Just yesterday, Robert Scoble announced in a tweet that Firefox would default to Bing search instead of Google. Today, the Mozilla blog has posted an update clarifying the situation, saying the default search will remain Google powered. However, Bing will be added to the list of search services along with the pre-existing ones like Wikipedia, Amazon, Yahoo and others.
The inclusion is announced as,
The current search options fall into three categories: general search, shopping, and reference.
Google remains the most popular general search and it will remain as the default search option, unless you change it. We will also continue to include Yahoo! as the second option for general search. Yahoo! has a loyal following and continues to provide a differentiated user experience, even as it integrates the Bing engine for its algorithmic search results. Bing itself offers a user experience that we think users will find valuable, and with its significant rise in popularity over the last year, we will be including Bing as a general search option for English language users.
In spite of the presence of faster web browsers like Opera and Google Chrome, Firefox has still held up in the competition pretty much for the same reasons as that of Internet Explorer, that is, a dedicated user’s base and an awesome base of add-ons.
This makes Firefox a hot target for most search engines. Conversely, Firefox gains every time a custom search is made using the search box. However, now that Google is promoting its own Chrome and Microsoft has a promising IE9 ready for us, Firefox will soon be forgotten when it comes to a battleground for search providers.
The folks over at BGR have managed to get their hands on a bunch of photos of the next Droid from Verizon the HTC Merge/Lexikon. From the pictures, this Droid from HTC looks similar to the Motorola Droid 2. The full slide-out QWERTY keyboard on the device looks very impressive as well. The handset will be powered by a Qualcomm MSM7630CPU and will sport a 4-inch screen. The phone will also sport a 5MP camera at its back along with a microSD card slot.
The device will be running on Android 2.2 with the newer version of HTC Sense UI on top of it. However, Verizon is seriously going to cripple this new Droid by removing all the Google applications usually found in an Android phone with Bing suite of applications.
BIG thumbs down to Verizon for this! I seriously don’t know why Verizon is replacing the Google suite of applications from a phone running on Google’s own OS with Microsoft’s services. LAME!
The world is waiting for Google to unveil the new real-time search as you type in the Google Press Conference scheduled in some time. You can also try out the Google Real-time search as you type, however, Microsoft Fan, Long Zheng has created a similar Live search experience using Bing’s API and Ajax.
This is definitely a slap on the face for Google who have been working on the streaming search results for a while now, however, unlike the efforts Zheng put in, Google might have done a lot more.
So is the Google Streaming Search better than Zheng’s Bing Real-time live search? You can try both for yourself and decide by visiting Google’s streaming search results here and Zheng’s Bing Live Search here.
Well, well, well, isn’t this awkward? Microsoft Bing Community has launched an app for Android users under Verizon that offers integrated search and mappingfor all the Android users that lack this super-special and super-rare service that Google’s phones seem to lack (at least for the folks at Bing, we are assuming).
It also has voice-search capabilities which are hard to find on the Google phones.
Evidently, they are trying their luck at this gapin the market. No puns intended.
Bing’s approach for its home page has been tremendously successful. Not only do the users love it, Google is even accused of trying to copy it for a short bit. the only thing users aren’t too happy about is the lack of any feature to search and view all the past wallpapers in a neat tool. Well, Bing has just launched a visual search gallery for all the previous wallpapers.
The visual search gallery is extra-ordinarily organized and lets you get to the desired image within seconds. The top row displays filters based on regions such as Asia, Europe or North America, while a series of filters on the left let you narrow down your results even further. These include filtering results by country, regional groups, categories, sub-categories, colors and even seasons.
The images can be sorted by date or by name and each thumbnail includes the date of the wallpaper and the location of the image. Clicking on any image displays a larger picture along with the ability to zoom in/out of the image and more information about the venue/subject of the picture. There is also an option to browse through some of the editor’s picks as well as viewing all the past wallpapers on the same screen. The gallery is part of Bing’s visual search beta that allows users to search through images rather than using text.
If you are interested in downloading Bing wallpapers, here is an excellent tool that downloads the fresh Bing wallpaper every day and make it your desktop wallpaper.
Google Image Search is definitely not my favorite way to find images and I have been using several other ways to download Stock images including the Flickr Creative Commons image search.
The new Google Image Search refresh design provides a dense tiled layout which allows users to look at lot of images at once. In addition to that, it also provides users with Instant scrolling between pages allowing users to view 1,000 images in one scrolling page.
The new Google Image Search also provides users with a Larger thumbnail preview and also displays the full image when you hover over a thumbnail. Clicking on a image link will now take you to a new landing page which displays the large image in context with the website it was found on. And last but not the least, Google Image Search now also has optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through different pages.
