Archive for the ‘MSN’ Category

In little more than a day you can take your pick of stories that best fit your opinion of the Microsoft bid for Yahoo!. Once you get past the Microhoo and Yasoft jokes, you can find everything from How The Mighty Have Fallen to Futures Jump on Microsoft/Yahoo Potential Merger to Why Microsoft’s Bid Helps Google, IBM and Apple.

From The NY Times,

Today, Microsoft lacks both the weaponry and the nimbleness to compete with Google. Its operating system monopoly gives it no advantages in this battle. People can use Microsoft’s operating system and browser to get to the Internet — and to Google — or they can use Apple’s.

Yes, that’s true. But aside from Gmail, Google has very little in the way of destinations in their lineup. How many millions of queries are made with the goal of using Google’s search engine to arrive at a Yahoo or Microsoft property?

The blogging world is abuzz with news, comments, flames, opinions and the deal hasn’t taken place yet. Want to feed your thirst for opinion? Start here. 5,167 entries in the past 12 hours. Lots of opinions here at Webmasterworld as well. Not content with one story, Search Engine Land had five on the subject.

Many discussions center on the perception that Microsoft is evil. And with 1,690,000 results, it looks like a lot of folks think Microsoft is truly evil. Then again, check the results for Google is Evil

Innovation you say? Microsoft doesn’t innovate? Take a look at Google’s product offerings and apart from search and AdSense, where is the innovation?

As for me, I’m going to try to ignore the ordeal until the merger takes place, if it takes place. What happens after the merger is what I’m interested in.

While the numbers aren’t huge, continued gains indicate the consolidation that Live and Ask would like to disrupt.

Google has increased its share of the U.S. Web search market to 47.4 percent with a gain of 0.4 percent during December, while No. 2 ranked Yahoo also edged higher, a survey said Monday.

Web audience measurement firm comScore Networks said No. 3-ranked Microsoft’s share slid 0.5 percent to 10.5 percent of U.S. Web searches while InterActiveCorp’s Ask.com’s share dipped 0.1 percent to 5.4 percent.

Currently, there are two major players and all the other engines can be classified as ‘also ran’. They simply aren’t contenders. My personal prediction is that Live and Ask will never become contenders and it’s up to the next generation of garage innovators to shake up the industry. Playing for parity simply isn’t enough to make users switch.

Rivaling Google and Yahoo results, while being a noteworthy accomplishment, won’t generate the excitement needed to knock either engine off its perch. Are we awaiting search 2.0?

I was surprised to find a pretty candid Berkowitz speaking about the direction he wants to take the online services unit. He admits that the going is slow and that some mistakes have been made:

“A lot of decisions were driven by technology; they were not driven by the consumer,” he said. “It isn’t always the best technology that wins. It is the best experience.”

While that sounds nice, currently Google delivers the best search experience because they have the best technology.
Danny Sullivan had more to say:

So far, all this work has not impressed either consumers or search experts. Danny Sullivan, a longtime search expert who writes the blog SearchEngineLand, said that in relevancy of results, Microsoft ranks behind Google, Yahoo and Ask, in that order, although the gap has narrowed some.

“They have gone from a laughable search engine to a credible search engine,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It is not embarrassing anymore, but they are still a little behind.”

Nice to see that Danny’s name connected to SearchEngineLand in the N.Y. Times.

But the most refreshing bit? Berkowitz admits that what Google does best is get the basics right. But then he starts talking about the importance of how SERPs are displayed. Wake up Berkowitz, it’s not about how the SERPS are displayed, it’s the relevancy of the results.

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