A new search engine launches next week, promising to challenge the established players and offer a cash incentive to its users.
Oparla, scheduled to launch officially on 14 April, lets registered users enter for a chance to win up to £1,000 simply by performing a search. Each search guarantees entry to a daily prize draw, and Oparla founder Daniel Jupp expects the giveaways to last forever.
Registering could have other benefits as well. Active users can add comments on sites and contribute to site ranking information, while any bookmarks can be actively 'taken' from machine to machine, meaning that a consistent browsing experience follows the user around.
Oparla's community-based search software is unique, according to the firm, and unlike other engines draws on user comments and encourages community interaction.
The company is also offering businesses a free 30-day trial of its sponsored search advertising programme at launch. Following the trial, Oparla will base advertising charges on a fixed monthly fee. Web publishers will be able to advertise goods and services for a "budget friendly single payment each month", the firm said.
The search engine is built on Yahoo's application programming interface, but delivers results in a table format. We tried a few different searches and were impressed by the accuracy of results. For example, a search for vnunet.com returned the main site as its top result, as well as a brief synopsis of its content.
However, users may take a while to get used to the look and feel of the pages, until they notice the option to switch to the classic view. Both views are clear, clean and, at the moment, advert free.
"There is no real UK search engine, and we wanted to build one and be a bit different," said Jupp. "We think now is a very good time to launch. And we are giving away free money."
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