October 14, 2009
An article in the Australian reported that Bing and Yahoo are starting to see an increase in market share to take on search giant Google. This is in line with trends in the US too. Lower CPCs generating higher efficiencies are said to be helping the increase.
We’ve also see this across our Search clients, but the article doesn’t touch base on the limitations of low consumer demand on the 2 engines and the challenges faced in optimising to low conversion volumes. We’re hoping to see a greater increase in Bing/Yahoo’s share as more of the US product features are launched locally – creating a real competitor to Google’s dominance.
Yahoo (serving Bing in Australia) has also recently launched a new feature to allow advertisers to see performance on their Premium Network (Bing/Yahoo) and Standard Networks. This will drive efficiency through greater targeting controls.
Full Article here:
October 8, 2009
A group of researchers have put together a system called PhotoSketch which allows the user to literally sketch a desired scene, label each part of the scene with keywords, then PhotoSketch searches the web for photos and assembles a photographic version of the sketch.
Real or fake? I don’t know but the creators have released the source code (Windows only) and presented a paper at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 on the technology.
check out the video:
February 1, 2009
Obviously another attempt from Google to improve search results to save my computer from dangerous sites. This incident occured around 2:15am on Saturday and effected all searches.
October 17, 2008
Google’s personalized home page, iGoogle, is getting an update this Friday. Widgets on the page can support a new “canvas view,” which expands the widget to the full iGoogle window.
The new iGoogle also moves user navigation from tabs at the top of the page to a bar down the left side. This enables more pages and elements in the navigation, and I found that it made navigating iGoogle faster, since it provided a de facto table of contents for each page.
Like many of Google’s services, iGoogle is platform-aware. On a mobile phone, like on an iPhone or Android phone, when you log in to iGoogle, you’ll get a view of your page suited to the constraints of the device.
July 29, 2008
It’s one of those head turning stories : A bunch of ex-Google employees run off and make their own search engine ready to beat Google at their own game. A tough gig by all accounts. The key differentiator – they don’t hold any of your information. The pitch being that Google is holding too much of your personal data – they don’t and won’t. They claim to have indexed more web pages than Google and a technical setup to rival the giants.
One important factor may be the URL. It’s two letters shorter (this is a good move) but I suspect that by trying to be ‘cool’ with the literal name Cuil the brand is a little to broad to become the vernacular for Search. “I’m going to Cuil for that” just doesn’t do the same job as “I’ll Google that” – as is the case with “Live Search” which is simply too generic for consumers to adopt as a verb. I suspect a brand name that could replace the Google “verb” may have been a better brand strategy.
OK, into the product itself – Now first impression counts, and the screen shown here is not a good start. We all encountered different errors at different times. OK these are likely just teething issues but probably not the best start. Google’s consistency has been one of it’s strongest assets – it rarely lets users down even though both Yahoo and Live Search both offer some pretty good features.
Now I did find some strange things happening with the indexing. Typing Wii shows a very strange result as did a fair few other queries I tried. We’ve asked them to look into an issue on one of our sites so it will be interesting to hear what they come back with.
Bugs aside, there are a couple of nice features with Cuil like the widget below which breaks down categories.
Cuil also lets you choose between 2 or 3 column layout. Nice to see something different but to be honest I would have preferred to see the additional option of the ‘infinite scrolling page’ here as Live Search offers with it’s image searching – something it does beat Google on in my opinion.
Of course the underlying need to sell advertising impressions becomes an issue with these interfaces because page refreshing = more ads served.
Is three better than one?
So we’ll keep an eye on Cuil ongoing. All new things are good in the digital landscape so I think this is a welcome addition to the search wars. Will I use it as my default engine? No, but I’ll keep experimenting and time will tell.