Microsoft is offering their larger customers an opportunity to cash in on a partner’s employees using Internet Explorer 7 and their BHO. It seems interesting that Microsoft is on the verge of a potential revenue sharing opportunity, but I aim to know more about how much an individuals search data records can potentially be worth?
John Battelle talks about Microsoft’s plan to pay large corporate partners based on how many computers and the volume of search data. In exchange for this, the company can earn “credits” for MS products and services. The major drawback that I find is their requirement to uninstall any other third-party browser toolbars (such as Google or Yahoo) and must use Internet Explorer 7. How does this help the employee? What type of disclosure is there about their search data being logged?
In any case, I aim to find the answer of how much someone’s search data is worth to a search provider, such as Microsoft. In their examples, they stated they would pay $2 – $10 per PC depending on usage per year. So roughly, based on that formula someone’s search data is worth $0.83 per month.
83 cents?! Now if they only intend to use that data to improve their search results, then that’s money well spent if you ask me. However, how many of you think that is their sole purpose with this data? I suspect Microsoft is probably going to use that for improving their targeted advertising and measuring their effectiveness.
I believe my search data is worth much more than $0.83 … and I should retain my right to opt-out of this program. How much do you think YOUR search data is worth? Share your thoughts in the comments.