Starting today, Microsoft plans to actually pay users to search via Bing. Yes, you read that correctly – they will PAY you, in cash, to use Bing rather than some other search engine such as Yahoo, or more likely Google. How will they do this? When you shop online through the Bing search engine, Microsoft will refund you a portion of your purchase price at its own expense. Okay, they have actually been doing this for a while, but starting today they will double that amount to up to 50% of your purchase price. That’s worth taking notice.
In practice, this concept isn’t entirely new. Many e-commerce sites have affiliate programs which will pay a third party site (like Bing) for referring customers to them. Microsoft’s search engine has taken advantage of this by combining its search engine capabilities with various affiliate programs. When a buyer searches for an item on Bing and then purchases it, Microsoft gets paid a commission for the referral. There are many sites that do this, but Microsoft is the only one that refunds 100% of this commission back to its users. Previously, they have offered similar promotional discounts to specific stores like eBay. In that instance, users received up to 30-35% cashback for making their eBay purchases through Bing. But with this promotion, they will double the cashback on ALL affiliate stores, up to 50%!