (which it gets from advertisers) with Linux Mint, which comes from the clicks by Mint users using Duck-Duck-Go. *It does not matter if we use duck-duck-go from FF or chromium (please confirm). Since FF is the default browser, so Clem has pre-configured so that duck-duck-go is the default search engine. If any browser that does not allow this customization than it can be banned by Clem.

Coming back to the original question:

If you want to help Clem, then you should use Linux Mint 12 :) and search using Duck-Duck-Go and click on sponsored link.

A word of caution for the those using Mint 11 or below and / or using Mint's Custom Search and the default start page of FF browser (http://www.linuxmint.com/start/isadora/) to help Clem generate revenue.

If Google identifies that an IP address is continuously clicking front and back pages and clicking too many sponsored links in a short time, Google may classify as suspicious activity, as they are not quality links that could turn visitors into clients who landed on a company's website through sponsored links or ads. (I hope I am not too confusing). If Google finds repeated behavior at regular intervals, than it may also terminate the contract. This sometimes happens with adsense accounts. Google is getting smart in identifying genuine clicks or hits day-by-day. It is a question of bread-n-butter :)

So the suggestion is to use CSE (which prior to Mint 12) and clicking ads should be done with caution. Not to immediately turn away from the page too quickly, either by hitting back button or leaving the active page and focus on another one. Lets hope google is not smart enough to catch it. - this is one the ones who do not genuinely click links, but just to increase the revenue. I do not want Clem to loose revenue, but does not want him to get into trouble. It is better that he earns less then his adsense account suspended. I know we are all mature enough and are just trying to find a way to support Clem, so that he continues to give us this wonderful distro.

NOTE: Since this is a sensitive issue, do let me know and I will edit this post or even delete it (if required), if I have given any wrong info or have unintentionally make Clem loose his Revenue. I never wish to do so.

Only reason you do not ping me is for my bad English :). No matter how much I try, I can never eliminate typing blunders.

EDIT: added the line after *
Last edited by sunewbie on Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How does Mint make money through search engines?

Postby clem on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:07 pm

Ok, please don't click on ads on purpose...

1. The income 1 user generates is tiny, it's the fact that so many people use Mint which generates an income
2. The money doesn't come from the search engine. It comes from the advertisers who pay the search engine to be there. Like any other customers, these advertisers will not continue to use the service if they don't get what they pay for. And what they pay for is basically interested website visitors who click on the ads, not to make them pay more, but because they're interested in buying a product.

Advertisement can be annoying at times but when you think of it, it's ignored by people who don't have an interest, it pleases people who are properly targeted and interested in the content of the ad, it pleases advertisers because they can reach wider audiences by paying search engines/browsers/OSes, and it basically ensures you get everything for free.

It's the exact same concept as when you're listening to the radio or watching TV. The content is free because it's funded by the advertisers. The larger the audience, the more they pay, the more they pay the better the content...etc.

As long as advertising isn't intrusive and trying to hard to reach people who are not interested, it's great for everyone involved.
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