After being on stage at the annual RIM BlackBerry show, Microsoft announced that Bing will be providing the search facilities on Blackberry devices. This will then be a new partnership for Microsoft, with the aim to help people make better decisions with Bing on Blackberry Devices, while boosting handset sales.
The partnership will include Bing as the default search provider for the search app and the browser. However, it is unclear at this point which of the blackberry devices will be defaulted to Bing. It might be the new Blackberry Bond and also the Blackberry Playbook that is due for release soon.
This is good news for some and not so good for others. The benefits are for Microsoft and their Bing search, hopefully this will boost handset sales for blackberry. The biggest loser in this deal is Google; as they where the default search provider on the Blackberry handsets.
Bing has been in this position before, in terms of having their search facility exclusively on a produced handset. Also, you may remember that deal that was pending between Microsoft and Nokia, which did sound very similar to the Blackberry and Bing arrangement. Perhaps Microsoft is planning a worldwide domination to be the default search providers of mobiles and Smartphone’s.
Let’s assume that both Microsoft deals happen and are completed as expected, what might happen to the market share of Google against Bing? What is known is that Bing is growing fractionally month on month, 2011 has started very well for Bing. This slow but consistent pace is worrying for Google, as it has been stated if Bing’s growth was erratic it would show that its decline just as quick as it grows. Unfortunately that is not the case which is why it could be very damaging for Google.
Specifically in the mobile search, Google have a strong hold on the Android and the iPhone devices, but if Apple that make the iPhone decided to change the default search provider, Google would be in a lot of trouble and would lose a lot of crucial market share. Having said that, Microsoft and Apple are not on best of pals anyway, so the chances are remote that these two businesses will come together.
Google is not helping itself in a number of areas because of the changes that have been made to its search results and the algorithms. Add Bing’s increasing fortunes and we could be in for an entertaining online battle for search facilities.
Despite declaring better than expected profits for the first quarter, Nokia’s share price is down but Microsoft is still involved.
The share price and profits have both recently fell. The share price fell by 4% to 29% and the profits fell by 1% which is about £304m.
Nokia have stated that the long awaited deal with Microsoft will change all that, as they attempt to reverse their fortunes. Microsoft will be giving advice and developing a new Smartphone that will take on the giants of Apple.
Many investors have welcomed the news of the deal and this has helped the share price a bit but as always proof is in the pudding.
According to the chief executive, Nokia have moved along their process from defining the strategy to implementing it, confirming the deal with Microsoft and designing the product.
Nokia have admitted that they were slow to match the response from the competitors in the Smartphone market. Just to rub salt into the wounds – Apple unveiled a 95% increase in profits in Q1. Nokia have it all to do now perhaps. Nokia have sold more handsets in Q1 than Apple, but its price that has brought Apple forward, an average Apple’s wholesale price was $585 more than Nokia.
One of the things that Microsoft will be doing is dropping the Symbian software and using their own as the Symbian is occasionally slow and not what the users want.
The Chief Executive also stated that the finalisation with Microsoft will then focus on execution, but they are not out of the woods yet and difficult times are still ahead.
Yahoo has stated that the partnership with Microsoft is not going swimmingly. The top level email provider and search engine have a drop in revenue because of technology delays. The internet company has announced a 28% drop in profits as it has to halt development while Microsoft make amendments to their technology.
28% in Yahoo terms is about $300m – Yahoo stated that the new systems at present are not paying off. Yahoo was also hoping that this partnership with Microsoft would have been the missing component in their business model in achieving a greater market share.
Two years ago Yahoo brought in a new chief executive to improve the growth of the company, and over the two tears there have been mixed fortunes. The comment was made that Yahoo will not re visit the revenue levels that they experienced before they merged with Microsoft till the end of the Year. Many experts believe that this might not happen as well.
The chief executive forecasted that the revenues would pick up around mid 2011. However delays have caused Yahoo to miss this forecast.
