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Microsoft Live Search in Facebook

It looks like Microsoft just got lucky, as Facebook has got into a partnership with them to add Microsoft’s Live Search inside Facebook’s Friend Search.

Now Facebook users in the U.S. have the option to “Search Facebook” or “Search the Web.” In addition, Microsoft adCenter is delivering search ads alongside those results.

Microsoft Live Team has also launched a Facebook Page for their product. Check it out and become a fan (If you are a Microsoft Lover ;) )


AOL-Yahoo Merger Deal

AOL-Yahoo-Merger As TechCrunch reports, AOL-Yahoo Merger can take place as early as this month!

AOL’s Parent company Time Warner definitely wants this deal to go all the way but it still isn’t very clear whether AOL’s assets will fix any of Yahoo’s current problems.

The deal structure that is currently being discussed is Yahoo’s acquisition of AOL (content, services and advertising), minus their subscription dial up business. That plus a couple of billion dollars in cash from Time Warner gets them approximately a third of the combined entity. Time Warner’s AOL headache is gone, and they have a stake in the world’s most valuable chess piece in the Google/Microsoft search and advertising war.

Points favoring this Deal:

  • Both the companies believe Yahoo’s advertising platform would monetize AOL assets far beyond what they’re generating today (a little over $2.4 billion annually).
  • Yahoo & AOL has a combined dominance in e-mail market would be substantial (they’d have a combined market share of 48% wordwide according to Comscore, where microsoft in the 2nd position with 42% market share)
  • In Instant messaging (Yahoo-AOL has 39% worldwide combined market share, compared to 55% for Microsoft).

But in reality, this might turn into a problem if Microsoft then comes in and buys the combined entity. (Which might actually happen!!~). Will update you if anything actually happens…so stay tuned.


YouTube Starts to Sell Music and Video Games

Youtube Selling Music and Video Games

Have you ever came across a song on Youtube and wanted to buy it? (Just like how you can in Myspace …) Well YouTube is actually counting on it! YouTube, which is now the world’s most popular online video blogging and sharing community, will start to sell music and video games via their website to grow revenue from its massive audience and eventually hope to justify the massive amount of money ($1.65 billion) they spent to acquire YouTube back in 2006.

The “click to buy” buttons has already started to appear in the U.S. today and it simply connect viewers to the product page on Amazon.com or Apple’s iTunes.

As a start, YouTube initially will receive a commission for each sale of songs from two major labels, EMI Music and Universal Music Group, and video games from Electronic Arts. But I think eventually YouTube will expand its horizon by promoting sales of other products such as movies, television shows and concert tickets.

Google usually does not disclose YouTube’s financials, but analysts at Piper Jaffray Research estimated that YouTube would earn about $200 million in revenue in 2009, compared with estimates of around $27 billion for Google.

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Hakia Search Engine Redesigned

Just recently I blogged about Ask.com Getting a Facelift but now I see that Ask is not alone, Semantic Search Engine Hakia has launched a brand new design for their engine with some new features.

The biggest change I see at Hakia.com is their Tab interface in the redesigned Search Results Page. Now Hakia provides an option to refine your search results to sites that have been gone through review by Hakia to meet strict non-commercial and credibility standards. The results from credible sites, however, are currently limited to only in the health and the environment category.

Hakia Semantic Search Engine

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Gmail Goggles

Gmail LogoHave you ever regretted sending an email to someone that you shouldn’t have? Like maybe a harsh email to your boss saying ‘you had enough’ and you want to quit? (..But moments later you realized that you don’t have any money to pay the next month’s rental..) or maybe you have emailed some private photos of you and your ex (by accident) to a girl whom you just started dating? (…Probably you were way drunk at that time..!)

Well worry No more! As usual Gmail always comes with awesome solutions for your problems! Previously they made a nice tool that reminds you everytime you forget to “attach” files when sending an email… (That was a big problem for me, at least). Well this time Gmail engineer, Jon Perlow has came up with Gmail Goggles – An extra pair of eye for your email account.

What it does is, by default it activates itself at late night on the weekends (thats the time when weird things starts to happen usually…!). So whenever you would want to send an email during that period of time, Gmail Goggles will try to test you and figure out whether you are in the right state of mind. And How does it do that? Well by giving you some math problem to solve!

Gmail Goggles

So the moment you click on “Send”, Gmail Goggles will automatically give you a hand full of math problems to solve and if you are able to solve the problems in the predefined time, then only you will be able to send the email! Sounds Stupid? Well Think Again! This feature is certainly not a ‘must use’ and can be turned off (in fact its turned off by default). You can activate it from your Settings page > Labs > Mail Goggles.

