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Posts tagged with: search

Dell PCs will come with Microsoft Live Search

Dell LogoMicrosoft has recently signed a major deal with the Pioneer PC Manufacturing company – Dell. According to a source Dell will be shipping new PCs with Microsoft’s Live Search toolbar preinstalled with their operating system.

Even though Microsoft & Dell officials has denied to comment on this deal, ZDnet’s source has confirmed that Microsoft has offered Dell sweet enough terms to entice the PC maker to replace its search-preload deal with Google with a comparable offering from Microsoft.

This is not the first time Microsoft has partner with a PC vendor. According to ZDnet, in March 2007 Microsoft has signed a search-preload deal with Lenovo. Under terms of that agreement, Lenovo agreed to preload Live Search and Windows Live services — delivered via the integrated MSN toolbar — on all new Lenovo consumer laptops.

OEM deals with big companies are just one way Microsoft is looking to grow their search user base. Microsoft is also considering re-branding their Live Search with a more brand-able name – Kumo. (This move by Microsoft was however criticized by a lot of technologists & brand experts).

I am wondering what did Google do to piss Dell off? Because until now Google was the primary & default search for all Dell computers.


Yahoo Introduced Pictures in Sponsored Ads

Erick Schonfeld at Techcrunch reports that Yahoo is now testing with pictures inside Sponsored Advertisements.

For instance, when you perform a search on Yahoo for “eBay” you will notice that the sponsored ad contains a graphical logo of Ebay, just like the above screen shoot.

Yahoo’s Spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing new search ad units that include “images, brand icons, videos, search boxes and deep links.”

My Two Cents

I certainly don’t think that this is a bad idea for Yahoo. Infact for brand queries, I think it will really help the advertiser to increase its brand recognition as the searchers will over time associate the logo/image with the brand easily.

But the downside of this feature is, the advertisers will probably spending more because the CTR (Click-Through-Ratio) will definitely be a lot higher compared to the traditional sponsored ads. So even if the advertiser ranks really well organically, people will tend to click on the sponsored ad (with a Logo) without being bothered to see the organic results down below it.


Yahoo Search Assist Adds Image Preview

Yahoo Search Logo Techcrunch reports today that Yahoo has started to show Image previews inside Yahoo Search Assist.

So basically when you to Yahoo to perform a search, you enter a keyword and Yahoo Search assist can automatically show you some other related search keywords that you may be interested in. This feature is more powerful than Google’s Autocomplete feature as it displays logical queries that are related to the search term.

But now it seems like Yahoo has taken things even further by adding Image Preview within Yahoo Search Assist. So when you are searching for something, yahoo will not only recommend you some other related search keywords but it will also show you pictures related to that keyword inside the search assist box. For instance a search for Obama displays the following:


Search.io – A Search Engine with Tabs

Search.io Sometimes when I’m searching for something specific like say a recipe or a person, I end up opening a number of tabs in my browser in order to find the result that I want. Search engines like Google, does make it a little easy to find the top sites that I should go to for any given keyword, however it is annoying to have to open all the different results in different tabs in order to actually get to the information that I need.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could simply type in a keyword and have it search through all other other specialized search sites and directly show you the results?

Well thats exactly what Search.io does! Search.io is a relatively new meta search engine that has the capability to search of sites, group them by topics and then display them in tabs (inside the website itself), making it very simple & easy for you to find the information that you need.

Using Search.io is simple & straightforward, just enter your search term that you would like to search and select your specific area of interest. So for instance, if you are looking for chicken salad recipe you should select “Recipe” and just enter “chicken salad” into the search box and hit GO.

It will automatically open up different tabs with all chicken salad recipes / and search results from the popular recipe sites for you. There are a number of categories that you can choose from – currently they have People, Search Engines, Torrents, Blogs and many more.

To test drive this brand new tabbed search engine yourself, visit Search.io.


Top 10 Searches for 2008

Yahoo 2008 Search

Yahoo Buzz has came up with a nice report of the Top 10 Searches of this year – 2008.

Yahoo writes:

Olympian highs and politics as unusual, to celebrity hopefuls and market meltdowns: Through millions of searches and thousands of stories each day, people sought to make sense of the world around them. Take a look back at what captivated our imagination and fueled our passions in 2008, a very historic year indeed.

So here is the Top 10 Searches for 2008 in Yahoo:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. WWE
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Miley Cyrus
  5. RuneScape
  6. Jessica Alba
  7. Naruto
  8. Lindsay Lohan
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. American Idol

To come up with the Yahoo! Year in Review, Yahoo editors analyze different search queries based upon many factors such absolute volume and growth versus previous periods, to figure out which themes and trends bubble to the surface. The Yahoo! Year in Review for top searches were based on absolute volume and growth versus previous periods on search queries.


Cuil Search Now Provides Maps & Local Results

Cuil Web Search

Cuil – the search engine which was supposed to be a “Google Killer” has almost died off after the first 1-2 months of initial buzz in the blogosphere. And now no one really seems to care about whats happening with Cuil.

