Feeds

Microsoft ups search engine bribe

Extends exercise in futility

New hybrid storage solutions

As part of its ongoing effort to shrink the Google gap with shameless bribery, Microsoft is now offering 25 per cent off eBay purchases made by way of its Live Search engine.

Previously, Redmond's eBay cashback offer was around 10 per cent.

"Christmas presents to be purchased? Budget a bit tight? Microsoft Live Search has a solution for all the parents out there being harassed for big ticket items by our kids. Why not save up to 25% right now?" asks Live Search group product manager Kok Waii Wong from the official Live Search blog.

The bribe applies only to eBay "Buy-It-Now" offers, purchased via eBay's very own PayPal payment system. Your rebate can't top $200. And you must be in the US .

You'll notice that Microsoft has stopped short of the 35 per cent cashback offers it floated early in the program. It would appear that such offers have allowed clever eBayers to sell $630 for $714:

eBay Live Search game

Paying cash for cash

In May, in a desperate bid to boost traffic, Microsoft began bribing people to use its third rate search engine. If you use Live Search ads to find and buy certain items, Microsoft will return a portion of the purchase price.

The payments come straight from Microsoft's product-selling advertisers, including eBay. So, if a partner like eBay posts an advertisement, the ad fee provides a cashback refund.

Microsoft has yet to respond to new inquiries about the eBay cash-for-cash scams. But a 25 per cent return reduces the profits available from such digital trickery.

The question is how long Microsoft is willing to continue bribing search engine users - whether they're scamming the system or not. It appears that bribes aren't working as well as Microsoft hoped. From June to July, according to comScore, Microsoft's search market share actually went south. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.