Internet companies are turning to traditional promotional techniques in an attempt to get users to visit their sites and try their search engines over those of their competitors. Companies like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and others are in a fierce battle as search capabilities become an increasingly important element of many companies' marketing efforts. Most of the activity is from companies trying to make inroads on Google's healthy 49 percent share of all Internet searches, which, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, is up from 43 percent a year before. During the same period, Yahoo's and Microsoft's share of the search market declined to 21 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Last week, Microsoft launched a new campaign that offers $1 million in prizes to users of its MSN search engine. And Yahoo is said to have surveyed its e-mail users about the kinds of gifts--from music downloads to airlines miles--that would entice people to use Yahoo as their primary search engine.
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