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Hitwise: Microsoft's cash for search program working (sort of)

Microsoft made a splash this week by adding new perks to its "hey we'll pay you to use our search" program and may actually be making some progress--sort of--with it.Hitwise has some interesting research on the topic.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Microsoft made a splash this week by adding new perks to its "hey we'll pay you to use our search" program and may actually be making some progress--sort of--with it.

Hitwise has some interesting research on the topic. In a blog post Hitwise director of research Heather Dougherty notes the following:

  • Traffic on MSN Cashback and SearchPerks is up;
  • Actual searches on MSN's properties are flattish;
  • MSN may be getting more traffic (all to its Cashback section);
  • The majority of MSN visitors had household income of less than $100,000.

My read: Microsoft is paying up just to keep its market share flat. The concept: Microsoft will pay so Google can grab Yahoo's market share.

Also see: Microsoft’s search perks gambit eyes 22% of market up for grabs

Microsoft tries to lure more searchers with another giveaway

We can debate whether this program is a good use of dough, but it does seem to be getting the word out about Microsoft's search properties. MSN Cashback was 3.75 percent of Live.com traffic 11 weeks ago. Today: It's 6.29 percent. The big question is whether these new MSN fans will stick around.

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