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This means free stuff, just very slowly

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Espotting.com is launching a search engine that will pay users each time they make a search through its database. The company claims that it is the first such engine in Europe.

Advertisers will pay for placement, much like the Yellow Pages, then each surfer making a search will have a small amount of money credited to their Espotting account. This can then be redeemed against online purchases at any of the advertisers' sites.

Users will automatically be credited with £2 when they sign up and then for every click through on a paid search, up to a maximum of ten per day, Espotters will be paid 25 per cent of the advertisers bid for the result.

For clicking through to the HMV site, for example, you will earn a penny. By our calculations that will be only 1500 click-throughs, or about six months, before you get a free CD. Referring other people to the site will earn an extra 20p.

The company has just put the site up live, so if you click here you can have a nose around and see what you think. ®

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