Though these features are new at Google, they have already existed at Bing for a while. For example, Bing users will be familiar with the tiled layout and instant scrolling features. And yes, this is not the first time that Google has copied something from Bing. In the past, Google had also tried their hands at Custom backgrounds, which was again copied from Bing.
Google is also introducing a new ad format called Image Search as, which will appear only on Google Images. These new ads can include a thumbnail alongside the advertisement text.
The new changes are being rolled out across the world in the next few days, so you might not see the new interface right away. Nevertheless, it is definitely interesting that Google is finding a lot of inspiration from Bing these days. I wouldn’t mind that as long as my search results are not affected. What about you?
(Official Google Blog)
According to Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Foursquare is in talks with the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to share and include their location oriented data into search results.
Foursquare harvests a lot of user data from its applications on platforms like iOS and Android. They plan to anonymise the data and use it to show venues which are currently trending in real time search results.
The deal will be similar to Twitter’s deal with Google and Bing which allowed them to index tweets and display them alongside their search results in real time.
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search. We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to and where is trending not what.
” Crowley said.
Foursquare is the most popular location based startup and is valued at close to $100 million. It just received a $20 million cash investment from Andreessen Horowitz, a VC firm.
Yahoo is soon planning to embrace Bing and power a percentage of live Yahoo search using Microsoft’s search engine. According to a blog post from Search Engine land Yahoo sent an email discussing some of the organic Yahoo to Bing transition topics that are on the mind of their advertisers.
Yahoo has confirmed that they are testing the Bingpowered results offline and soon they will be testing the same in the live search results. The email wrote:
Though much of our testing is already happening offline, this month we’ll also test the delivery of organic and paid search results provided by Microsoft on live Yahoo! traffic.
The testing will be impaired on both paid and organic search queries and Yahoo says that the testing volumes will fluctuate during this period. The paid volume will be low on the first weeks, this is to ensure proper ROI of the advertisers.
Hence, if you go to Yahoo and perform a search, chances are that you will see search results powered by Bing. The testing period will last for two months and end on September.
Seorountable found a thread at Webmasterworld which consists of a presentation video by Yahoo and Microsoft of the transition timelines for Bing to begin powering Yahoo on both the organic and paid side of search. Here is a slide from the presentation:
The Bing powered results will be implemented on both paid and organic search queries and if the experiment goes as planned, Yahoo plans to power 30% search queries using Bing.
Bing has support for advanced queries just like Google but no one uses them because they are just lying there, unseen and unheard of! The Bing blog has recently posted a guide on searching through Bing like a pro and the options and as it turns out, the available queries are sure to turn some heads in the geek world.
A complete list of operators is available at this page on msdn. However, we have picked a few examples. Before I go into this, I would like to point out that Bing search supports combining these operators as well. However, you need to learn about their precedence at this page before that.
The ‘contains’ Operator
The ‘contains’ operator can be used to search for a particular file-type inside a web page. This can be helpful while pulling off and checking the existence of pdf documents from poorly done web pages that make it hard to find URLs in between too much of text.
Usage: “IEEE 802.11b” contains:pdf
This will return all pages with the tag IEEE 802.11b and a link to a pdf document in them.
The ‘near’ Operator
The near operator works like a proximity sensor for words and searches for a particular word within range of another word. This one is my favorite so far.
Usage: “michael jackson” near:5 moonwalk
This will search for the word moonwalk appearing within five words before or after the words “Michael Jackson”.
The ‘ip’ Operator
This searches for websites hosted on a particular IP address. It can be helpful to search for an IP address prefix as well.
This will search for all websites hosted on that IP. Try out the query above. There is a surprise in store for you!
The ‘loc’ Operator
This returns pages from a particular country.
Usage: ipl loc:in
Return pages related to the IPL from India.
Try it out and give us some feedback. Do you find Bing operators at par with Google?
Pakistan has been banning sites right and left, first they started out by Banning Facebook, then YouTube and later Twitter too. In a more recent incident a petition was filed to get a Death Warrant for Mark Zuckersberg, the founder of Facebook.
Now, there are reports that a Lahore High Court bench has ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to immediately block some very popular websites which include Google, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, Bing and Amazon for publishing and promoting sacrilegious and blasphemous material.
The petition was filed by an individual who claimed that these websites were publishing sacrilegious material. However, the PTA officials have denied receiving any court orders to block these websites.
Nevertheless, considering how Facebook was blocked by Pakistan, this ban may also take effect shortly, leaving millions of Pakistanis without email and search for some time. Once again the thought that "If you cannot control the internet, ban it" is seriously not the right way to do things.