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December 09, 2005



So let's see, I get paid to click on paid search links? Hmm, wonder what the conversion rate (to sales) will be for this kind of traffic. I presume this is a way for Microsoft to buy seach share. How do you think the advertisers would view this kind of gambit?


This could be a very good idea but I'm not sure how you prevent click-fraud... unless you shift it from a CPC model to a Cost Per Acquisition Model (affiliate program) model. Which means, if I click on a paid-search link and then actually buy something, the merchant treats Microsoft as an affiliate (paying them around 4-8% of the sale) and then Microsoft splits that check with me.

If they go that route, it would be the same user model as, except MSN has far more distribution.

Anonymous Coward

As the plan is currently described, I'd expect to see, not just a wave of entrepreneurial individuals flooding MSN to make a quick buck, but also networks of machines specifically programmed to game the system. (Eastern European and Asian hackers will see to it.)

I'd be curious to see how Microsoft could make it work.


I expect this is just a way to try and throw some uncertainty over Google business model... apart from the reasons mentioned by previous commmenters, how would MS pay me? I expect we'd see something similar to 'get a free premium hotmail account after x searches on MSN', or maybe credits towards music downloads...

Again, nothing would stop me from doing the search on MSN for the reward and on Goggle for the actual relevant results...

Rishi Khaitan

MS could possibly rely on an IE plugin or MSN toolbar that tracks the searcher's behavior pattern to distinguish between valid searchers and bogus money-making bots (either automated or human slave laborers)

Dennis Chan

---Especially because even the most ardent Google fan may someday begin to resent the fantastic amount of money that they make for Google each time they click--an amount that, arguably, vastly exceeds the value of search results Google is providing.

Apparently the act of cliking a link will result in resentment and a vastly devalued of the search result.
So caution : Clikc at your own risk.

Pete Cashmore

Nice insights. I posted my thoughts on this idea earlier today:

Pete Cashmore

Oops - forgot to hyperlink it....

That's better. :)


"When your mere click on a link generates a couple of dollars of pure profit"



It's not clear to me that casual Google users have any idea how Google is compensated when they click a sponsored link, so the resentment factor Henry references is, in my opinion, unlikely to shape user behavior.

Margaret Olson

I've been waiting for someone with a commitment to marketing spend to enter the search market. Search isn't quite a commodity, but Google no longer has a (search) technical edge at all and maintaining one in an extremely profitable easily explored space is very hard. Google's big advantage, and it's a huge advantage, is user market share. Telling the world that there are other engines is not going to be cheap.

A9 "shares the pie" - you get a 1/2 pi discount at if you use A9 often enough. This system doesn't pay me for endless meaningless clicks (it's just a threshold), and Amazon has plenty of things I'm interested in buying.

Since I prefer A9 over Google and Yahoo anyway - the results tend to be better and you can see two categories at once (for example images and links), this works out to a good deal. A bigger discount would be nice, but it's a start.

I've also noticed that Yahoo's search results are better than A9's and both are better than Google's for certain kinds of searches. Yahoo seems to do better job on synonyms and that means they'll find smaller sites and stores that may not have sophisticated seo staff (or services). Yahoo will return "Kaps Menswear" in the first few hits on a search for "Kaps clothing"; the others won't.

The A9 search results format trumps Yahoo's, so I use A9 until I can't find something and then go over to Yahoo. All this is a long winded way of saying that search will sooner or later get some competition, but that paying people to click is not likely to be the answer.



I first wrote about this idea for a Microsoft or Yahoo to revenue-share their search money with endusers back in June, including varients of the CPC and CPA models. Today CNBC reported the story.

Check out the original post:

And Today's update:

The comments here are dead-on and I would be interested in learning more on what people think will happen to alter people's behaviour and/or the search industry.

Adam Moskowitz

i have a better strategy that will actually reward users for what they find in their search AND their word of mouse. if interested, email me...


I sincerely believe in ppc since it pays genuinely


There's a site doing something similar, it uses adsense though.



Account Deleted

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