Over the last month, Microsoft’s Live Search engine has shown a 67% growth, according to Compete, Inc., which measure Internet metrics. The search engine’s volume jumped from 8.4% in May to 13.2% in June. That’s excellent news forMicrosoft, but analysts think they know the reason it’s happened. And the answer is – prizes.
Microsoft has introduced the Live Search Club,where members use the search engine to play games for points, which are redeemable for Microsoft products. But it’s only recently that it’s taken off. In May, Live Search Club has around330,000 unique visitors. The following month that jumped to three million.
“If Microsoft can actually leverage this traffic to Club.live.com into actual search users and string togethera few more months like this, they could really threaten Google’s top spot,” said SteveWillis, an analyst with Compete.
Microsoft isn’t the first to use prizes to draw users to asearch engine. Since 2004, Google has had Blingo.com, which utilizes the same strategy. As Live Search has enjoyed a surge, Google experienced a small dropof 0.3% in queries in June, from 67% to 62.3%. Yahoo was down 0.1% to 19.6%, and Ask.com dropped 0.2%, to 3.3%.