Bing and Yahoo: Combined Market Share Now At 30%

Microsoft’s Bing decision engine is turning quite some heads with its growth and rise in popularity. Bing began providing Yahoo with organic search results and according to Hitwise, their combined share is at 30 percent. Clearly, as Bing provides Yahoo with organic results, it is a big win for Bing.

bing-share
The month of March has been prospective for Bing and it has seen a rise of 5 percent in this month alone. Google’s current share stands at 64.42 percent, following a drop after Bing took away some of the market share from it. Overall, Bing is at 14.69 percent whereas Yahoo is at 15.32 percent.

Bing is making groundbreaking changes in its search and has advertised heavily across the Internet. Its spam free search results have led Google to update its algorithm leading to elimination of content farms. While this has improved search results, the need to make this change has raised questions on whether Google search will see the end of this decade with the same market share.

The default search provided in browsers is affecting search market shares more than ever and the rise in Bing is acclaimed to this very fact. The market share Bing enjoys currently is gathered from those migrating over from Yahoo. Though, this is just not enough to compete against Google search full on.

Bing Team Posts Insensitive Tweet, Then Apologizes!

Looks like the team at Microsoft’s search engine Bing, is having a rough day. A tweet posted by Bing earlier today offered donating $1 to Japan quake relief for every retweet. Here’s the actual tweet sent out:

As anyone would imagine, the message wasn’t taken very positively by people who saw the tweet. The statement automatically was perceived as an attempt to use the calamity as a marketing opportunity. People tweeted back critizing the whole scheme, as clear by these examples:

Within hours, the Bing team realized what they have done and fearing a fiasco like Kenneth Cole or Groupon, they quickly apologized for their tweet and claimed that they have donated $100,000 to the quake relief fund.

The complete message reads:

We apologize the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.

This ¬†example ¬†clearly illustrates the power of social media and the uncertainty brands face when using tools like Twitter and Facebook as their marketing platform. Even though hundreds of people retweeted Bing’s tweet and didn’t think of it as insensitive or shameful, many others did. It also makes one wonder if , indeed, negative news travels much faster in the cyber space compared to a positive one.

Microsoft: Take That Google, We Just Added H.264 Support For Chrome Users

Yesterday would have been a very eventful day at Google and Microsoft after Google accused Microsoft of stealing their search results and displaying it in the competitive search engine Bing. The day was filled with accusations and defense galore and lot of Google-and-Microsoft haters had a really big field day.

Day 2: Microsoft just did something that would irk Google even more, they rolled out a new Windows Media Player plugin for Chrome which supports the H.264 code. In a blog post, Microsoft said that they are rolling out these plugin which is also part of Internet Explorer so that Google Chrome customers on would be able to continue to play the H.264 video in spite of Chrome not supporting it.

Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.

We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video and, as we’ve described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec.

The announcement could just be a right hand jab from Microsoft on Google’s chin after they had earlier declared to drop support for the H.264 codec in because of lack of openness and could fuel a much more deeper war amongst these two tech giants.

It also gives consumers of Google Chrome a chance to view the videos encoded with H.264 codec which they could not have done otherwise. In a battle of browsers Google Chrome, and have openly said that they would not support the H.264 codec because of royalty issues and would instead rely on the WebM codec, which is still not the best codec out there. Currently, it lacks hardware support and there is still a lot of work to be done with it. Microsoft and Apple on the other hand support the H.264 codec in the Internet Explorer and Safari browsers.

The said plugin is also available for Firefox but the main jabs taken by the article was at Google Chrome which is rapidly gaining more users from both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

So will this war continue to rage along? Will these competitors try to go down the throats of each other in the future too? Well, as per me they will. They will not let go off a chance to bring each other down. The wars had already begun, someone just put more fuel in the fire. What do you think?

Bing To be Part Of In-Car Systems From Hyundai and Toyota

Microsoft Bing will soon be powering maps for Toyota and Hyundai vehicles in the US. Toyota will be using Bing for their Entune system. Toyota Entune is a mobile app that connects with Toyota’s in car system over Bluetooth. Once the app the is downloaded and paired with the car, Entune will bring content from a variety sources such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, OpenTable, Bing and others. Some screenshots:

toyota-entune-bing-01 toyota-entune-bing-02

In a separate announcement, ATX Group said that they will bring Bing Maps to Hyundai cars as part of Hyundai’s Blue Link technology. Bing will be providing content such as restaurant ratings, gas prices and addresses. Users will be able customize the content they want to be sent on their car using a website. Bing Maps will enhance Blue Link’s services that will enable users to get real time assistance from ATX.

Microsoft Gets Serious About Animated Bing. Looking For UX Designers

At Apple’s WWDC Microsoft showed Bing with animated backgrounds (video below) and with the focus on HTML5 for IE9, Bing is expected to role out some major updates soon. We might see a glimpse during Microsoft’s annual designer conference MIX 2011.

According to a job position that Microsoft is looking to fill in New York, they are looking for a user experience designer who can work with animation tools like TweenMx, motion graphic tools like Flash or After Effects. Yes, the job application mentions Flash (side note: Yuck!) along with the usual web development languages, CSS, HTML etc.

In another job application, Microsoft is looking for a UX Designer who can build mockups, wireframes and prototypes (probably the UX designed by the one who fills the job above?). Here’s the HTML5 version of Bing:

Bing Replaces Wikileaks.org with Wikileaks.ch as Top Search Term, Fooling People?

I just got to have a conversation with Danny Sullivan, a search engine guru, when he tweeted that Google still shows Wikileaks.org as the top result when you search for "wikileaks" whereas Bing displays "wikileaks.ch" one of the new website for Wikileaks.

