Microsoft kills Bing bribe

Software giant Microsoft has decided to kill off its policy of bribing users to try its Bing search engine.

Microsoft said it is getting rid of Bing Cashback, which was a program that allowed advertisers to bid for search advertisements by offering a percentage of sales back to users.

When it first appeared in May 2008, Redmond denied it was a simple bribe to get the engine recognised. Microsoft claimed it was a significant way it could change the economics of search.

The Microsoft bog said that it was a great feature. Redmond claimed it had more than a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers.

It meant they saw a great return on investment on their campaigns, and Microsoft was taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers, the blogger wrote.

But the problem was that it didn’t work. Microsoft did not see the broad adoption that it hoped for. In short you could not bribe people to use Bing.

The last day to earn cash back on purchases will be July 30, Microsoft said.

Redmond said that it is learning from the effort and putting it into some new programmes “designed to provide amazing shopping experiences for consumers and great opportunities for advertisers”.

Redmond has discovered that shopping remains one of the most important tasks people engage in while using search.