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Microsoft Will Pay You To Use MSN Search

This article was written by in Internet. 20 comments.

Here’s an interesting twist in the Search Wars (turning everyone attention away from the Browser Wars, I suppose): Microsoft will pay individuals [WSJ/free] to use its search engine, sharing the ad revenues with the casual user, most likely through discounts in software packages. The biggest hole in this plan is easily snuffed out by the writers of the article:

Still, paying consumers to use search engines could create significant headaches. Individuals could start visiting the search site solely for payment, without any real interest in searching or viewing the ads presented alongside search results, defeating the goal of helping advertisers.

We’ll see if Google jumps in with a similar approach.

Published or updated December 11, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

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avatar Neo

It will be interesting to see how many bloggers begin using this new search engine.


avatar m

This will probably backfire. Google prides itself on the integrity of its ad program by placing strict rules on AdSense users for how they can (or can’t) encourage people to click on their ads. Paying people to click on ads all but assures a low conversion rate for the advertisers.

avatar Luke Landes

The search engine isn’t really new, MSN Search has been around for quite a while. It’s the idea that users will be paid when they casually search the internet that is new.

avatar TT

Wow, this is just begging for fraudulent and non-qualified traffic.

avatar ~Dawn

This paying to search isn’t new either- Check out Iwon.com

avatar Luke Landes

Thanks for reminding me about iwon.com, Dawn! I think I remember them as being the first website/company to really annoy me with pop-up windows.

avatar Rabi

Not mentioned in the article is Amazon’s already instituted program. If you use Amazon’s A9 search engine regularly while logged in, you get a 1.57% discount on all amazon.com purchases.

More info: http://www.amazon.com/gp/xs/sharethepi.html