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Dear Microsoft. While I value a wider selection brought on by competition, ever since you launched adCenter, your back-end has been plagued with troubles. I find it alarming that even after all this time, some basic fundamental usability issues are still not addressed and getting things done within your system continues to be a burden. The complete frustration brought on by using your system significantly reduces the value of its existence, simply because I dread even using it!

There are too many issues that drive me completely up the wall to even write about – the thought of including every little problem overwhelms me to the point of wanting to just shut off my computer and forget about even writing this memo. I will however grin and bear it and share with you some of your faults that drive me bonkers. Read more…

marketshare-may-2009Earlier today Nielsen Online (pdf) released the latest search share rankings. Figures are pretty much what one would expect, Google far in the lead followed by Yahoo and MSN, but this past month Google has taken another small hit.

April and May of 2009 each saw Google lose a bit of ground. Back in March their search share was 64.2%, and in April it was down to 64%. May has seen another drop, bringing them down to 63.2%, a full percentage point in 2 months. In these same two months, Yahoo has increased a total of 1.4% to 17.2. Read more…

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…

According to the latest figures over at Hitwise, Google’s market share is inching closer to the 73% mark, that’s up 0.35% since last month, and up nearly 5% compared to April of 2008. Read more…

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

August Search Marketshare

The latest search market share figures are in at Nielsen, ComScore, and HitWise, and, for the most part, Google continues to rise.

Depending on which provider you prefer, Google saw yet another increase in market share in August as did Yahoo. MSN has dropped according to all three providers. Read more…

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Friday, September 5th, 2008

Microsoft Acquires Ciao

The Ciao shopping and price comparison sites, operating in seven European countries and languages, will now be the property of Microsoft. This follows the deal reached between the software giant and Greenfield Online, operator of Ciao, for $486 Million.

Ciao allows users to create lists of their favorite items, rate products, and provide feedback. Microsoft plans to incorporate Ciao into its Live Search portal in Europe. Read more…

comScore released the latest figures for search engine rankings and their respective market share Friday, and Google has actually seen a drop! For all you Yahoo and Microsoft fans out there, don’t get too excited, it’s quite small to say the least.

For June 2008 Google has shown a 61.5% hold on market share, down 0.3% from May of 2008. Yahoo also showed a 0.3% change, only in the positive direction moving from 20.6% up to 20.9%. Microsoft had the biggest leap of a whopping 0.7% up from 8.5% to 9.2%.

When comparing numbers from June 2007 with June 2008, Google has seen a sizable gain stealing users from MSN and Yahoo. In the past 12 months Google has seen an increase of 6.6% with Yahoo and Microsoft both losing, 2.9%, and 3.1% respectively.

Last year, Microsoft adCenter introduced changes to their Ad ranking system for advertising in the US. This represented a shift towards a more Quality Based Ranking system, along the lines of what Google AdWords and Yahoo’s Panama already have in place.

It appears that this change is now expanding into more widespread coverage. On the adCenter blog on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the introduction of this system to the Canadian and UK markets.

While it may seem Microsoft is only playing “catch up” with this initiative, they have been busy making other improvements to their system as well.

Though still low on the totem pole for market share, Microsoft is forging ahead with a level of energy that would seem alien over in the Yahoo trenches. With projects such as the Excel addon, Desktop Editor and Analytics, Microsoft may give Google some real competition in the not too distant future.

A scan of the Yahoo blog yields a host of “how to” and “tips and tricks” posts, but nothing particularly significant in the way of badly needed innovation.

In fact the last significant improvement Yahoo has implemented was the change to minimum bids. While that has been handy for getting alerts when minimum bids are about to become too low, it’s not been the sort of improvement that painfully awkward interface really needs.

There is speculation that Microsoft is overtaking Yahoo’s position for paid traffic as well.

While I don’t know if this is indicative of anything, I have noticed a recent decrease in the number of impressions in our own Yahoo accounts. Unfortunately, the bid prices have not decreased as yet.

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Google up in US Search Share

The latest numbers are in, and Google continues to dominate search – we already knew that, but by how much?

The latest figures from HitWise released this morning show Google up a little over 3% compared to May of 2007. Google was accountable for approximately 68.29% of searches performed in the US in May of 2008. Yahoo and MSN fell to 19.95% and 5.89% respectively.

Yahoo’s figures for May 2008 are down marginally by about 1% and MSN down nearly 2% compared to the same period a year ago. HitWise figures are based on a sampling of 10 million U.S. Internet Users.

For a few years now Google has offered their AdWords advertisers an alternative to the online interface with AdWords Editor, a downloadable program offering additional functionality to make managing your campaigns just a little bit easier. Today at SMX Advanced, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft’s Platform & Services Division President, announced the launch of a similar such product for Microsoft adCenter, in Beta of course.

Microsoft’s vision is a fully functional desktop client version for adCenter, rather than just an editor. This means that tools such as those used for keyword research will be integrated into the software, a feature lacking by Google AdWords Editor.

This product launch will likely make many advertisers happy assuming it all goes smoothly. Our experience with adCenter is that of awkwardness as their interface is far from user friendly, taking several steps to complete a task done with only a single click over at Google.

Unlike many other beta launches that are accessible to only a select few deep pocket advertisers, adCenter Desktop beta is available to anyone with an account in good standing. If you meet the adCenter terms and conditions, you are eligible to apply. If interested in giving the beta a try, fill in their application form to be considered.

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