Search News - 9/14 - Digital Marketing Agency

The Yahoo Microsoft Deal – Whats going on?

By | Search News, Uncategorized | No Comments

After a long courtship, is the Microsoft/Yahoo deal finally settled? Well, nothing is ever set in stone until the fat lady sings (like how I can seamlessly mesh cliche’s?), but for now, this is how the land lies…

  • Yahoo will scrap it’s search technology and use Microsoft’s technology (front end Yahoo branded, back end Microsoft tech), in what is being termed a ’10 year search partnership’.
  • There is no boatload of cash upfront.  Yahoo will simply earn a proportion of any revenue Microsoft makes.
  • This will only apply to web, image and video searches, and aggregators that use this technology (like Yahoo news).  It will not affect things like the Yahoo directory, Yahoo answers, Delicious, Flickr, etc.
  • Microsoft’s Bing will continue on as is.
  • Changes will start in early 2010, and hopefully be all rolled out by this time next year.
  • Yahoo’s search technology will be able to be used by Microsoft (perhaps to be integrated into Bing)
  • Yahoo and Microsoft ad marketing will reach the whole Yahoo plus Bing audience.

Does this benefit consumers?  Yahoo and Microsoft say yes, because of  ‘scale’. I am not sure what that means, but there are two ways of looking at it. It could be yes if the various pieces of the ‘search’ puzzle that Microsoft and Yahoo engineers have independently come up with fit together to make something even better than their individual parts.

However, elimination of a major competitor doesn’t ‘usually’ have positive outcomes for consumers…

On the other hand, by allowing advertisers to reach the Bing and Yahoo searches using only one advertising portal saves a lot of time, is more convenient, and could help compete with Google (who of course will still have the lions share).

News-Google War: The Battle of Real Estate

By | Google News, Search News | No Comments

The News-Google War (so-named by me because of the confusion of the phrase Google-News), is a well known battle between the big newspaper conglomerates and Google. The strangeness of the battle lies in the fact that the News conglomerates are both the customers and enemies of Google, a position that you would think would give them a lot of clout. And so they were hoping…but it is turning out that Google is not to be halted in its march towards Monopoly, and not only have they fought against some of their biggest sponsors once – now they are doing it again.

The reasons behind the war are many. The first battle, The Battle of Content, (emphasis on first syllable), was waged mainly in the US, by the big newspapers who were feeling that their news was being devalued, and plagiarised, due to dissemination from listing in Google. The rub for them was, did they want to block Google from their site, and thus lose millions of visits? Obviously they didn’t.

With newspapers across America being shut down, due to not being financially viable, it quickly became apparent that the business model of the newspapers was becoming obsolete, and they had to take a page out of Google’s book and move to the future. What they need to do is redefine their business strategy to encompass the threat of plagiarism and free views.

In Australia, the second battle has begun. The Battle of Real Estate.

Google Real Estate

Google has recently released Google Maps for Real Estate, where you can use the Google Map programme to search for listed properties. This development immediately raised alarm with News Limited and Fairfax, who run the domain.com.au and realestate.com.au websites. The new Google Maps application is direct competition for their real estate websites. Google creates its map listings through a free service available to all real estate representatives, including individual landlords.

Following its introduction, both Fairfax and News Limited have independently announced they would be reconsidering their generous spends on Google Ads. The biggest consideration for them would have to be the sacrifice of the large amount of traffic brought to them via Google.

While the news giants are complaining about this new development, real estate vendors and consumers seem to be considering it a good move for them, providing more information, and breaking down what was almost a duopoly in the online real estate market. It is another marketing venue for small providers, much like Google Adwords, where they can compete with the bigger players on a more even playing field.

However, the dangers of the new service will rise if it isn’t controlled properly, for example, by spammers or disreputable real estate agents and landlords. Also, the ever-present threat of the Google monopoly is a worry, if it discourages development in any of the areas it competes in, or renders it not financially viable to provide services which might otherwise be useful for consumers.

New Bing Features

By | Search News | No Comments

Search Engine Bing has now added another feature to it’s search results page – excerpts from the page of each result, which can be viewed by rolling over an icon placed at the right of each entry.

Doing this helps reduce the need for clicking through on multiple entries to find what you are looking for. The feature seems to take a random grab from the page, and presents that text. It also has an “Also on this page” section, which lists menu items and links from other sections on the page.

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If you were optimising for Bing (or more likely, if Google started offering this functionality), I guess you would try and make your content overall more compelling (i.e. make just as much effort as you would for your title and description meta tags), as well as making sure links on your menu’s and to other pages were titled appropriately so they could properly inform a person on the search results page who was seeing them out of context.

The Google Addiction

By | Search News | No Comments

I suffer from a Google addiction. I know it is unnecessary. I know I don’t need it. In fact, I want to STOP using Google, but I can’t seem to. Even updating my Firefox so that now it contains  Yahoo Search box in the tool bar, doesn’t make me stop using Google.Even though I prefer Bing with their cheery home page and clean results, I can’t stop typing www.goo

I know I am not the only one. There is a Google addiction sweeping the world. According to some ‘research’ by Smarthouse (an Australian digital media publication), Bing is going ‘bung’ (nice alliteration there).

For those not up on this strange lingo, this means that Bing is crap, it isn’t doing what it purported to do (gain market share off Google) and people don’t want to use it.

What the ‘research’ didn’t clearly identify however, was WHY people prefer Google. People said they thought that Bing provided cleaner results. They also said they preferred the simplistic design.  But then they nearly all finished off by saying they were unlikely to change their Google habit.

It is quite worrying that we aren’t very open to alternative search engines. I mean, I know I personally don’t want to use Yahoo (except I really do think that Yahoo Mail trumps gmail), but Bing!? Bing is so good. I love it. So why don’t I use Bing instead of Google?

This addiction is not good for the world of technology. Firstly, this Google addiction means that new entrants into the market will be discouraged, limiting competition and, maybe eventually, development. Yes, Google does put a lot of $$’s into R&D, but lately that seems to be in a lot of avenues that aren’t search.

Which brings me to the second reason why this addiction is so damaging: Google is investing a lot into new products. Google Voice.  You Tube. Improving their advertising network. Google Maps.  Google is expanding across the internet, (and in some cases offline into radio, tv and phones), so that we could easily use 10 Google based products online every day. Couple this with our obvious Google addiction, and you have a situation whereby they futher and further entrench themselves into our everyday online lives, and we let them. In fact, we refuse to NOT let them.

In research done in the US by CS Monitor , one of the reasons users cited for their loyalty to Google search (despite preferring some aspects of Bing, or even saying Google and Bing were equally as good) was because they were already using lots of other Google apps, like Google docs and Gmail.

Come on Bing. Help us overcome our Google addiction. Help break up the monopoly. I am sure the newspaper conglomerates would love to help you…

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