Microsoft Once Again Mulling Payments To Searchers
from the paid-search dept
Just over a year ago there was some discussion that Microsoft might start paying people to use its search engine, as a way of luring users away from Google. The company never implemented the plan and its share of the search market continues to languish. Now it's apparently revisiting the idea of paying people to search, although with a slight twist. John Battelle has obtained internal company documents suggesting that the company will give businesses free deployment and training services if they encourage their workers to use Microsoft Live search. Many companies write a hefty check to Microsoft each year, and the company is clearly hoping that they'll gladly switch search engines if it means getting a discount on Microsoft products. It's not exactly clear how companies will do this; presumably, they'd set up home pages and and search boxes to default to Live. But even if some companies opt to do this, it's hard see this move having a major impact on Microsoft's share of the market. If Live isn't deemed to be on par with Google, then employees will keep using Google, regardless of what the defaults are -- they'll just have to deal with the annoyance of an unnecessary hurdle. Ultimately, Microsoft needs innovation in the search space, not gimmicks and bribes, to make itself competitive in this market.