Search engine Bing is readying to take on rival Google by offering to pay users who make the switch.
Bing owner Microsoft has switched on a rewards program that offers prizes for every Bing search.
As the search points accumulate, Bing users can cash them in against other Microsoft services or donate them to charity.
To start earning rewards, Bing users must opt in with a Microsoft account.
Every search and even web browsing will have a points value, and the points will be saved online within the account.
The points can be redeemed against movies, games and other products and services.
Bonus Bing rewards
Shopping through Microsoft will also generate bonus points.
Microsoft also hints that reward earners can also pick up exclusive offers.
The rewards page on the Microsoft website is already operational. Clicking the enlist link generates an email for account holders that triggers membership of the rewards program.
Reports indicate a Bing search is worth three loyalty points – which is doubled until August 15 if the search is made through Microsoft Edge, the software giant’s browser.
Points are capped at 30 a day or 60 with Edge.
Anyone smashing the 500 points a month target hits a second level offering enhanced rewards of up to 150 points a day.
The reward scheme has run in the US for some months.
After the UK launch, the program will also roll out to France, Germany and Canada.
How Bing and Google compare
Google UK is rated as Britain’s highest traffic website, with Google USA at third and Bing languishing in 11th place, according to internet traffic monitor Alexa from Amazon.
Microsoft says the rewards scheme will reward the loyalty of current users and attract new customers to Bing and the associated online store.
However, Microsoft has tried to compete with Google for years and made little progress – the term ‘Google’ is synonymous with searching online and the new policy of paying Bing users smacks a little of desperation.
Many other search engines have already fallen by the wayside as Google marched to the top, such as Alta Vista, Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and WebCrawler.