Bing Cashback shuttered; Bing Shopping now free to merchants

Well Bing Cashback has come and gone, the last day was July 30, but although there doesn’t seem to be much of an official announcement, the guys at Search Engine Land have noticed that Bing Shopping is now free for merchants:

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Similar to the free Google Shopping, merchants wanting to submit their wares to Bing in order to provide more information for searchers can do so now, for free.

There’s a PDF with more information, a new forum, and a submission form.  As Brian Smith at ComparisonEngines.com notes, making the service free does have some advantages, even for searchers:

The nice thing is that now that Bing Shopping is free, Bing Shopping doesn’t have to worry about getting consumers to click out as quickly as possible in order to monetize. Many of the paid shopping engines just try to get consumers to click out on multiple listings as they are still playing an (ever increasingly difficult) arbitrage game on Google AdWords. Bing Shopping can actually concentrate on helping consumers make the right buying decision. It’s up to AdCenter to provide high quality ads in the periphery to help monetize the searches.

(via Search Engine RoundTable, Search Engine Land, ComparisonEngines.com, and a tweet from RustyBrick, whew!)