Microsoft tried an experiment that seems not to have lived up to expectations. Called ‘Bing Cashback’ the program involved thousands of advertisers trying to reach you the Internet shopper with what was claimed were deals. Microsoft claims that by eliminating the cashback program they will be able to introduce a better experience both for advertisers and for the shoppers who use Bing. The only problem is that Microsoft doesn’t say what the fabulous experience is going to be.
On their blog site they stated that:
Why are we doing this? When we originally began to offer the cashback feature, it was designed to help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would change user behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing.
In lots of ways, this was a great feature – we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.
So we are taking all the learning from the effort and putting it into some new programs for you and our advertisers designed to provide amazing shopping experiences for consumers and great opportunities for advertisers.
I personally still do not believe that Microsoft understands search as well as Google does. It would be like me going down and buying a Ferrari. Just because I own a fast car it does not make me a race car driver. Microsoft is going to struggle with search for a long time. By giving up the cashback offer, they seem to understand that no matter what they do, even buying Yahoo, is not going to help.
Just my two cents.