This article was originally published on techcrunch and is being re-published here with permission.

This isn’t enough data to declare Microsoft’s much derided Live Cashback search product a winner, but the first full month after in launched (June) shows a 15% gain in search volume v. the previous month, according to Comscore. This erases the previous month’s losses, bringing Microsoft up to 9.2% overall search share.

Live Search CashBack gives advertisers the option of offering users a direct rebate for purchases made after searching on Microsoft. The product shifts search advertising from cost-per-click (CPC) to cost-per-action (CPA) and give a lot of the revenue back to users.

Live Search Cashback isn’t designed to grab a ton of market share away from Google and Yahoo, but Microsoft is hopeful that more users will come to them when doing searches around buying goods online. And those queries tend to bring in the lion’s share of advertising dollars. This won’t affect Microsoft’s bottom line much, of course, since they are passing most of the money from purchases right back to consumers.

This is far from a definitive statement of Live Search Cashback’s success as an ongoing product, but the jump is an early sign that consumers may be intrigued. Let the debates continue.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

47 thoughts on “Microsoft Incentivized Trial Boosts Search Up 15%”
  1. The live cash back is a great idea. Its no surprise that its doing well

  2. I think its a good idea, and just in time. Now if only they had a quality search algorithm..

  3. This idea is already used on many other sites. I think its the first time that a huge site started using it though

  4. A lot of consumers like getting rewards for purchases. There are numerous rewards programs out there for different things. If they market this enough it’ll get more of the online shoppers going there to search and shop.

  5. personally, I think it is a stupid idea. a desperate move. Microsoft could have been so much more better since they owns IE, they could somehow offer an online bookmarking system and harvest the info, like del.icio.us, definitely the most bookmarked sites are some of the best on the web.

  6. That is good for MS and the advertisers who have the little gold coins next to their ads. As an affiliate though, I have seen a decrease in CTR on my ads since this started. Impressions are up but people are clicking more on the incentivized ads, so that is decreasing my CTR a little.

  7. no they don’t, but I’m pretty sure that they will come up with something to combat this. evil Google. :))

  8. Live Search Cashback is good idea, you can’t say anything this time for M stuff.

  9. It’s nice to see an innovative move from Microsoft in a business dominated by Google!

  10. Very good idea but if they continu like that they will not get the max of the profit. Anyway it’s great for microsoft to see that 15% of jump, that will encourage them to continue the promotion. but Google still in a win situation!

  11. haha that’s what google love ti hear 😀 You should me rational to get the max of the utility!

  12. I don’t think that Yahoo search is close to google if you mean that they showing the same results. It’s absolutely different, each company has it’s own algorithm. my blog is in the first result page for a keyword in google and in the 10th page in yahoo for the same one!

  13. This scheme reminds me of what credit card companies are currently doing.

  14. Basically, search engine meets ebates. Microsoft’s search engine becomes a big affiliate rebate site. Not good for smaller rebate players (like us) if this works well for them (although, I doubt they’ll kick back rebates at the same dollar amount we will)

  15. A lot of people were gaming the system through ebay, buying up their own gift cards, getting cashback, and making a profit. It’d be interesting to see MS’s financial numbers on the cost of that 15% boost.

  16. Anything to gain some market share. Just watch Google do the same if they see it is benefitting Microsoft’s share of the search market too much.

  17. Hahahahahahah! Well put! Their main business ain’t search, and it shows. Microsoft has the resources to seriously challenge Google if they can get their stuff together!

  18. Let’s hope this will lead to Google offering money back too. That will be really nice. Can’t wait to see exactly where this whole saga is heading.

  19. I expect them to watch proceedings with an eagle eye, and take counter measures before this causes MSN to build too much momentum.

  20. Aha! This could be another loophole begging to be exploited by similar scams. The numbers would really be interesting, agreed.

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