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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…

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…

Today at the SMX West conference, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft just announced a new tag that will have a major impact on reducing the amount of duplicate content issues found online and it will help website owners reclaim valuable link popularity.

In this article Canonical URL Links by WordPress specialist Joost de Valk he explains the tag and reasoning behind it. I will give a quick synopsis myself below but his article has some more detail if you need it. Read more…

The latest figures are in over at Comscore, and as far as search market share is concerned, Google continues to increase its lead.

It is never a surprise to see Google leading the pack, its been this way for several years, and it will remain this way for years to come. The only change is, how big is their lead.

Google has seen yet another small increase in its share, up 0.4% to 63.5%. Yahoo trails way back at 20.4% (down 0.1%) and Microsoft dipping 0.2% down to 8.3%.

It sounds more and more like Yahoo should have taken the Microsoft buy-out offer at $31 a share back in February. Since then Yahoo shares have been up and down, but as of today, they are hovering around the $10 mark, a small fraction of what they once were.

Yesterday Yahoo shares dropped to below $10 – the first time their value has dipped into the single digits in more than 5 years. One thing’s for sure, if Microsoft does step up and give Yahoo another offer it will be substantially less than the previous $44.6 Billion.

Yahoo is not the only major player in the search game to see significant value declines on their stock. Around this time last year Google shares were over $700 and as of today are at less than half that with the value at $310.31 at the time of this post. 2008 has also brought significant declines to Microsoft shares as well – at just under $20 today MS has seen shares drop by almost half with their 52 week high of 36.72 from back in December of 07.

According to Bloomberg.com the FCC has approved a proposal by Google to utilize unused television airwaves for wireless internet access. Approved by a vote of 5-0 yesterday, this will ultimately allow for free Wi-Fi web access, especially in rural areas.

Any devices built to access the free wireless web will be required to utilize anti-interference technology, and makers of such devices will need to obtain FCC certification for each product. Read more…

The entire “Microsoft seeks Yahoo, Yahoo turns down Microsoft, Yahoo & Google hook up, and then break up, now Microsoft may be back with Yahoo” thing seems like an ongoing plot in a bad soap opera.

Back in June Google announced an advertising agreement that would allow Yahoo to use Google Ads on its websites. Many search marketers were left speculating the impact this would have on campaign effectiveness, however, this was all for nothing now that the Department of Justice has ended the deal. Read more…

Pause Button Pressed on Yahoogle

As the time for implementation of the Google/Yahoo agreement drew near, there was little doubt that some sort of action by the US Dept. of Justice would surface. It remains to be seen what direction the DOJ will go, but there is obviously something happening behind the scenes.

On Friday, both search engine giants announced a delay in moving this initiative forward. This move seems contrary to the previous position of Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, which indicated that the deal would proceed as planned. Read more…

24/7 Wall Street wrote a fascinating article today describing how Microsoft could quite easily buy its way on to far more computer screens for much less than buying Yahoo; there are powerful search engines that represent many of the Chinese, Russian and Czech viewers. It is a great short read and the economics appear to make sense. Read the article here.