Yahoo is striding forward and making progress because of its efforts, the goals are that they will be expanding into a fast-growing mobile internet market – utilising the very receptive video marketing platform.
After the short decline in share price and much criticism, Yahoo’s turnaround is on schedule, and all people involved are confident that Yahoo is going in the right direction.
Microsoft have been losing ground and subsequently market share because of other browsers including Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Not forgetting the new immerging internet market generated by mobile phones and tablets. IE9 is claimed to have better graphics, security and privacy enhancements from IE8.
The IE9 has an important feature that will prevent users being tracked as they navigate from one site or page to the next. The path and habits of users are often recorded and collected by commercial websites so that their sites can funnel visitors towards a particular goal. Also, with IE9, there is a separate tool that keeps an eye on any downloads that may have hidden viruses and trojans, before the computer gets wind of them.
Plus, IE9 has a built in acceleration kit that utilises the PC graphics card to sharpen images up while keeping graphics smooth. The launch has been delayed because if its development but Microsoft hope that it will end IE’s long suffering decline in usage.
The browser market is a competitive arena, perhaps not for viewing purposes but more because of the associated links and search engines. To get super accurate figures of market usage of any web browser is almost impossible, because it’s very easy to change default browser and have more than one installed onto any one PC, but web analysis does show that IE has about 56% (that has been falling). Firefox is predicted to have 22%; Chrome is at 11% and Safari at 6%.
Another consideration is the use of Apps to upload content and gather internet/web information, according to the same study 20% of web traffic is generated by apps on Smartphone’s and tablets.
However, IE9 does not run on Win XP and will only be compatible on windows 7 and Vista. Microsoft does not think that the battle ground will be on the desktop, but more likely on the portable computer, Smartphone and tablets.
Developing a Smartphone or tablet browser will be vital to Microsoft, as it will enhance the Hotmail email accounts, Live Meeting, Bing search and IE market share.
In competition to Google Offers and Yahoo Local Offers, Bing is launching their own local deals service in America.
Microsoft’s offering will be called ‘Bing Deals’ and will cover 14,000 towns and cities, offering over 200,000 offers to users.
Rather than create their own platform, Microsoft has teamed up with service provider, The Dealmap.
Andy Shu, director of product management for Bing Mobile said, “Bing’s mission is to help you cut through the clutter of the web to make decisions more quickly – whether that’s through our own innovations or by teaming up with industry experts.”
Access to Bing Deals is relatively widespread with access available from desktop PC’s, the iPhone and Android mobile devices. However, because it does not run on HTML5 software, users will not be able to access the service on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating systems.
Bing Deals users can look for offers by location (geolocation when accessing by mobile) and by category. Offers can be shared with contacts via email and saved.
Google threw their hat into the ring in January by launching Google Offers in an effort to cash in on the ever growing social commerce trend.
It’s not a surprise that it’s not available in the UK yet as Google usually test the water in the US prior to rolling out globally.
Following Google’s claim that Bing has been cheating earlier in the week, Bing have fought back. Not only has Bing denied copying Google, it has also accused Google of committing click fraud.
Microsoft’s Senior Vice President of Online Services, Yusuf Mehdi published his response on the Bing Search Blog.
His post was made in reply to the claim made by Google on 1st February that Bing had been copying their search results. Google ran tests that manually promoted and ranked random web pages when a nonsense search term was entered into Google.com. During testing, Google discovered that a small percentage of test queries later replicated the same ranking on Bing.com
Mehdi said: “We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting.”
The war of words between the two has seen Bing accuse Google trying to trick them on purpose and Google saying that Bing is just a cheap imitation of Google.
And it hasn’t stopped there; Mehdi has put another post on the Bing Blog suggesting that the Google test was a form a click fraud.
