Archive for July, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo! Reach Search Deal

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

After three years of talks, Microsoft and Yahoo! have reached an agreement regarding online search. The ten-year deal gives Microsoft rights to Yahoo!’s search technology, while in return Yahoo! receives 88 percent commission from advertisements. Yahoo!, the number two search engine, and Bing, number three, are hoping to compile resources to take on Google. A main effect of the deal is that Yahoo!’s natural and paid search results will now be powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

The deal will triple Bing.com’s market share to nearly 30 percent. However, the battery still has a long way to go in the search battle, as Google’s share of the market rests at 65 percent. The deal has not been as kind to Yahoo!, as its stock has dropped 16 percent as of Thursday afternoon. Microsoft hopes that Yahoo!’s advertising ideas will attract users to Bing, while Yahoo! hopes to add features to its site that will allow it to compete with more socially-oriented websites such as Facebook.

One potential hang-up is that antitrust allegations are already swirling. Google previously ran into problems when trying to reach a deal with Yahoo!. However, there is a better chance that the Microsoft/Yahoo! partnership will be upheld because it could likely increase competition with Google.

Advertisers long to benefit from viable competition with Google. “It is good for our clients and our agencies and for regulators,” said Martin Sorrell, a chief executive of British advertising group WPP. The merger could level the field if advertisers draw more traffic through the Microsoft/Yahoo! collaboration.

This massive change in the search engine world could certainly benefit users, as each side will continually have incentive to improve. However, others are less optimistic and predict the deal will have little impact.

Microsoft and Yahoo! Agree To Search Deal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Details are on their way.

Don’t Forget About Yahoo!

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

The media’s continued attention on the battle between Microsoft’s Bing.com and Google has somewhat pushed Yahoo! out of the picture. Downfall in revenue has forced Yahoo!, former number one search site, to resort to pink slipping workers. However, news has improved for Yahoo! of late, as the search engine released a new home page on Tuesday.

The new page features links to several popular third-party sites including Facebook and eBay. Users can see headlines from such sites by simply moving the cursor over a toolbar titled “My Favorites” on the left side of the page. Yahoo! has also introduced a “trend-setter” box that highlights the popular searches of the day. Some experts feel the move is an attempt to attract Microsoft back into talks regarding a search advertising deal.

Negotiations have been intermittent for months, with each party hoping that teaming up could give Google considerable competition. According to reports, talks are closer than ever, with Microsoft executives meeting with Yahoo! in California. In the deal, Microsoft would reportedly pay for several billion dollars worth of Yahoo!’s search advertising business. Despite this recent news, the tide can turn quickly: Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz once said that the search company would “be better off if we had never heard the word Microsoft.

It is hard to deny that a deal would certainly bring more competition to Google. Users can only hope that such a battle will bring consistent improvement throughout the search realm.

Google Rolls Out New Ad Format for Mobile Phones

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

We blogged previously about the expansion of search engines to wireless devices. Now Google has unveiled AdSense for Mobile Applications, a program that will allow ads to appear in smartphone applications. Advertisers can now place text or image advertisements within programs for devices such as the iPhone. Google hopes that the change will bring more money to developers of mobile applications while also giving advertisers a great way to reach consumers.

Ads are embedded within the content of applications and can be placed as banners at either the top or bottom of the page. With the opportunity for creators of such applications to make more money, experts feel that the industry will grow.

AdMob previously offered similar services to advertisers, but now that Google has introduced their program, it is sure to carry a lot of weight, even though it’s still in the early stages of development. Google has had other AdSense programs for quite some time, and been working slowly on its mobile program for two years. It announced the launch of its beta program last month.

As the web continues to become more easily accessible through new technology, opportunities will arise regularly for advertisers to reach consumers. Google values the importance of the mobile search market as users continue to be able to do new things with smartphones.

Bing vs. Google: One Month Later

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Much has been made about Microsoft’s search engine Bing.com since its launch last month. Some experts see it as a credible search alternative to Google, while others see it as a passing trend. According to StatCounter, Bing’s use increased by 0.5 percent in June, while Google’s dropped by 0.24 percent. Bing has also gained a slight U.S. market share from Google.

While Bing’s market share has increased, Google’s position has not changed. It is hard to determine where Bing stands due to such a small sample size. In fact, Google’s use may actually be increasing.

Bing still has a long way to come in its challenge to Google, which already holds search toolbars in top Internet browsers and does not have any glaring weaknesses. Because both search engines have similar attributes, it will be difficult for Bing to take on such a titan.

Despite the challenge, Microsoft continues its push, illustrated by numerous national TV spots promoting Bing. Bing has added results from Twitter, which Google has yet to master. Bing has narrowed the search down so that only entries from well-known “Tweeters” come up, and the results will not appear when searching only the person’s name.

The continued competition among search engines and their constant push to improve is great for user experience. Microsoft has shown that it is serious about competing with Google, but Bing still faces a daunting, if not impossible task.