After activating Mail Goggles you can also change its settings –

So for instance, if you want it to be enabled on particular days (e.g. Sundays) or everyday from a time, you will be able to customize all those from the General Settings page of your Gmail account.

My 2 Cents

Well its a promising new tool that is certainly going to help many Gmail Users. But personally I don’t think I’ll be needing it (i hope~) as I am certain that I’m always in the right frame of mind. (well at least “most” of the time…). Most of the emails I send are very late at night, and solving math problems for every email I send would be a pain.. I hate math btw!



Ask.com gets a Facelift

Ask.com Redesigned - All New Ask.comSearch engine Ask.com has had yet done makeover in order to boost their user base, reports BBC News. The relaunch follows the decision earlier to drop its iconic butler at the start of 2006. They have also introduced some new applications last year in order to provide users a better search experience.

But lately Ask has decided to refocus on its ability to act as the search engine that will be able to answer questions of it’s users.

A recent research at ComScore shows that Ask is more often used by people searching for specific answers to questions. While such questions account for about 5% of queries to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search, it accounts for almost 15% of Ask’s total search volume.

Ask.Com Search Engine New Design

Some of the New Addition to Ask.com

According to their claim’s the brand new Ask.com will be a lot faster and relevant in terms of search results. The new site will go live from 6th October 2008 in USA and 20th October 2008 in Europe and other parts of the world. They have extensively borrowed their design ideas from Google. (Something tells me, its going to be yet another Google clone….)

In the UK, Google currently dominates over 80% of the market share compared to only 2% for Ask. In the US, Google’s share is slightly less at 60% but Ask’s share remains the same. But searching on Ask remains pretty high. During August 46 million searches were conducted via Ask in the UK which accounts for one in five of all people using a search engine.
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FoxTab: 3D browsing in Firefox

Have you ever heard of 3D Browsing? I’m sure you have! Many browser makers have tried to enter the web browser market with 3D capabilities in last 2 years. But most of them failed because they were all resource hungry and slow!

I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as my primary browsers. And Guess What? Now you can experience 3D browsing in your Firefox with a very simple add on, absolutely free of charge!

Why Do You Need a 3D Browser?

Well there are often times when you open so many tabs that you can’t remember which site is where, sometimes you open the same tab twice or thrice because you just couldn’t remember that it has already been open in another tab.

With the help of a 3D view, you can easily view all your tabs at once, thus letting you easily access all the open tabs and navigate them in the way you want.

FoxTab 0.9.9 – 3D Interactive Browsing (Firefox Addon)

Foxtab 3D Browsing

 

FoxTab is a 3D interactive tab switching add-on for Firefox that is very similar to the Aero flip 3D capability of Microsoft Windows Vista. While Flip 3D in Vista allows you to switch between the numerous application/windows that you have opened, FoxTab allows you to do the same with all the tabs you have opened inside your Firefox browser. This definitely help you to spend less time on browsing by allowing you to do more in less time and with greater efficiency.

Even though FoxTab is currently in the beta testing stage, I have personally tested the latest version and found it to be absolutely bug free. However since FoxTab is still a beta software, a free registration is required before you are allowed to download and try out this firefox add-on.

Download FoxTab 3D Browsing Addon

Click on the following link to: Download FoxTab Firefox add-on

The add-on itself is really small in size (only 358 kb). It currently supports Microsoft Windows OS only. Versions supporting Ubuntu Linux and Mac OS X are planned and will be made available at a later date.

FoxTab Operation Instruction

Once you have installed the add-on just press the “launch FoxTab” button on your navigation toolbar and FoxTab will arrange all the tabs you have opened in a 3D “stack” which is tabs arranged one behind another. Just roll your mouse wheel or press the Ctrl-Tab keys to flip through the various tabs you have opened and click the one you want to go to. You can press the Ctrl+Q keys to keep it in a flip mode.

Try it out and let me know how you like it via the comments.


Yahoo News Redesigned

Yahoo News is trying out their brand new look and inviting its user to try out their new version, which has new design and a lot more advanced content features.

The first thing that all Yahoo News readers will probably notice is a much a wider footprint on the new Yahoo News, as well as larger text and other new design elements. The content has also been rearranged and now it will b e much easier to access to the most popular stories of the day and top news videos from around the world.

TechCrunch has noticed another interesting change: Readers coming to Yahoo News from social media sites will see shorter versions of news stories at first, with links to similar stories featured more prominently.

