This is the big news of the day: we now know why Microsoft has bought Jellyfish a few months ago. Not to improve MSN Shopping… but Windows Live Search. Indeed, Microsoft has announced Windows Live Search Cashback, a program to add cashback features on its web search (read the press release). As described in the FAQ:
Microsoft Live Search cashback is “The Search That Pays You Back”. Find great deals on millions of products from hundreds of brand name stores that you know and trust. You will be able to earn cashback savings based on a percentage of the product price. Your savings will be paid to you via your choice of a deposit to your PayPal account, direct deposit to your bank account, or a check in the mail. It’s that simple!
This new program (available at http://search.live.com/cashback/) is replacing the current Jellyfish program, as mentioned on the Jellyfish site: “We’re excited to tell you that Jellyfish Cash Back is now Microsoft Live Search cashback – The Search That Pays You Back!“.
My first impressions:
More in-depth analysis of the benefits for advertisers / merchants on TechCrunch:
Microsoft’s hope is to lure advertisers with a promise to pay only if a purchase is made, unlike Google’s pay-per-click model that carries more risk because a searcher may not complete a transaction. And by offering a percentage of the fee collected from advertisers, Microsoft hopes to convince searchers to take the last mile to a transaction through the Live.com search engine, generating more advertising revenue for Microsoft and simultaneously hurting arch-rival Google.
And you can find a step-by-step description of the whole process – from searching to paying on the merchant site and getting cashback – on SearchEngineLand.