Posted November 13, 2008 6:11 pm by with 11 comments

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Announced in May, Microsoft Live Search’s cashback program was instantly the source of ridicule—but now they’re showing off their success. It must be a happy day at Redmond: two big stories for Microsoft Live Search today, both announced during PubCon.

Last month, we first reported that cashback might actually be working in terms of traffic to Live Search. But today they announce that traffic isn’t the only metric cashback is doing well on.

In the press release, GM, Microsoft Live Search, Brad Goldberg says (emphasis added):

We are pleased to report a 30 percent increase in the number of product offers available in Microsoft Live Search cashback, indicative of the strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI. We have seen an average of 4.5 million unique users per month visiting cashback who have conducted more than 68 million commercial queries.

eBay’s North America GM, Stephanie Tilenius, chimed in for other KPIs, lower prices for consumers (up to 60% below retail) and more (emphasis added):

Beyond the great deals for buyers, Microsoft Live Search cashback has improved our ROI on paid search by 50 percent, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold.

Microsoft is also expanding its program to include sites using Miva Merchant, Early Impact Inc. (ProductCart) or 3DCart as its shopping cart software.

I guess during an economic downturn, people look for any wayt they can to save money. Will you be signing up for cashback any time soon?

  • Wow that’s great to see that it actually worked long term. It will help them stay alive in the search engine world

  • I’ve seen all sorts of commercials for Live search lately, so I’m not too surprised to see a slight surge in traffic. The true test will be if they can keep that traffic…

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  • No i won’t be signing up because lets face the facts — their index and ranking algorithm is really poor. I’d rather use ask than Live.

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  • I’m surprised it’s been as successful as that, since I thought it was a last-ditch attempt. But Like SoLinkable, I wonder if they can retain the traffic.

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  • I think during strange economic times out of the box thinking is what will keep many companies afloat.

  • I’ll agree with the theme above…..I doubt the growth from this promotion is sustainable over time.

    However, I refuse to doubt Microsoft’s ambitions (and pocketbook) and I believe their search market share will be much greater a couple years down the road.

  • PS3

    To answer the question, will I be signing up?

    Sorry, no. I search to find the information I need from the best available source (currently Google despite its faults) not to make a few cents.

  • it really surprise me, but I don’t think they’ll retain it

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  • Yes, paying people to use your service sounds like a good option.

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  • Sounds like a cool concept, and the stats are reassuring.

  • I’d rather use ask than Live. But if I have more choice, then I choose others.

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