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Does rewarding users work? Certainly does for Microsoft!
comScore released their June U.S. search engine rankings today. Google and Yahoo dropped by ~1% and Time Warner Network (aol?) dropped half a percentage point.
Who grabbed the nearly 3%? Microsoft. Yep, that Microsoft. Here is the explanation from comScore:
Microsoft Sites experienced a significant increase in search query volume (up 36 percent) and search market share (up 2.9 share points) in June, due in large part to Live Search Club, a program launched by Microsoft in late May to engage and reward users of Live Search.
So if you don't think rewarding users works, think again. For Microsoft it provided a huge lift. From my previous consumer marketing experience, I believe that rewarding loyal users keeps them loyal and gets them to spread your message.
Derek at Internet Marketing Monitor has another viewpoint:
As we’ve said before, this isn’t really that surprising. Live Search Club aside, Windows Vista and Internet Explorer are both driving users to MSN/Live.com. As Vista adoption continues to increase, so too should Microsoft’s search numbers… in theory.
Check out our previous reports from comScore.