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Live Search Cashback From Microsoft

Posted on 5.21.2008

Microsoft announced a new search service and advertising model yesterday which is receiving an immense amount of attention in both the Web user and Internet advertising space. Live Search Cashback is based at least in part on technology developed by JellyFish, which Microsoft acquired in 2007. (See Website Magazine's previous coverage of Jellyfish and 14 other comparison and social shopping engines here)

When Web users sign up for an account and buy items found using Microsoft's Live Search Cashback site, they will receive a percentage of the purchase price deposited into an account. When the total reaches $5, those shoppers can redeem the "cash". The solution essentially enables users to compare and sort products by the bottom-line price. Once users find the deal they are looking for, they go directly to the merchant site. The real benefit for users is taht every bought during that visit will be eligible for the Live Search Cashback program.

The draw for ecommerce advertisers will certainly be strong (the advertising model is a cost-per-sale offering). At a fixed CPA, Microsoft should expect some significant interest from the paid search advertising community - couple that with pretty established consensus that Microsoft Search already yields a high conversion rate against search engine rivals Google and Yahoo! when it comes to retail ecommerce, and in my opinion you've got a legitimate solution which could make Microsoft's Live Search a genuine consideration for ecommerce merchants.

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