Microsoft Rewards Users For Searching With Live

There has always been great competition among the top search engines. And as Google greedily increases its market share (which is currently around 63%), competition becomes more and more intense as the other engines jockey for position.

Most recently, Microsoft created something called Search Perks. This new promotion actually rewards users for searching. Search PerksAs users search, they are able to earn up to 25 points per day which will be redeemable for prizes.

To participate in this program, you need to register by December 31, 2008. Additionally, you need to agree to download a program that tracks your usage. And finally, only searches performed with Internet Explorer (6.0 or greater) will be counted towards your points earnings.

Microsoft plans to increase traffic and improve search

As far as we can tell, there are two objectives for this promotion. First, they hope that users will select Live Search as their search engine, which could make Live Search more popular. This would also have the added benefit of increasing usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. And second, because of the tracking software, Microsoft will be able to gather invaluable usage statistics and learn about user browsing patterns. In the terms and conditions for this promotion, Microsoft reveals:

The goal of the Promotion is for Microsoft to learn about and understand customer search behavior in an effort to improve the Microsoft search experience.

So, should Google feel threatened?

Probably not.. This is not the first promotion that Microsoft has come up with. Earlier this year, for example, Microsoft announced the CashBack program, which would give cash incentives to users. However, this had no appreciable effect on Microsoft’s market share and hasn’t hurt Google. And if a cash reward cannot entice users to use a service, its doubtful than anything else will.

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