Startup Cosmodex launched a search engine today that aims to attract users by rewarding them with loyalty points.
The points can be redeemed for free web traffic directed at a site of the user's choosing, the company said. The system will help bloggers and owners of small web sites to generate traffic even if they don't have an advertising budget, the company said.
Cosmodex, of Montrose, California, sees itself as an internet superhero, "fighting against search engine villains who are overcharging advertisers".
Registration at the site is free. The company defines its market as "back-end users of the web", including webmasters of smaller e-commerce sites, owners of personal home pages, bloggers and network marketers.
Bigger search engines are also looking for creative ways to provide incentives to users of their sites.
Microsoft will share a part of its advertising revenue from its search engine with users, the company's chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, said in a panel discussion last year on an Indian television channel.
Microsoft may give away software or even cash as part of the plan, said Gates, without going into further details.