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Friday, September 17, 2004

Amazon's Secret Sale for A9.com Users via Fool.com

Amazon and A9.com have upped the ante in A9.com's bid to make up for lost time against its entrenched search rivals -- and it's using its own strength in e-commerce to do it. They've been keeping it pretty secret though.Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Amazon is offering an additional, small discount to its already lowered prices to shoppers who click over from its newly launched search engine, A9.COM.The description of the discount includes this paragraph: "We don't advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using A9.com, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they'll find out. All they have to do is use A9.com as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to A9.com (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit."That smacks of the insider-type viral marketing that Google used in its interesting, invitation-only Gmail launch, and maybe even a nod to Friendster-like social networking schtick. It explains that it funds the reward through sponsored links... again, smacking of Google's advertising-funded gigabyte of email storage. A9.com's added discount is a clever marketing gimmick, meant to give an extra leg up to its search engine, which was late getting out of the gate. However, as the connections between search and e-commerce become more deeply intermingled, at what point search users decide search has become too smart will be interesting indeed.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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