What’s a great way for a search engine that struggles to be mentioned with the top search providers in the marketplace to get some traffic? Do something for someone else. That’s exactly what Ask.com is doing with its ‘Search or the Cure’ campaign which is designed to raise one million dollars to Susan G. Komen for the Cure group who raises money for breast cancer research.
From the pure humanity side this is a pretty cool idea. It allows people to simply take an action to contribute rather than asking them for money. Of course, there are opportunities to donate but it’s a fundraising organization after all and the cause is something that everyone can get behind. In this case, asking for a donation seems very appropriate.
The contribution begins with the Ask.com audience. In order to contribute, simply complete tasks such as adding the Komen theme to your Ask.com homepage and then answer breast cancer-related questions during the month of October. You can, of course, use Ask.com to search for the right answer. Ask.com will donate 50 cents for every person that adds the skin and answers the questions correctly.
In all honesty, I am not a big donation person mainly because everyone is looking for money and it just seems easier to say no to everyone rather than do something that may actually be the right thing to do. I tried out this process, though, and it was so easy that I can see the brilliance in it for the Komen organization and Ask.com itself. Here’s some more about how the organization benefits
“One of our greatest opportunities in the fight to end breast cancer lies with the many people who tell us they want to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure but don’t have the time or money to contribute,” said Hala Moddelmog, chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Ask.com has created an easy, engaging, and cost-free way for consumers to get involved and generate funding that is crucial to breast cancer research and education. We are thrilled that Ask.com has joined our cause with such an innovative program. We’re urging everyone to Search for the Cure by switching to Ask.com.”
Now for the business side. This is a natural win/win for Ask.com. Will it be something that takes it from number ‘lower than third’ in the search engine race? Not likely. I will say, though, that I have already taken an action, felt like I contributed and am motivated to at least visit and answer questions as often as I remember to do so.
Will this mean I have ‘switched’ to Ask.com for my search needs? Once again, not likely, but I will be at Ask.com more than if this wasn’t in place. As a result I may use it more and, in all honesty, give it a real try. I suspect most people who even know about the engine haven’t even explored it deep enough to make a good decision on its merits and demerits.
So kudos to Ask.com for coming up with a creative way to drive traffic to their search engine. People will rally around a cause and they will put aside habits to help people especially if it is easy and doesn’t make them pull out their wallet. Many will bemoan the fact that people may only be attracted to this because it is free. I would argue that this kind of program is brilliant in that it can get a person like me to take an action that will produce a donation of some sort and help someone that I was not considering when I woke up this morning. Oh and another thing I wasn’t considering doing today was going to Ask.com but now I did.