According to Google Trends, there traffic has dramatically decreased by a huge margin and now even a mashup search engine like Dogpile has more users using their service.

Cuil in Google Trends

Whats New With Cuil – Maps & Local Search

According to the official Cuil Blog, it’s now offers maps & local listing within the search results. Searchers can now search for local businesses, restaurants and over 3.5 Million of other points of interest across the US.

Cuil has managed to partner with MapQuest which is a very old & renowned provider of local business listings, interactive maps etc. With the addition of this new feature, finding address, contact information or even driving direction would be relatively simpler.

Cuil Blog writes:

Searching for local results is easy. Just provide a search term and give a city, state or zipcode. You can search for a particular business name like Salt House CA, a category such as gas stations 94025 or even landmarks like AT&T Park San Francisco or Palo Alto Museums. If Cuil has found any local results for your search, they will appear in the middle column along with an interactive map, allowing you to get contact information or driving directions via MapQuest.

So I tried Searching for gas stations 94025 in both Cuil & Google and overall I think I’d still prefer Google’s results and the way the present it to their users. Screen Shot Below:

cuil-local-search

Google Local Search

So what do you think? Can Cuil buy their way up by providing more useful features for their users? Will you give Cuil a Try? Share in Comments!


PicClick – Visual Search Engine for Shopping

Its holiday season and you are searching online for the perfect gift for your loved ones – but sadly traditional search engines might not be your best option. Because they return so many results that its very tedious to open up each results and then compare the value, price etc. Moreover people likes to shop ‘visually’ rather than reading a bunch of text.

When you walk by a shop that has put up some of the latest items on their display, you often get attracted to them. The reason is plain simple, Display items has the two most important information that can trigger your buying behavior – The visual display of the product itself, and its price.

PicClick – A Visual Search Engine aimed for shoppers uses the same formula. You just type in what you want and the search engine pulls data from Amazon & Ebay and displays you all the items with each of their individual price at the bottom. You can also search within a certain price range (e.g. From $25-$100) and even localize your search by providing your zip code.

For instance, I performed a search for Clothing and Accessories and PicClick showed me the following:

PicClick Search - Visual Shopping

You can refine your search by further adding keywords or you can use the tab on the top to see results from only Ebay or Amazon.

So try it out today and share your views in comments!


Alexa Web Search is Shutting Down

alexa-web-searchSo the day has finally come, Amazon has decided to shut down their Alexa Web Search Service.

Here is the copy of the email that Alexa sent out do the developers (Source: TechCrunch):

Dear Alexa Developer,
The Alexa Web Search service will no longer be available to new customers as of November 26, 2008. Use of the service is low, so we are shifting our priorities to other areas where we can provide better service to AWS customers.
The Alexa Web Search service will continue to be operational for 60 days until January 26, 2009. The ProgrammableWeb website offers a list of web services that provide web search.
We apologize for the inconvenience to you.
Thank you,
The Alexa Web Services Team

I tried visiting the official page of Alexa Web Service and I was welcomed with the following notice:

alexa-web-search

Well I guess it was for Good, who was using Alexa web search anyway? They had such strong competitors like Google, Yahoo & MSN so I guess they have made the right decision to close the service and focus on things that matters.


Microsoft Wants to Rebrand Live Search

Microsoft Planning to Rebrand Live Search to Kumo?This came to me as a shock, as I hear some rumors on the blogosphere that Microsoft is planning to re-brand their search engine to Kumo.

The first thing I asked myself – What does Kumo mean? After a bit of searching I found that Kumo means either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese. Seems like ZDnet did a pool in early august asking their readers how Microsoft can re-brand their Live Search? And in the polling option the author of the article added “Kumo” as an option and thats how this word came into the picture. Lets see how the pool results were:

OK it looks like 48% of the voters said that they should leave the name Live Search as is. But that didn’t stop Microsoft from acquiring the domain name Kumo.com. (Check out the Domain Whois Information of Kumo.com) –

LiveSide.com has stated that there are some evidence that strongly indicates that the new search brand for Microsoft Live Search will be Kumo.

Can Changing 4 Letters SAVE Microsoft?

I’m not an expert in branding so obviously I can’t make any ‘expert’ comment on whether KUMO is better than Live. But personally I’d say that its a horrible name if they go forward with it. Andy Beal points out that, Kumo has too many different spelling errors just waiting to happen– koomo, cumo, Komo etc.

Moreover why would they want to adapt a Japanese name where their biggest target market should be USA & Europe? If they want to make a specialized search engine to compete with the Japanese ones, then I guess its acceptable to have a localized name for the engine. So for instance typing in Kumo.com can simply bring the visitors to Live Search Japan.

I think the question is whether ‘re-branding’ Live is just enough for Microsoft? Because I certainly don’t think so. If Google changes its name to “CrazyFrog” I’d still go there because I find their search engine useful for my work and research.

