Microsoft's Cashback Search Engine Gambit Is a Bust

Last Updated Aug 20, 2008 1:25 AM EDT

Nielsen Online released their search engine numbers for July today, and I think its safe to say that Microsoft Live's Cashback initiative, which saw the company offering money back to consumers and Cost Per Action pricing for advertisers, isn't gaining much traction. Number from comScore last month seemed to show the software giant (and search engine midget) slowly gaining ground, but unless comScore's July numbers show a marked difference, I think it's safe to call this plan DOA. The numbers are below:
Table 1: Top 10 Search Providers for July 2008, Ranked by Searches (U.S.)

Searches Share of

Provider (000) YOY Growth Searches

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All Search 7,996,956 3% 100.0%

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1. Google Search 4,812,974 16% 60.2%

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2. Yahoo! Search 1,393,723 -11% 17.4%

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3. MSN/Windows Live Search 951,882 -10% 11.9%

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Microsoft, as always, has turned what should be a frown upside down. From an article in today's Ad Week:
"We are going to take a long-term perspective," [Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's search, portal and advertising platform group,] said during a keynote presentation at the Search Engine Strategies conference here. "We clearly have the wherewithal to invest. If we can hunker down and come at it again and again, we will have the opportunity to gain our fair share."
Also interesting to note is Yahoo stands as the biggest loser Year Over Year currently. Of course, if Microsoft had been able to complete its acquisition of Yahoo, the search engine advertising market would look significantly different. As it now, hope you like Google's AdSense -- odds are it'll only continue to gain ground.