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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Microsoft pays users for searching with Live

has decided that the best way to drive users to its search engine is to pay them a nice cheque. Turning Microsoft’s cash mountain into user clicks must have been agreed at the highest level in Redmond. According to the Live Search cashback site, Microsoft will dole out money to online users who find and buy select products through its Live Search engine. There is a fair bit of cash involved too. The amounts range from two per cent of the purchase price to 30 per cent. Microsoft has signed up a long list of merchants to participate in the programme including Barnes & Noble, Sears, Home Depot, J&R, Office Depot and others.

It is not a marketing system that Microsoft is hiding either. Bill Gates mentioned it yesterday when he was chatting to online advertisers at a Microsoft conference in Redmond. Gates said that in a few years time punters will look back and say, ‘Wow, search started to get a fair bit more competitive around that time.’ Consumers would have to sign up for a free Windows Live cashback account to participate in the program. Rebates would be issued after a 60-day waiting period to make sure there are no returned products.

Source: Inquirer, Reuters

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