Microsoft/Bing announced today via blog post that they are going to retire the cashback program (both the search level and Bing Shopping level). Retailers have really enjoyed this program and we believe it has been a big reason that Bing has been growing > 50% y/y for the last couple of years.
Bing tells us they will be taking the Shopping experience to a non-CPC model, ala Google Product Search, which could make retailers even happier as it could mean free traffic. You could also see that a free shoppin experience maybe better integrated at the search level and possibly as part of the Yahoo! integration.
eBay was an early adopter and has been one of the biggest users of the program – it will be interesting to see what implications this has for them this holiday period.
This is big news and something we’ll be tracking closely – stay tuned for more details as they become available.