Bing Wikileaks Search

The moment I saw that tweet, I knew something was fishy. In the conversation that followed I tried to do some research and somehow everything about Bing right now smells scam to me. Here are some pointers:

  • First of all, organically it is possible to replace an established domain with another when you do a 301 redirect, however, this takes time and 24 hours is a really unrealistic time right now to replace a top level domain listing. Nevertheless, Bing displayed Wikileaks.ch even when Wikileaks.org was down and there were no permanent redirects.
  • Secondly, for a domain to come up in search results it needs enormous amounts of backlinks which wikileaks.ch does not have yet. Of course that could have been offset with condition #1 above, but that never happened.
  • Thirdly, Bing still displays wikileaks.org results in their results which is second to the .ch domain, however their site search results show that .ch domain has a replacement for that listing.
  • Fourthly, No other organic search engines I tried including Google displays the wikileaks.ch as the top result.

So all in all, all Microsoft search related properties went ahead and replaced Wikileaks.org domain with Wikileaks.ch non-organically in a non-sponsored listing. This is against the ethical standards of search engines and also goes on to show than Microsoft can change their listings to display a domain of their choice "organically" without intimating users.

Bing WikiLeaks Index

I have based my research on several things including the fact that Bing itself only indexes two pages of Wikileaks.ch as seen in the screenshot among other things.

If this is not a farce what is it? Should we trust a search engine which displays a result on top with just two pages in its index? Is Bing trying to fool us about it’s sponsored listings being a organic listing? Well, I hope people behind Bing provide you and me with answers on this.

You should know that this is neither politically or otherwise motivated, this is based on pure judgment of my knowledge about how search engines work and show results.

Twitter Ties Up With LinkedIn, WeFollow, Bing For Directory Services

Just a few minutes ago I wrote about a mysterious link called "Directory" appearing on certain profiles in Twitter. It turns out that it is a full page replacement for "Who To Follow" on .

Twitter Directory People

As you can see from the screenshot above, which you can also see for yourself here, Twitter is now displaying "Who to follow" and friend suggestions in an entirely different page altogether.

Twitter Directory Related Services LinkedIn, WeFollow

However, there is a interesting section in the sidebar of this page called "Related Services" where Twitter has tied up with several other networks including LinkedIn, WeFollow and Bing among others. These services will allow you to find your people and follow them on Twitter.

Twitter Directory LinkedIn Service

This tie-up will allow Twitter to tap into other services to allow users to connect to people they already know on different social networking services. Unfortunately, Twitter does not have a tie-up with yet, and Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams had made that clear at the Web 2.0 summit, which was also reported by the NYT.

So, the mysterious directory service on twitter is after all a way to allow people to connect with more people and also use other services to connect with people they already know there.

Bing Dynamic | Win7 Theme Displays the Latest Bing Wallpapers

winOne of the great features of Windows 7 is it’s theme support. The ability to enable wallpaper slideshows with only the images you want is good, but the ability to automatically download images is priceless. Once a dynamic theme is installed, new images come in via an RSS feed whenever they’re available.

One of the best examples of this is the arrow-down-double-3Bing Dynamic theme. With this theme, you’ll be getting new wallpapers from the Bing search page, every day.

bing-dyamic

In addition, you’ll also have a choice of 4 different Best of Bingwallpaper themes.

bing-best-of

If you don’t have Windows 7, you won’t feel so bad once you find out that there are several freebies that let you download wallpapers from Bing and other image sites. Here’s a few to pick from.

JBS Free Wallpaper Switcher for Windows

Bing Background Wallpaper Downloader | Bing Wallpapers

Download Bing Bing Background Images and Use as Wallpaper

A Visual Search Gallery For Bing Wallpapers

How to Open and Use Windows 7 Themes in Windows XP

If you’re a wallpaper fanatic, don’t miss out on all the other wallpaper collections we’ve written about.


How To Connect Your Facebook Account With Bing

Microsoft and Facebook announced a strategic partnership by which Bing had Instant Personalization features. This means that if you connect Facebook to Bing on your account, search results for queries will be tailored based on your Facebook activities. Mark Zuckerberg went to lengths in order to clarify that there is no breach of privacy and the data available to Bing is only what you’ve set as publicly available.

Bing has now made this feature available to US customers and it is pretty simple to set up:

  • Visit Bing.com
  • Sign in (top left)

You should now see a Windows flag with a drop down. Screenshot:

01-connect

  • Click on Facebook Connect and allow Bing access to your Facebook data and you’re done.

Here is the top result for Keith Dsouza once I connected Bing with Facebook:

02-kd

Here’s Bing demo video on the feature (embedded video click here):

Get Microsoft Silverlight

For more information on the integration you can check out Discover Bing.

Facebook and Bing Announce Social Integration

and Microsoft’s Bing have announced a deeper integration with each other where users will now be able to see what your Facebook friends are liking in Bing’s search results.

Facebook and Bing Integration

With the new integration, users will now be able to find recommendations based on their Facebook friends likes. For example, if you are searching for a movie or a place to eat, you will see recommendations based on what your friends in Facebook have liked.

Facebook and Bing Integration Movie Search

As you can see from the screenshots above, Bing now also adds an additional snippet based on what your friends have suggested. This is something which will make things easier, but could also cause a privacy nightmare for people, based on how Facebook decides to share this data with Bing. I would definitely want this data to be opt-in and not opt-out.

bing_facebook_people_search

In addition to that, Bing will also display new people search from Facebook whenever you are search for a person. This feature is somewhat similar to what Google displays in Search results, however, most of the results will now come from Facebook data.

Privacy? Well if you are paranoid, Bing does mention that only data which was made public will show up in search results. So make sure to visit your profile and set it up such that you are very comfortable in sharing what you only want to.