Experts as guide on the internet

Last week an article was posted by the biggest Dutch newspaper Telegraaf. We translated the article so we can share it with all of you!

Experts as guide on the internet

There’s an overwhelmingly large amount of information online. People still have trouble finding their way on the internet. A search on Google can easily result in thousands of hits. The most interesting results aren’t always at the top of the results. Some website owners are better at getting their sites ranked highly in Google than others.

This is why entrepreneur Klaas Joosten and his co-founders have launched, an advanced internet guide with links to the best websites. The overload of information is filtered with the help of enthusiastic experts. These experts select the best websites on a voluntary basis.

Contrary to Dutch competitor Startpagina, no-one can exclusively claim a certain subject. So if somebody thinks he or she is able to build a better Barcelona travel portal than the current expert, they are able to set up a ZEEF page on the same subject. Co-founder Rick Boerebach thinks that this competition will cause the best pages to rise to the top. If a visitor of a ZEEF page clicks on a link and orders something, ZEEF receives a commission. This commission is split 50/50 with the experts.

As he used to be dyslexic, CEO Klaas Joosten knows exactly how hard it is to find interesting information on the internet. In 1999 he founded M4N, a network for affiliate marketing, a form of marketing where a web site refers customers to an advertiser in exchange for a commission. When the company’s generated sales volume reached 400 million euro, he sold his company to the German company zanox. M4N was mainly successful due to their smart technology.

At everything revolves around the knowledge of the experts. Boerebach: “That’s the best way to filter the enormous amount of information”. Everything revolves around the experts who are creating pages for diverse subjects ranging from development tools to travel destinations. Basing search results on mathematical formulas, like how Google works, has not solved the problem of information overload. Especially in areas which the consumer is not familiar with, there is a demand for the expert’s knowledge”.

ZEEF does not allow just anyone to add irrelevant (commercial) links, which was the mistake that the American company Yahoo! made. “That’s why we work with moderators”.

ZEEF also differentiates itself by competing with Google AdSense by offering bloggers blocks containing the best links, as compiled by experts, which the bloggers can use to earn money. These lists are automatically updated.

In the first year, will primarily focus on the US market as this is the most important market according to Joosten. Europe, Japan, China and India will follow at a later date.


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