Yesterday, I had a call with a company that has only been around for about 9 months. I walked through a demo on how to use their search engine, in which they claim MSN stole their algorithm.  I was surprisingly impressed with this search engine that I honestly had never used before.  It’s called LeapFish.  And no, they’re not paying me to blog about them.

I feel LeapFish is an up-and-coming search engine that may truly find itself competing with the big dogs.  What’s cool about them is that you can search for a keyword in Google, and with a click of a mouse you can search in Yahoo and MSN for the same keyword. It’s fast, really fast and very user friendly.

If you type in a city name with a space, then the state, sometimes in the right hand navigation they’ll give you local results for real estate, or restaurants if you type in ‘pizza san Francisco CA’.

local reviews

You can also click to see different kinds of results for your keyword search like information on the web, news, answers which are powered by Yahoo, videos, images, shopping and even blogs.

One other thing the rep told me, was that if you type in your company url into their search, again off to the right hand side it will give you domain information for that company including how much their domain is appraised at, how many unique visitors, traffic ranking and a graph that shows peaks and valleys of traffic. Very cool.

A different kind of PPC advertising:

Now, about their paid search program which I found to be of most important and very useful for advertisers.  When the internet began to get popular, people started buying popular domain names of companies who could later sell those domains to the companies and make a large profit. The same thing could and is going on here at LeapFish.  People are buying keywords off Leapfish now, and plan to sell them later when Leapfish gets bigger. As Leapfish gets bigger, and as the keywords become more competitive, the keywords will increase in value, and can sell for a much higher price than what you’ll be paying for now.

Their PPC advertising program is not like Google, Yahoo or MSN.  You don’t pay for each click or pay any monthly fees. You buy keywords permanently.  LeapFish offers 3 paid positions for each keyword search result.  You can buy to be in position 1, 2 or 3 and each have a different price for that particular keyword.  When you buy these keywords, they’re yours for life, at least until you sell them off to another company willing to pay you premium cash for them. You also maintain your number 1, 2 or 3 positions in the SERPs for that keyword for life.  This will never go away until you sell your keyword.  The paid ads are located at the top of each SERP and at the very bottom of each page.

I will say that some competitive keywords are not cheap.  Looking up some keywords for a client of mine I found position 1 to charge around $5,000. But if you think about it, this is really all you have to pay for a paid ad in that keywords SERP.  Sort of.  In addition to the one-time purchase of the keyword, you are also charged a yearly 5% fee of your keyword spend. So if you buy just one keyword and pay $5,000 for it, you’ll be charged $250 annually.  Not bad when you think about it long term.  Just to give you an idea of their pricing structure I’ve typed in a few keywords to get estimates on. See screen shot below on the range you could be paying to have permanent placement on

pricing structure

This brings me to my next point. This is a long-term strategy.  This is not for small business’s wanting to teach themselves PPC advertising for a month to see how it works.  As far as reporting, you can add in add tracking to your destination URLs and \ track Leapfish visits and leads via Google Analytics.

Another good thing LeapFish is doing to get the word out about themselves is sponsoring many national search engine strategy conferences.  They’ve been featured in several high profile websites. Their CEO, who is only 29, by the way, and has been recognized as one in the top 40 Silicon Valley innovators.

I think this is something every company big or small should be looking into right now. Leapfish is still in Beta, but I believe it will be officially live in October 2009.

Is anyone currently buying keywords from Leapfish? If so, is it working for you? What are the positives and negatives?