RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Clarence Briggs, who founded Advanced Internet Technologies in Fayetteville 12 years ago, is taking on a new venture. But he faces some colossal competition.

Briggs, a retired U.S. Army major, said earlier this month that he would “retire” from day-to-day duties at AIT to focus on tyBit, a new Internet search application. Briggs believes tyBit could become a major player in the search industry, which is dominated by Google and Yahoo!

tyBit is designed to run on all manner of devices and doesn’t require huge data centers like the ones Google is building in Lenoir and near Charleston, S.C.

Briggs says tyBit not only delivers better search results but also provides more protection for users and helps produce more revenue for partners than paid by Google, Yahoo and others.

On its Web site, tyBit cites “four degrees of relevancy” as the key factors in its results: location, source, behavior, and time.

So far, tyBit is drawing strong interest. Thirty-five Internet Service providers and other firms have signed on to use it, according to Briggs.

“I am so passionate about this product that I have decided to step down from my 12 year tenure as CEO of AIT after a successful launch and enable the ISP’s to take what belongs to them – Internet search,” he said at a recent tech show in Florida.

Briggs also believes tyBit will prove to be an effective counter to “click fraud.” He has been outspoken in his criticism of the current pay-per-click Web model.

“The top search providers have set up and profited considerably from an affiliate model to sell and deliver online pay-per-click ads that is fundamentally flawed because the model encourages click-fraud and is a clear conflict of interest,” he said in announcing tyBit. “Worst of all, the advertisers never get to see who is clicking on their ads and are expected to just pay for fraudulent traffic without an itemized bill. This is killing search relevancy and will ultimately lead to a decline in ROI and business confidence.”

Will tyBit be a hit?

In the Web industry, many people view Google in the same way the open source software world views Microsoft. Just as Linux presents a growing alternative to Windows, tyBit could be an alternative to being “Googled.”