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Today Microsoft announced financial numbers from the quarter ending March 31st, 2007 scoring a total of 14.4 billion revenue since last year; a 32% increase in comparison to the same quarter 2006. In addition “diluted earnings per share for the quarter grew 72% to $0.50, and included $0.02 in tax benefits and $0.01 in legal charges.”

Here is the complete rundown: Microsoft Reports Record Profits

Microsoft will hold an audio webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today for those interested in learning more. “The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/msft. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on April 26, 2008.”

Back in January it was noted in a blog or two that Microsoft was working on creating an analytics platform in response to Google Analytics. This was a logical move after buying Deep Metrix, an analytics software company, last year. The background information on the Microsoft analytics platform code named “Gatineau” was sparse back in January and I am sad to say it is still sparse to this day. In fact, upon receiving a reply from Ian Thomas today, the lead of the project at Microsoft, I am sad to say the program appears to still be in the Alpha stage; but at least I am in the queue for testing the beta when it is available. Here is a link to the Gatineau login page; don’t bother trying to login it doesn’t work. Read more…
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Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Google and Microsoft Neck in Neck

In the world of search, Google has been number one for several years now, but when it comes to overall site traffic, until recently Google was number two. Now that the latest numbers are out, we see Microsoft has dropped into the second spot as Google takes the prize of the most visited site on the internet. While the two are separated by only a million unique visits (or roughly one fifth of one percent), it is expected that this gap will continue to widen.

Based on figures taken from comScore, while Microsoft enjoyed a staggering 527 million unique visits for the month of March, Google was a hair ahead at 528 million. Yahoo takes third spot with 476 million followed by Time Warner at 272 million, and eBay rounds off the top 5 at 256 million. Read more…

The following video is an excerpt from the 2007 Search Engine Strategies Keynote discussion between Danny Sullivan and Windows Live Chief, Steve Berkowitz. In this excerpt Steve Berkowitz explains that “it is not ever satisfactory not to be number one” in the search engine industry. He further explains that Microsoft’s first goal is to reach critical mass from an advertising standpoint and how Microsoft’s search platform will continue to evolve.

This video was shot by Ross Dunn, CEO and Founder, StepForth SEO Services and was originally posted at The StepForth SEO Blog.

A special thanks goes out to Matt McGowan of Incisive Media for allowing StepForth to tape segments from Search Engine Strategies New York 2007.

DoubleClick Inc. announced recently it was available for purchase and undoubtedly many a suitor has made offers, not least of which are Microsoft and Google. The question now is, how much will DoubleClick sell for with these two giants gearing up for a bidding war? The word on the street is the bidding will go above a lofty 2 billion greenbacks.

So what is it about DoubleClick that has the big guys so hot and bothered? Read more…

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Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Google Maps Anti-Microsoft?

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A recent post at ZDNet shows a screen shot from a Google Maps search for “Microsoft” displaying an unexpected image. The image depicted the windows logo with a slash through it.

How did this happen? Apparently Google automatically associated this image with Microsoft’s name using geographically targeted image processing. In this case a “Sara B” from Yelp.com had uploaded the image along with a review of the company. While likely unintentional, this could be a new form of “Google bombing” that could cause some serious problems.

The image has since been removed from the search, but one is left wondering where this may lead. If it is possible for Microsoft, what is stopping something like this from happening to other companies out there?

Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz provide a more detailed review of how this happened at Search Engine Land

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Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Microsoft Pre-Fills Search Box

There have been reports at search engine land and Search Engine Roundtable that MSN UK has been pre-filling their search box with “The Apprentice BBC”. I went to uk.msn.com to see for myself and sure enough, there it was:

I am not sure how I feel about this form of advertising, or how large of an impact it would have on searches. And what happens if the BBC Apprentice site slips from the number one ranking spot? Is their top ranking also being influenced by this?

I do not see this technique catching on as it would likely just irritate searchers forcing MSN to pull the idea. I for one do not want search engines telling me what to search for, but I am curious to know what the BBC has paid for this.

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Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Google Unveils Plus Box

More details are now available on selected searches as Google unveils “Plus Box”. Wherever you see the plus box icon “ ” clicking on it will provide you with additional information on the link. A search for Microsoft, with the plus box clicked shows the following:

Currently there are two types of plus box results being displayed. The above stock example for Microsoft, as well as maps for appropriate local results, such is the case with a search for “Babbo”, a restaurant in New York.

This information is not available for all businesses but Google is working on increasing its availability.

If you would like to find a search for your business including this extra information, ensure your full business address is located on your webs site in a textual format and then visit Google’s Local Business Center to add or update your information.

The Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild is none too happy with Google’s plan to indiscriminately scan, index, and allow the searching of millions of books from libraries the world over and Microsoft is capitalizing on this rare chink in Google’s armor.

Copyrighters are claiming infringement because Google is making advertising revenue from the results of book searches in the Google Book Search system. Here are all of Google’s arguments that I found: Read more…

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Thursday, January 4th, 2007

StepForth’s Predictions for 2007

Another New Years has come and gone and over the past few weeks search industry professionals have been releasing their search market predictions for 2007. I have steered clear of reading them because it is time for me to write down StepForth’s predictions and the last thing I want to worry about is duplication. Without further adieu, here are the predictions my staff and I put together for 2007. Read more…