By Leena Rao
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says that Live Search Products and Live Search Cashback have now been unified into a single experience. You can now access Cashback on Live Search Products page, which is Microsoft’s comparison shopping vertical site. Microsoft has migrated Cashback from the Jellyfish platform (the social shopping site that Microsoft purchased in 2007) to the Live Search platform.
Last year, Microsoft launched the Live Search Cashback program, which gives users monetary incentives to click through and buy products from the ads they’re shown. It was controversial since the move to gain market share from Google was so drastic and seemingly desperate.
The Cashback program didn’t have much of an effect on Microsoft’s search, with its marketshare initiallly bumped up before hovering around 9 % (which is what it was before the program), and Google’s share remaining at nearly 62 %. But there was a silver lining to the program for Microsoft; its ad revenue from Live Search increased. Last fall, Microsoft reported a 30% growth in Cashback offers made to customers, with 20 of the web’s 50 top online retailers in the U.S. participating in the program.
Live Search Products was launched in 2006 as a commerce-only search engine/shopping comparison engine to give users more relevant results when looking to buy items online. Live Search Products was launched to be a direct competitor to Froogle, which was reborn as Google Search Products.
Microsoft’s Live Search name has gone through several rebranding efforts of its search site in the effort to keep up with the search capacities of Yahoo and Google. It’s pretty easy to lose track of all the different names Microsoft has tested for its search engine. There was MSN Search, Microsoft Search, Live Search and possibly Windows Live Search. Rumors have been flying around about the new name, which appears to be Kumo, which means “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese. So perhaps Live Search Products will soon be Kumo Products?