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BTB this idea would certainly work in a rather small scale and companies like iWon already proved it but will the mainstream users embrace this?
So some of the ideas they're bouncing is to remove ads from free Yahoo Email accounts for users who stick with Yahoo search, free downloads from their Yahoo Music service, etc.
This is the kind of thing Y may have to do to chip away at the Google mindshare and build their own loyal base of users.
Yahoo is considering launching a program to reward people who make Yahoo their primary search engine," the survey says. "Yahoo Mail users will be given early access to this program. You will receive a monthly reward if you make Yahoo your primary search engine. This means that most of the searching you do each month must be on Yahoo Search.
An interesting strategy, and one that I'd never thought might be adopted.
Concern number two would be that only existing users sign up to use this type of program. Then all you have done is created a cost center associated with your current users. If you can 'limit' the amount of existing users, this type of program is essentially arbitrage since they can monetize those new searches very efficiently on the backend.
Think they would need to record the payments to searchers as a TAC?
>> only existing users sign up to use this type of program. Then all you have done is created a cost center associated with your current users
Very Good point, but i think they would have expected this and priced in the strategy.
Also, rewards for search would mean that I'd be more open and willing to accept different forms of promotions and advertising shown in the Yahoo searches as opposed to my obvious hate of Google search ads. For example, when I search Google and I see an ad I like, I right click on the ad; copy the URL, strip out all the Google junk and go straight to the page. Would I do that for a Yahoo search where I'm being rewarded? No.
I don't buy into the argument that Google searches are much better as compared with Yahoo. Iíve used Yahoo numerous times as a backup to Google and from my experience, if you know how to use a search engine it really shouldn't matter which one you use.
The plan now is to pay people to use it?
I see it more as helping people break their habit of using Google and getting into the habit of using Yahoo.
When brands collide one usually marks down their price or offers other incentives for people to try their brand. Obviously you can't drop the price of a search. The challenge here is to figure out how to induce people to get into the habit of using Yahoo.
I still think it's a reasonable strategy for getting people out of their lazy habit of defaulting to Google.
[edited by: martinibuster at 9:00 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2006]
The only reason I still use Google search is because I have the Google toolbar. That is only because I was very interested in PageRank as a webmaster. With PageRank devalued so much I would gladly change to the Yahoo toolbar and do my searches from there. I find Yahoo a far superior search engine for my main area of interest (music - it doesn't just list big sites like amazon, epinions, rateyourmusic for detailed searches). So bring it on Yahoo.
However, at work I need to do intensive technical queries and Google is still superior for that.
...It's human nature to accept something for free, even if you have to do something to get it
Most users will not see it as 'cheapening' their brand image, since Yahoo! is a distinguished website, that does not fall into the same category of a 3rd tier search engine. Basically, this is the same idea as offering a coupon to entice people to use a product.
Maybe conditioning people to use Yahoo! will make them use it out of habit. I mainly use Google out of habit, and do not notice a HUGE difference in the results (unless I look deeper, but most users do not analyze beyond obvious).
Click here if you liked these results.
Click here if you did not.
Please select the websites you thought were spam or not relevant for this search.
Each click = points to something earned.
That way they can be rewarded for searching, and get good feedback from real humans too. Mind you some would use this as a tool for spamming... but I'll leave it up to the engineers to figure out what are the fake clicks and which are genuine, I'm sure it can be done to a reasonably high probability.
I think Hugh was just pointing out that many companies offer incentives to use their product or service.
Everyone gives away air miles and pretty much all the airlines will get you to where you want to go. Would you take one companies airmiles over another if there was a significantly lower chance they would get you to your destination (provide the results you're looking for)?
Something like this might work for students on a limited budget if the gave away free subscriptions for LaunchCast which could in turn begin to lower conversion rates and ROI for advertisers if they have a huge new influx of searchers who are incentivized to search and don't have the cash to buy. If those searchers stick around for several years, then they begin to ad more value and have more purchasing power.
If they gave away domains & renewals, they might have some takers and eventually have some recurring revenue streams when people switched back to Google and kept the domains with Yahoo! :)
And what will this look like:
"Thank you for wasting your time with Yahoo. We have credited 100 Web Miles to your customer account. Only 40,000 more Miles and you will get this Yahoo T-Shirt for free."
5 weeks before The Arctic Monkeys had a No.1 single with their debut release (having built a reputation through the Internet) I searched for them on Google - couldn't see their site. I used Yahoo and there was their own site at #1.
Maybe the next time I do a search I'll use Yahoo first and if I'm not happy, I'll try Google.
Exactly. If Yahoo wants to think in terms of airline analogies,
* missing sites = missing luggage
* slow indexing = flight delays
* crude spam = heavy turbulence
* cluttered pages = cramped seats
* Google = singing silly little songs after the flight lands
There might be a larger parallel to the airline industry... even after all these years, after all the incentives and all the gimmicks, how many airlines have not figured out how to duplicate the success of Southwest?