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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Microsoft Going After Google

“This is hypercompetition, make no mistake,” Bill Gates, November 2005.

Gates is worried about Google and has been for a while. For years, observers have watched Microsoft, imagining the frantic pacing behind closed office doors in the executive suites, waiting for something major to happen. There have been articles about the rearrangement of furniture around the board table and the flinging of furniture across Steve Ballmer’s office but, for the most part, very little of substance has been written about Microsoft’s plans to deal with Google. That’s because, until recently, the moves Microsoft has made have appeared to be either cosmetic and internal, or clumsily executed and easily thwarted. This week, work that’s been happening in the background is showing fruit. Read more…

It has been an interesting day in the IT world. Opening the month of May a couple of interesting stories involving the rivalry between Google and Microsoft are playing through the news today.

The first story demonstrates an Amazon migration from Google based results to those gleaned by the new MSN Search engine, Windows Live. First noted by Aaron Wall over at Threadwatch, A9 and Alexa have both replaced Google’s results for Windows Live. Read more…

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Animals in Pants – Ask Ad Spots

Ask.Com is advertising. It recently released two commercials intended for US audiences, both of which use monkeys to express ideas an older English butler could not.

The idea is that search is evolving and Ask is ahead of the game when it comes to serving up information in ways its users want. Two features of the Ask search interface are mentioned in the ads.

The first is the binoculars feature that offers a quick glimpse of an image of sites in the results. The images are often older and do not necessarily correspond with the current or cached version of the site, but it does save users time by showing them a vision of the site before they surf to it. Read more…

For years, the major search engines have been building membership lists by offering a diverse range of services to registered users. Yahoo and MSN, for instance, have offered email accounts to registered users for several years. The major search engines are working to brand user experiences on as many levels as possible and claim memberships as indicators of user loyalty.

The membership race heated up dramatically over the past two years with the introduction of Google’s wide array of membership driven services. Read more…

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Correction to yesterday's post

Hi folks,

I made a critical error in my piece on Lycos yesterday, one that has left me with the writer’s equivalent to the blue-screen of death, the red-face of embarrasement. Yesterday I noted that Lycos owns Wired Magazine. That is not true. Wired Magazine is a Conde Nast publication.

Lycos owns Wired News.

Sorry about the error.

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Lycos. Long lost amidst the choppy seas of corporate change, Lycos was once one of the ruling elite. Today, Lycos appears to be a number of fragmented shells of its former self. That might be changing soon though. Read more…

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Lycos Responds to Lights out Rumour

Yesterday I printed a rumour circulating through the search marketing world that Lycos was giving up the ghost of organic search. The story stemmed from a blog posting from John Battelle who I consider to be one of the most credible and well informed observers in the sector.

This morning, Lycos Director of Public Relations, Kathy O’Reilly, sent me an email in response to the article. Read more…

Yahoo Local & Partner for Local Advertising

(source: Search Engine Journal)

Yahoo Local and announced a partnership today that will give select clients of premium sponsored ad placements on search results generated by Yahoo Local.

It is that time of year again. Between the extra helpings of turkey soup and sandwiches, writers of every stripe are making lists of predictions for the coming twelve months. Last year, we got just over half our predictions correct. This year we hope to do as well or better but in an industry as dynamic and rapidly changing as the world of search, we couldn’t expect to hit a home run on every prediction. The only thing that is certain is the idea 2006 will be as or more interesting than 2005. Read more…

The holiday season is well underway with Lycos reporting significant spikes in search traffic for toy and gift related items over the past week. Traditionally merchants expect the shopping spree to begin the week after the US Thanksgiving holiday however electronic shoppers tend to start earlier. Read more…