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Microsoft's Use of Bribes for Search, Only 4% of Microsoft/Razorfish Clients Used Microsoft Search

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Summary: Microsoft's attempt to just buy market share meets barriers; Highly damaging truths about Razorfish customers are revealed

"Bribes" or "bribery" is what some of the press called Microsoft's cashback when it was first introduced [1, 2, 3]. It's funny that a lot of people take this for granted by now.



One of our readers says that "Mark Cuban thinks Microsoft should pay off sites to remove themselves from the Google index." From the cited post:

Given the stakes, why stop at $ 1 Billion Dollars ? Would the top 1k most visited sites take a cool $1mm each, plus a committment from MicroSoft or Yahoo to drive traffic through their search engines to more than make up for the lost Google Traffic. After all, once consumers realized that Google no longer had valid search results for the top 25k searchs, that traffic would most likely go to MicroSoft and Yahoo.


As we showed very briefly last week, Microsoft had resorted to intimidation against people who found holes in the cashback ("bribery") programme and then published their findings. Microsoft also used legal means against people who abused it. That was several months ago. The press has some more coverage, such as:

Bing hit by costly security loophole

Bing cashback exploit discovered, Microsoft sends in lawyers

Win $10K and a Trip to L.A. via Bing Cashback Contest

Microsoft Stifles Information on Bing Cashback Error

Microsoft has brought out its legal hammer against a businessman who publicized a problem with an incentive program run alongside the company's Bing search engine.


Bing has been somewhat of a failure and Microsoft is trying to keep it visible, more latterly using some localisation in the UK and reuse of old news about Wolfram.

In quite a remarkable new report, it turns out that even Microsoft employees (over 2,000 of whom are no longer with the company) are rejecting or giving up on Microsoft search/advertisements.

The latest social media survey is making the blogosphere rounds this week. This one comes from RazorFish, Microsoft’s former digital ad agency, which the company sold to Publicis Groupe earlier this year. The report is about the way various brands are using the Web and social media to spread their gospel, with various extrapolations about the fundamental nature of the Internet based on a small sample size.

Among the most interesting tidbits, though, are the data from Razorfish’s own clients. (The client list is impressive, with dozens of major brands ranging from Visa to Victoria’s Secret.) In 2008 Razorfish’s clients put 72 percent of their search advertising budgets toward Google ads. Yahoo garnered 22 percent. Razorfish could only convince its clients to funnel 4 percent of their budgets to ads on Microsoft’s live.com search engine.


Yes, they are letting people go to Microsoft rivals because they are better. Razorfish also used Apache and GNU/Linux while deploying solutions for clients. Microsoft is increasingly living in a Free software world and it must be hard to cope with, so Razorfish was discharged and totally ruined financially, at a personal level.

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