“Google engaged in a “honeypot” attack to trick Bing. In simple terms, Google’s “experiment” was rigged to manipulate Bing search results through a type of attack also known as “click fraud.” That’s right, the same type of attack employed by spammers on the web to trick consumers and produce bogus search results. What does all this cloak and dagger click fraud prove? Nothing anyone in the industry doesn’t already know. As we have said before and again in this post, we use click stream optionally provided by consumers in an anonymous fashion as one of 1,000 signals to try and determine whether a site might make sense to be in our index.”
With both sides seeming determined to have the last word, god only knows how long this debate could go on for. As things stand, Bing are in front but watch this space!
Microsoft is continually looking to improve its offerings and gain ground on Google. One suggestion could be investing some time in sitelinks.
Sitelinks offer website owners a handy way to channel shoppers into the section of the site that they are interested in after a one-word search.
Could Bing be accused of copying Google? Quite possibly yes. However, Bing could implement their own version with different options and could offer more in terms of reporting.
What else could Microsoft’s Bing improve? Well, they could implement things that Google are already doing but provide users with a better service than Google. Things such as local details in PPC adverts and integrating feeds to improve PPC ads (better regulation of which goods are shown for different searches).
We’ve no doubt that the Techies at Microsoft are already hard at work brainstorming the next innovation.
Bing need to ensure they don’t purely concentrate on increasing traffic and attracting new advertisers and spend time focusing on innovative improvements.
Failure to move fast will see Bing leaving it too late and as usual Google will benefit. This will not be good for any of us as Google will go on to further dominate the search industry.
Google says that they have proof that Bing has been watching what their customers search for on Google. Google mounted a sting exercise that gathered results showing that Bing has been watching users Google search results and the sites the customers choose from those results. Bing has then replicated the information to populate the same results it their search listings.
This basically means that thanks to work done by Google, Bing has potentially improved their relevancy. Google likens the behaviour of Bing to that of one student looking over another’s shoulder during an exam.
Amit Singhal, who manages the Google search engine ranking algorithm said: “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine. I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”
The amazing thing is, Bing are not denying Google’s claim. In fact, an email to Search Engine Land from the director of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Stefan Weitz, appears to confirm the allegation:
As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the players in this industry, we’re not going to go deep and detailed in how we do it. Clearly, the overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search, so we can guess at the best and most relevant answer to a given query.
Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals
Watch this space as we don’t think we’ve heard the last about this!
The Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance team are continuing to make progress with their global transition of Yahoo Search functions to Microsoft’s search platform, adCenter. With the US and Canada already implemented, the Search Alliance team made further progress by adding the organic search for Australia, Brazil and Mexico last week. This is another milestone for the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance team as they continue their efforts to provide a smooth transition for their advertisers and partners across the world.
The objective of the transition is to provide a competitive option in search with greater value and efficiency by supplying superior audience on a single global platform.
Yahoo! and Bing will work closely together to provide the organic and paid search results for Yahoo! within the Microsoft Advertising adCenter. The Search Alliance team plan to make the switch for the UK, Ireland and France in the first half of 2011.
Specialists in measuring digital world statistics, comScore, have released its latest search engine rankings for December 2010. As you would expect, Google dominate the search engine market in the United States.
A staggering 66.6% of searches were carried out on the search engine giant’s pages. If nothing else, this should convince companies using digital media to invest in using Google for their pay per click (PPC) campaigns.
Google have increased their market share by 0.4% during December compared to the 66.2% reported for November 2010.
In comparison, Yahoo snatched 16% of the market share, dipping by 0.4% and Microsoft saw an increase of 0.2% taking them to 12% of the distribution.
Of the 16.4 billion searches carried out during December, just short of 11 billion were carried out on Google.
The results of the search engine rankings were as follows:
|comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report – December 2010 vs. November 2010 United States|
|Core Search Entity||Explicit Core Search Share (%)|
|November 2010||December 2010||Point Change|
|Total Explicit Core Search||100.0%||100.0%||N/A|
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