MSN Starts Revving Up The Promotional Engine On Search

from the getting-a-move-on dept

Last week we noted that Yahoo was thinking about joining folks like Amazon, Ask’s iWon and a bunch of small new players in bribing “incentivizing” searchers to switch from Google as their main search engine. Bill Gates, of course, famously had suggested Microsoft might do the same thing — though made it sound like just a random idea the company was thinking about. Well, apparently someone thought to put it in practice. John Battelle points to a site from MSN that will give people prizes for searching. Again, if it’s actually giving out anything of value, we wonder how long it will take before people rig up a system to game it (Update: Not long at all, apparently. As someone in the comments points out, it’s already been gamed). Either way, it looks like Microsoft is at least gearing up to push its own search products forward more seriously after being quiet about them for some time. Threadwatch points out that Microsoft says its contextual advertising program will launch this year — when many people had expected it to take at least another year. Of course, Microsoft certainly doesn’t have the best reputation for delivering products on time, does it? Either way, combine these two stories, and it at least suggests that Microsoft is becoming more comfortable with more directly going after Google and Yahoo on the search front.

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