Snap Search Engine Optimization Guidelines

Snap search was launched in October, 2004, by founder Bill Gross, who is currently chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Gross also founded Idealab, Snap’s parent company, in March 1996. Snap is operated by Perfect Market Technologies, which is based out of Pasadena California. Snap’s technology partners include: X1 Technologies Inc., About LookSmart,, Gigablast, DMOZ, Moreover and The Mayfield venture capital firm is the major investor.

Snap provides general as well as shopping related searches. Queries can be conducted under the categories Web, Ultrasearch, Shopping, News and Jobs. Snap displays both organic and sponsored results.

General Search

As a general search engine, Snap returns results from Gigablast, LookSmart, DMOZ, and its own database index. Aside from using standard algorithms to obtain findings, Snap inspects click-stream information from a network of one million users. It analyzes human behavior, and fetches results based on site popularity and site stickiness levels.

Snap benefits from a fairly well laid out, organized design. Items are easy to find, and pages are not overly cluttered with information. An interesting feature that Snap utilizes is an SEO related tool. Under the Web search category there is a Web Results ‘Popular Searches’ list that generates on the left hand column when you enter a keyword into the search bar. This list displays phrases associated with your keyword, along with a search count beside it. For instance, a search on ‘Jerry Springer’ yields the phrases and search counts: Jerry Springer 1001, Jerry Springer Show 142, Jerry Springer Tickets 48 etc. This, along with a News Results list on the right hand side, changes dynamically as you start entering a keyword or phrase into the search bar. This ‘Suggest’ feature makes these suggestions based on popular searches. This is otherwise known as Snap’s RAFT, or refine as you type technology. *Note, RAFT also works under Ultrasearch, News and Jobs (doesn’t seem to work under Shopping yet although they say it does).

Ultrasearch lets you view multiple searches on one page. This category gives you a deeper set of search functions, by providing access to a full screen snap shot display of web pages within your search. After examining a website from this snap shot, you can eliminate unwanted results by discarding them in a trash bin.


Advertisers can pay cost-per-click, but Snap also allows advertisers to set up pay-for-performance, with what they call a “cost-per-action,” or CPA model. Rather than paying for click-throughs, advertisers only pay when a user actually makes a purchase from the advertiser’s site. Sign up for this service is free, and advertisers have the option of setting the keywords and bid amount. From Snap’s site, the two types are:

  • “Fixed-Cost-Per-Action (FCPA)
    You choose a fixed amount and pay only when a consumer completes the specific action(s) you want: purchases a product, registers for a service, etc.
  • Variable-Cost-Per-Action (VCPA)
    You choose a fixed percentage of purchase price and pay only when the item is sold to a customer from Snap.”

Advertisers can also edit their listings and the associated messages displayed in the search results page, to incorporate an action button in the listing, such as a ‘buy it now’ link. Advertisers can also upload product images as well as their company logos.


On September 14, 2005, Snap unveiled Snap Shopping at The Snap Shopping site allows users to compare products and features in order to find the best prices, with access to discounts and coupons. It is powered by the comparative shopping engine The Shopping search has a product filtering tool that allows you to analyze the products suitable to your search. It will then put you through to a network of merchants to purchase. This shopping network will feature over 600 vendors, and MeziMedia and are the collaborating companies. Snap Shopping will use RAFT technology.