Microsoft Live Search Cashback Gives you Money, Kind of
Microsoft launched 'Live Search CashBack' this week, letting surfers search for products and get discounts sent back to them.
Apparently people are finding discounts of up to 15 per cent off on items ranging from digital cameras to umbrellas. Analysts like it so far, but it's up to the public to decide if it's worth lumbering through the sign up and search process to get a discount on the occasional online purchase.
Already some sites are up describing how to search and find items via Google, then get the discount through Microsoft.
You use Google, but you may have heard that Microsoft also has a search engine called Live Search. (Then why were they trying to buy Yahoo, you ask? Don't get me started.) You don't use this search engine of Microsoft's. So Microsoft is going to pay you to use it. Well, sort of.
Microsoft this week introduced Live Search Cashback, which will give you a substantial rebate if you search for products via Live Search and subsequently buy via their partner retailers.
I have had a heck of a time accessing the site, so I would point you to this blog post if you want to get a better understanding of how it works. In short, you have to go to the Cashback site (not the general Live.com home page), search for your product, and buy it. In the example I linked to, the guy buys an umbrella and will get 13%, or $4.50, back on the purchase. You have to set up an account where your cash back can be dumped, and that's it. Product search via Microsoft equals bigger discounts.
Leveraging the classic business tactic of spending money to make money, Microsoft introduced Live Search cashback, in which the software company will pay consumers who find and purchase products through its Live.com search service.
The effort is designed to help Microsoft close the considerable gap between itself and market leader Google in search advertising. Google currently commands 60 percent of the search market compared to Microsoft's paltry 10 percent, according to market researcher comScore.
Microsoft said Wednesday it will reward US Live Search shoppers with cash for purchases, essentially trying to buy market share it tried to win with its failed bid to take over Yahoo.
Under the Live Search "cashback" program, shoppers using Microsoft's Internet search service will have percentages of purchases refunded.
Rebate money comes from fees merchants agree to pay Microsoft if Live Search online ads result in sales.
"We believe search can offer much more value to consumers and advertisers than it does today," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in a release.
"Our goal is to make Live Search the most rewarding commercial search destination on the Web."