Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing

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%!

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2 responses to “Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing

  1. It pays to discover the…. search engine that pays you back?

    I wonder how interesting this whole thing will get. After all, Google has that cute little TRY CHROME whenever you go to their site with IE. Might be the start of strong completion which is desperately needed. Problem is that Google is now synonymous with search (To the point it’s a verb), I wonder if even Microsoft can take that on.

  2. Interesting indeed. I for one, am not a big fan (or consumer of ‘affiliate programs’ that said, there is a healthy dislike among the organizations brewing some interesting debates – the way only tech giants can.

    I have a few friends and Microsoft, and it was kinda funny to here them refer to the google alternative, such as just “live” it – when doing an internet search. I guess bing is a slightly better phrase, but is near impossible to dethrone ‘google’ as a verb – hell, i still here people reference mapQuest for online maps – who uses mapQuest anymore? Then again, a quick check on stats, and it appears nearly 50M users a month use MapQuest – guess there will always be a market for laggards..

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