Microsoft Bing logoI am at SMX Advanced in Seattle this week and I was fortunate to have a one-on-one lunch with Rajesh Srivastava, the Group Program Manager for Portal Search Experience. After complimenting him and his team for finally pulling off what looks like a search engine that can compete I asked a few burning questions.

Why did Kumo (Now Bing) take so long to come out? There had been rumors of a rebranding for a while now. Read more…

Bing is online a full 3 days before the scheduled launch date; a surprise leap of faith very uncharacteristic of Microsoft. That said, the search engine is “in Preview” mode at and continues towards its inevitable demise on June 3rd when I expect the address will be redirected to

A screenshot of the Bing preview home page (the Canadian edition)

I spent a little time on and I challenge you not to be at least a little impressed! Might Microsoft have actually pulled off a good product?

It is late and I haven’t done a lot of searching but so far I am very impressed at how accurate the search engine appears to be. I am especially impressed with the image search options. In particular the ability to show only images with faces – nice touch! They also cleverly made the image results never ending… they just load and load and load on demand as you scroll down the page – no more clicking to additional pages.

Anyway, I hope to have a better review of Bing soon. For now please check it out and let me know what you think. Perhaps Bing will earn Microsoft a more significant percentage of the US search market ( sits at only 10%).

Yesterday Google Wave was announced at Google I/O 2009 and a preview of the collaborative concept was provided to developers. The following is the full 1h 20 min live video from the developer preview.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube if it does not render for you here.

In a rush? For non techies I recommend watching 50 min starting at around the 8 min mark; after the intro’s are complete. That will give you a very good idea of the mind-blowing implications of Google Wave. For techies with an interest in the convergence of web technologies the full video is really a must watch.

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Google Announces Google Wave

Google Wave is on the lips of countless Google watchers today as the search monopoly announced a unique concept for online interaction. google_wave_logoCreated by the two brothers that brought Google Maps to our desktops; Lars and Jens Rasmussen. So what is a Google “Wave” and how does it work? In Lars’s own words:

A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Read more…

Bing, as announced today, is Microsoft’s latest variation of its search platform. A screenshot of the Bing introductory video - click to view.The search engine is supposed to marry a myriad of search verticals to create a one-stop-shop for netizens. For example, according to this official introductory video the search engine will incorporate price comparisons and reviews for everything from flights, to hotels and electronics. It also appears to include a hefty dose of local content for anyone trying to choose a restaurant in their area or needing directions.

Screenshots of the major functions of Bing are available in this extensive virtual presskit Microsoft has kindly made available. Read more…

Congratulations to my friend Joost de Valk and his new business ally Brian Gardner of StudioPress Development. The two WordPress gurus have joined forces to build WordPress themes with SEO essentials built right in.

Why is this News? I know from experience working with WordPress sites there is a lot of optimization that can be built in from the get-go if the proper template is used which saves time and money so this news is very good news for the web marketing community and WordPress users alike.

If you would like to learn more about optimizing your WordPress website check out this interview I did with Joost de Valk on SEO 101 on about WordPress search engine optimization.

The following are some social media newsmakers I came across today:

Digg Joins the Twitter and Facebook Party

Digg jumped on the bandwagon and added the ability for visitors to easily share stories on with Twitter and Facebook; a sign that even the competition can no longer ignore the success of Twitter and Facebook. In addition, Digg removed the controversial “Shouts” feature that Digg users were none to happy about.

Stories with additional detail:

The New York Times Hires its First Ever Social Media Editor

Today I expect the New York Times has elevated the legitimacy of social media for many skeptics by hiring its first ever Social Media Editor – Jennifer Preston (on Twitter @NYT_JenPreston). So what will Jennifer be doing exactly? Well here is an excerpt from a leaked email at the New York Times I found via Mashable: Read more…

Last week Microsoft announced a few updates to adCenter that anyone doing pay-per-click advertising should take a look at. Here is a quick summary created with snippets from the announcement:

    A snapshot from Microsoft showing the changes to AdCenter this Spring.

  • Better Targeting Options
    “Now you can apply customer targeting and incremental bids for your entire campaign with new campaign-level targeting, and then further refine targeting at the ad group level.”
  • Greater Bidding Flexibility
    ” Now you can set default keyword bids for your ad groups, and use nondefault bids to override the default when you prefer”
  • Improved Keyword Research Tool
    You can now: “use new filters to refine your list of suggested keywords … view performance and demographic data by keyword …  add selected keywords to your negative keyword list … bid on keywords and review estimated performance data … review keywords and bids and add them to an ad group”

Here is the link to the detailed posting at Microsoft. In addition, here are links to the other updates Microsoft has applied this Spring to adCenter: Account Management Updates, adCenter Desktop, Content Ads (US Only).

Today the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released version 1.0 of the guidelines for measuring click fraud. The guidelines were created with the aid of Yahoo, Microsoft and Google in order to ensure that all major search engines would back the finalized guidelines. Here is a key snippet from the document’s Scope and Applicability section: Read more…

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Top Posts on Tips

Here are the top posts on “Tips” from the old StepForth SEO Blog.

The Ten Minute Optimization REDUX – A SEO Tips White Paper

‘A 10 minute process to optimize a web page for top search engine rankings.’

How to Troubleshoot Dropped Search Engine Rankings – A StepForth SEO Tutorial

‘Discover why your search engine rankings have dropped and what to do about it.’ Read more…