Yahoo figures that these readers are more likely to click through to new stories, and are less concerned with reading the full article.

By default Yahoo doesn’t show you the new design when you visit – news.yahoo.com. In order to experience the new look, go to Yahoo News and click the “Try the new Yahoo! News” link at the top of the page.
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Google Image Search Ads

TechCrunch recently reported that Google has started to experiment with advertisement next to their image search results. Well honestly, this isn’t a big surprise, since Google announced back in May that they intend to test display ads in their search engine.

Checkout the screen shot below and notice how a Guinness Logo is appearing next to a Targeted ad where NHL Buffalo merchandise is being sold on a search for buffalo logos. I’m not sure why they are using a Guinness logo as a part of the ad, maybe its a glitch… only time will tell.

Here’s the screen shot:

There are currently different formats and positions for the ads, which combine a small image with a standard text ad. Google Operating System reports that Steve Poland has spotted a blended ad that looked deceivingly similar to an image result.
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Yahoo Election Shortcuts

2008 United States Presidential Election is just around the corner and there are quite a bit of activity ahead which are certainly a lot to keep up with. In order to help Internet users get quick updates on the presidential candidates, election news, polling numbers, and more on a state and national level, Yahoo! Search has launched a series of new election shortcuts. Yahoo Election Shortcuts will provide fresh, up-to-date information which will be pulled directly from the Yahoo! News elections hub as well as the Yahoo! political dashboard.

If you’re interested to know what is going on with a particular candidate, simply search for his name (e.g. Obama or McCain) and get up-to-date information on poll results, recent headlines and relevant discussions.

yahoo-elections-shortcut

Other Yahoo! Election Shortcuts:

For a Quick Snapshot of the Presidential Race: Search for [presidential election] and Yahoo! Search will give you a shortcut with fresh results on Obama and McCain news and national poll averages.

For Election News & Info of a Specific State: Simply add the state along with the Keyword “Presidential Election”. For Example: California presidential election.

New Search Results page for Election Queries: Yahoo has also made some changes to the search results page when you search for election related queries. You can simply click the “VOTE” badge in the top right hand corner to be taken directly to the Yahoo! News election page.


Google Chrome Release: 0.3.154.0

A new update of Google Chrome browser, 0.3.154.0 has been released to the Dev channel.

The Dev channel lets you test the latest fixes and get access to new features as they’re being developed. You can learn more about the Dev channel and how to subscribe here: http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel/

Google Chrome Release Highlights: Plugin Fixes

This recent release includes several changes and bug fixes that improve the performance of plugins, especially Adobe Flash video. They have addressed the issues with plugins causing 100% CPU usage, locking up Google Chrome, and not playing at all on some pages.

The new release of Google Chrome has also improved the experience with some of the default search engines. It has improved results display with voila.fr (French), enabled search suggestions for voila.fr and daum.net (Korean), and fixed an issue that sometimes prevented importing Windows Live Search as your default from the IE settings.

There were many more minor changes. A more complete list of fixes can be found here: http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel/release-notes


Google 2001 Index

In the Honor of Google’s 10th Birthday the company has posted the complete contents of Google’s oldest working archive, in this case from 2001.

So this is a nice way to figure out how Google was in 2001 and how web has advanced in the last couple of years. For instance I did a search for “Student Loan” and they only have 932,000 results..but if you perform the same search in Google’s current index, you would get over – 13,600,000 results!

A lot of the original Web pages that existed back in 2001 has changed and most of the deep links aren’t working anymore. But if you are really interested to see how a website looked in the past you can always use Archive.org.

This is how Yahoo looked like in 1996 –


Happy 43rd Birthday to Danny Sullivan

Today is the birthday of one of the most prominent blogger/journalist of the Search Industry – Danny Sullivan.

Danny has been a key figure in the search industry for over 12 years (He crossed a decade in year 2006). Thats really …. really…long….even long before Google Existed.

He has written numerous articles and blog posts keeping everyone up-to-date about the whereabouts of the search Industry. He has even created social bookmarking community like Sphinn which purely gathers Internet marketing related news & discussions.

Other than delivering the hottest news of search from his Search Engine Land blog, he also organizes many exciting search conferences that goes with the name Search Marketing Expo (SMX). 

 

On behalf of everyone, I sincerely thank him for all that he has done for this industry. 

Happy Birthday Danny! Even though you are a year older now, I hope that you will continue to contribute in the industry with the same level of spirit and enthusiasm… and also stay in good health & wealth =).

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