Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Discover the search engine that pays you back!

Credit card cash back models are coming to search engine marketing...well, at least to Microsift's Livesearch. Microsoft is going to compete with Google by offering to pay people cold hard cash (or at least the kind you get with PayPal) for the purchases they make when using LiveSearch.

Read all about it

So if I use a Discovercard and Livesearch for my purchase, I might be getting 10% off?

As advertisers and marketers, we end up paying Microsoft for the sale instead of the click...that's pay-for-results at it's most per click remains one step removed from the ultimate point of sponsored search. But what do MS get to keep regarding the behavior, demographics and preferences when they control the lead up to transaction?

Credit card companies (notably Discover) have tried this type of 'preferred retailer' approach for years with online shopping applications and agents. One wonders how they might view Microsoft's frenemy perhaps?

Obviously, the pay per purchase model doesn't work for all categories of commerce search. At minimum, it does indicate that the competition for search would seem to have entered a new phase.

UPDATE 5/22: For a more detailed review, some interesting stats and commentary, see the TechCrunch posting from 5/

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