Posted October 1, 2008 9:48 am by with 25 comments

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When Microsoft has a search related announcement to make, I typically hear from someone on the PR team. However, with the launch of Microsoft’s SearchPerks–which gives people points for using the search engine that can later be redeemed for prizes–I didn’t hear from anyone. And I think I know why.

I would have laughed out loud.

Listen, I have no ulterior motive towards Microsoft. I happen to believe the company does some awesome things, but I just cannot help but LMAO at yet another lame attempt to bribe you to use Live Search. In fact, this one goes one step further. You have to use Live Search and Internet Explorer and you have to download a program that sends all this data back to Redmond.

While MSFT’s last incentive effort–Live Search Cashback–did see a short-term increase in market share, the latest numbers show a decline in audience. (Meanwhile Google roars ahead without any incentives).

So, will SearchPerks help Microsoft increase its search audience? Even Live Search Senior Director Frederick Savoye is not confident.

On the broader goal of boosting Microsoft’s share of the commercial search business, Savoye said, Cashback has yet to make a meaningful shift in share. "We haven’t seen it move significantly yet," Savoye said.

Microsoft has to be careful that it doesn’t end up like a car manufacturer–an endless cycle of new incentives and rebates, which becomes hard to break away from.

So, who’s ready to switch to Live Search, Internet Explorer, and share data with Microsoft? 😉

  • Shopping bloggers and eBay folks really took to this, but only as a onetime huge discount.

    The problem is if you already use IE, you’re using Live Search as the default, but if you like Google or have Yahoo as your home page, you have no reason to switch.

    They should focus on improving the browser, or if you have to do an incentive, look to the Firefox/Google model. Firefox makes money from their Google screen, giving them an incentive to make their Google search page the default.

  • Its all about getting people to use search, of course. Its a great problem to have — keyword search and classifieds have average CPMs of at least 50 times the rest of the internet. Email me if you want the proof of that.

    Microsoft should try literally everything to increase their share of search. That includes this rather dubious pay-to-search gambit.

  • End result might not be fruitful but Microsoft might get a boost in search share because of the low end users. Love to see the result.

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  • This will probably bring some traffic to microsoft search engines, I wonder how it turns out

  • I’d rather search and find info instantly than get 1 ringtone and waste hours of my time on search queries due to poor search results.

    Browsers News’s last blog post..Mozilla Tries to Increase Firefox Retention Rate with a New Contest

  • Adi

    Desperation ploy from MSN. On most rewarded ventures the volume is pretty high but the quality is often awful. It wouldn’t surprise me if the valuable surfers that MSN wants to attract stay with Google, whilst the spammers and scammers flood to MSN to try and make a quick buck.

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  • They should be giving away vista licenses.

    Browsers News’s last blog post..(Pic) Typical Web Browser Users

  • @Browsers News – they can’t give those away…seriously, no one will take them…

    But I think its important to add here that Google offers it’s customers incentives too. To name a few: Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Chrome, the list goes on and on. The big difference here is that Google doesn’t call these incentives rather they are just accepted as innovative products that empower their users.

    Maybe Microsoft should try that strategy out for a change.

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Links are making people go crazy!

  • I am waiting to see the result MSN gets after all this. I tried offered search engine but it is of low quality, I should say. I do prefer to spend more time but find needed classy info.

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  • When you have to start paying cash for people to use your service, something’s wrong.

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  • I think I would have better search results looking out my window screaming keywords while waiting for a passer-by to respond than typing them into Live search. Has anyone here every tried it? ***** thing sucks.

    SoLinkable’s last blog post..30 Creepiest Vegetables on Earth

  • Here’s a freebie Ballmer: Make your products better. They have lost market share in desktop, browser and search and with the arrival of the Wii they lost share in the game platform market too. Blackberry and iPhone are poised to erode the position of their mobile offerings too. It’s all due to a complete neglect for putting customer experience and service first and foremost.

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  • does have a bit of a whiff of desperation there. makes me a bit sad for microsoft, strangely enough, although i know i shouldn’t be.

    kouji’s last blog post..haiku poems: money (credit cards)

  • Google is the search engine king. So Microsoft can forget about it in that respect. But if they have some incentives to give out, then sure why not… but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop using Google 😉

  • Not I. I am perfectly happy with googling. I use MS only in emergencies.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Hypermiling

  • A little disappointing to say the least from such a company.

    Leave search to the masters and try improving the products that you do excel in….OS, Browser, etc.

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..Coming Soon? Yes They Are I Swear – I Need Your Advice First!

  • Microsoft has the habit of crushing the competition .. but this time i guess they have been left far behind by google in the rat race…

  • PS3

    You cant blame them for trying to wrestle a little bit of market share back from Google but I don’t imagine it working.

    It’s a bit like my supermarket. I may take my reward card with me, but that is not the sole reason why I chose to go there. I decide based on the best experience – that is Google, not Live.

  • Mikael

    Anyone who actually looks at this will see it as a scam. All of the prizes with any significant value are 4000 tickets or more. But if you look at all the restrictions and do the math you can only make 3125 tickets before the promotion ends.

  • Did you know Microsoft is also making people play games on and allowing them to earn tickets which can be redeemed for prizes? These games require you to search for the clues/answers. The good thing is that you can spend your points on a charity so Microsoft will donate a certain amount to charity for every point you earn.

    QuickPWN’s last blog post..Install Flash Player iPhone App

  • if only Microsoft allowed searchperks in firefox then I would have definately switched from Google to Live Search but the switch to Internet Explorer is just not relevant.

  • I cannot join SearchPerks even if I wanted to because I am not a U.S. citizen. Had I been one, I would have certainly joined to get a few prizes. There’s a very low chance that these kind of freebie marketing strategies would fail.

    Ghatozkat’s last blog post..Microsoft SearchPerks – Search and get prizes

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