Barry pointed out in Search Engine Roundtable that Microsoft can’t even index a site properly. And Its actually true! If you take 5 minutes of your time and actually compare the result of Live.com & Google.com it will be absolutely clear to you that Live is still not ready to rock the search industry. They are just far away from anything but useful. So re-branding the search engine can’t save them or make them popular over night.

After the news got out, Josh Garner made a funny comment in Marketing Pilgrim blog and It really made me laugh. So I’d like to share it with all of you.

He Writes:

I can see the board room conversation:

Exec 1:”OK guys, we need to do something to gain ad traction.”
Exce 2:”The guys in R&D have some great ideas on modifying our search technology, or perhaps some ways to really connect with people. You know, to rid ourselves of that perception that we are just a bunch of suites looking to make money.”

Exec 1:”Hmm…that sounds expensive. Anyone else?”
Exce 3:”We could change our name to something cool or hip.”

Exec 1:”What do you got?”
Exce 3:”How about Kumo?”

Exec 1: “I like it. Move forward.”

Exec 2: “Sigh…”


Google SearchWiki – Personalize Your Search Results

Google SearchWikiHave you ever wished to play around with the search results? Like move it up or down, include things that are not there or remove sites that you find “BS”? Well now you can by using Google’s brand new service – Google SearchWiki.

The official Google blog just introduced this brand new service – Google SearchWiki which is a way for you you to customize the search results by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on the results directly. With just a click of the mouse you can move the results up/down or you can even add a new site that doesn’t appear in your results. You can now attach small notes to a particular site and also completely remove a site from the results page that you feel don’t belong there. Your modifications will be recorded under your Google Account and will be shown to you every time you do the same search in the future. As you can imagine, SearchWiki is only available to the Google users (while they are signed in).

Google SearchWiki

The changes that you make via SearchWiki will only affect your own searches and not the whole world. So when you make a certain change, its only you who sees that change. But Google says that SearchWiki also is a great way to share your insights with other searchers. You can see how the community has collectively edited the search results by clicking on the “See all notes for this SearchWiki” link.

Watch the following video where Google’s lead engineer of SearchWiki, Amay demonstrates a few ways to use SearchWiki:

My Two Cents

I think this is a good example of how search is becoming very dynamic, social and more personalized. Does this mean that SEO is no longer useful? Well certainly not! In fact SEO is no longer just the on-page and link factors. If you really want to optimize your website for the search engines there are certain bit of ‘social’ elements that you need to pay attention to as well. SearchWiki is certainly a good feature for people who wants to do research on a niche topic – say, once you have gone through a particular site in the SERP you can probably put a little note there or if you come across any spam or irrelevant page you can just remove it from the results page thus it will save you some time when you perform the same search a month later.

However I must warn you that, if you Opt-in to this feature, there is currently no way to Opt-out! (As far as I know). So I’d prefer to stick to the sweet old google for now.


Google Profile Search

Google recently released a Google Profile Search option under your own Google Public Profile. So use the link to go to your profile and once your public profile loads, simply look for the search box named “Search profiles”.

Google Profile Search

This Profile search option simply lets you view the Public Profile of Any Google User. To test the feature, I searched for some names and majority of them returned no results (due to the fact that not everyone has their profile set to “public”). But Anyway check out some of the profiles that I could see:

Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts Google Profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/109412257237874861202

Brittany Bohnet

brittany bohnet google profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/106665185918564754695

Andy Beal

Andy Beal Google profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/113171227622011939089

Chris DiBona

Chris Dibona Google Profile


Profile Link:
http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/114765095157367281222

My Two Cents

It is really interesting to see that Google is bringing in a lot of “Social Features” within their existing services. Just few days back we saw a Social Voting Feature being implemented in Google Search, and now they are also doing something with the Google user profiles. So I believe Google is planning on something big here … What Do you Think? Share in Comments!


Google to provide RSS Feed for Search Results

So finally its happening – Google has decided that its going to provide RSS feed of it’s search results! When it happens, the RSS feeds will be an additional feature of Google Alerts, which currently only allow notification by email.

Matt McGee at Search Engine Land has pointed out that Google is the only major search provider that is not offering their search results via RSS.

Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb wrote that once this feature is implemented Google web search feeds should include “site:” searches for new mentions of keywords inside particular domains so that they can deliver nice clean direct URLs – which Live.com feed is already doing well.

My Two Cents

I think its an excellent addition to Google Alerts. I personally use it to keep track of my blog – like who is linking to me, where my name gets mentioned etc. But currently I only can receive the alerts via email which sometimes gets really hectic because I have many such ‘alerts’ in place (in both Google + Yahoo) and my inbox often gets jam packed. So if google provides a RSS feed of their results page, it would be very easier to just subscribe to the feed and track it on a daily basis.


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 ;) )


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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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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