Microsoft To Pay People To Search

Microsoft in 1978Here are the basics of how the program is structured:

Use Microsoft Live Search to find whatever it is you are looking for, buy it, and a percentage of the price is put into your account.  When your account hits $5 they put the money into your PayPal account.

Here’s why it won’t work:

You have to sign up for both Microsoft Live and Paypal.  That’s enough hassle on its own, but that’s not the kicker.  The real reason it won’t work is that they are trying to get people to use a search engine they don’t really want to use.

Microsoft continues to not get it.  People aren’t using Google because it is cheaper or more financially rewarding.  They aren’t even using Google because they provide better results.  They use Google because they are Google people.  They use Google because they’ve come to trust it.  They use Google because that’s just what they do.  They Google things, they don’t Microsoft Live Search them.

Microsoft seems to have the mentality of a gas station owner who can (and does) attract customers away from the station across the street by offering gas $.02 cheaper.  It may work for gas stations, but it won’t work for search.  Search engines users are loyal.  Most people don’t search for something on 3 or 4 different search engines to find what they want unless it is something really bizarre that can’t be found.  They use the SE that they use and get on with their business.

What Microsoft is asking people to do is change their loyalty–permanently.  Changing someone’s loyalty from Google to Microsoft is akin to getting them to switch from Coke to Pepsi.  People just aren’t willing to do that for a few pennies.  Maybe once, maybe even a few times, but not permanently.