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.