A shocking phase of events show that Microsoft's uncanny increase in share of US searches from 8.46% to 9.85% is not because of the reliability of Live Search but because of Microsoft launched Live Search Club reports AP News.
Confused? The article goes on to say that "It was Chicktionary" that indirectly shot up the percentage of Live users.
"The chicken-themed letter scramble puzzle is one of several addictive Live Search Club games designed to introduce Web users to features of Microsoft's Live Search engine.
When a player enters a word formed from three or more letters displayed by a clucky group of hens, the game automatically triggers a related Web search. A single game of Chicktionary can add 35 or more queries to Microsoft's monthly total, even if the player isn't paying attention to the results.
The Live Search Club also offers crossword puzzles that can't be completed without executing one search per clue, and a matching game where every answer must be verified by a search.Microsoft awards points for successfully completed games (20 points for a round of Chicktionary), and players can use them to buy prizes (20,000 points for a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium, normally $239). Prize-crazy hackers have already devised "bots," or automated programs that rack up Live Search Club points. Microsoft said it monitors the games and cancels ill-gotten points or prizes, and comScore said bots don't factor into market share calculations."
It is pretty pathetic that one of the biggest companies worldwide, has to actually pay for its users to play chicktionary, scrabble etc.