Microsoft: forget the Live Search Cashback, just improve the engine

Microsoft is paying users to use its search engine with a new search cashback scheme. Looks like an affiliate scheme where the commission is paid back to the customer. US only.

I think Microsoft should focus on improving its search engine. This morning, I needed to call a local electrician and figured that search would be quicker than using a phone book. I entered the name of the retailer and the town. For some reason, this stymied Live Search: the result I was looking for was not on the first 10 pages. Identical search on Google: the first four results matched, and the address and telephone number were at the top of the page with a little map.

In a poll last year 51% thought Google delivered the best results for an example search, while 35% preferred Live Search and 31% Yahoo. That’s an inconclusive result, and this is not an exact science; but personally I find Google almost always delivers better results, sometimes (as in the case this morning) dramatically so.

If Microsoft managed to reverse this I would switch to Live Search in a heartbeat.

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