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Archive for the 'Search Engines' Category

It is no secret that Google is dominating the search engine market. However, it is also no news that there are people (about 35% of users, actually) who prefer other search engines – such as Yahoo!, Bing and others. Blekko is gaining some ground as does GoDaddy… It this situation, it was only a matter of time when another level of search is created, one level “above” search engines. is exactly this thing – a search that combines several search engines results, presenting it to the user in a tabbed way.

The site, created by Arshat Ali Suzon, a California State University graduate student, integrates results from Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, AOL, Wolfram Alpha, Baidu, Snap and Wikipedia – you can browse through those by clicking the appropriate tab on the search page. You can also define which search engines you are after, by pressing the “+” sign; creating several “configurations” is also possible. In addition, there is a “More>>>” tab, that will present a list of eleven more search engine sites (including Lycos, AltaVista, WebCrawler and By clicking on each of those, you will be taken to a new page, presenting results produced by the selected SE.

The site has been around for about eight months now and already has gathered several thousand of adept in 25 countries. Is this mega-search the next big thing in the search industry? Let’s wait and see.

GoDaddy might not be as familiar name as Google to ordinary internet users, but most webmasters had, of course, heard this name. GoDaddy is currently on of the leaders in webhosting industry, providing various related services, such a website hosting, domain registration, dedicated servers, email plans, etc. Although dominating the market is not something GoDaddy had achieved, it might very well be on their mind.

It has been reported recently, that Google and GoDaddy enter certain form of partnership considering a “WebSite Tonight” feature, offered by GoDaddy. This service is a powerful tool that allows users create a website pretty quickly by using one of the available pre-designed templates, making it look almost “professionally designed”.

Google’s share of WebSite Tonight is offering various add-ons, widgets and tools that might be useful for a website owner and/or visitor. These include customizable search bar, Google Webmaster Tools, SEO-checking tools and more. Submitting website to Google is also made easier, helping webmaster to appear in the listings of world’s leading search engine quickly. Some tools will be available during the website building process; others are incorporated into the website’s control panel.

Woke up this morning thinking further about my statement yesterday that Microsoft should by Twitter.  I really think that if Google does not buy Twitter and it lands in the hands of Microsoft, it could potentially become a great equalizer. Bing’s real time search results would be exclusive and therefore at the very least very different from Google. Bing needs to do something, it is sort of floundering as many companies do when they are not really committed to being the best.

On the other hand if Facebook buys Twitter, Google has a much bigger problem, potential elimination from real time search. Facebook is the number one visited website in the world. Now this is great, but their problem is, their visitors are not interested in buying anything, they do not click on ads, they do not convert into $$, and this is becoming a problem for the future of Facebook. It is sort of the old school internet business model on steroids:  build it,make it cool and free,  get traffic, and with traffic all your problems will be solved.  Now if your roll Twitter into Facebook, you do not get any better profit generation, but now you hold all the cards in real time search. Facebook could place extraordinary value on this real time data, and begin to charge search engines massive amounts of fees to access their websites and data. If the search engines do not agree to pay these outrageous fees, then Facebook can begin to build their own search engine. Even if their algorithm was not very robust to begin, with having the real time data from Facebook and Twitter would insure that they provide phenomenal real time information (that would not be found anywhere else) and can use this real-time data VERY effectively. It is a fact that no one is really Tweeting or Facebooking about the spamming Viagra website they found on page one of Google, nor the insurance website they found in BING. Therefore Facebook would be able to quickly put a serious reduction on spam, create a place in search, and provide themselves with very bright future for profitability and a serious chunk of what Google and BING currently have.

As an internet marketing professional, I really do not care who does what. I do not own the game, just play by the rules set forth by people far smarter and wealthier than I. I must say though, I really like Twitter in the hands of Facebook or Microsoft. Lets see what Google is really made of….

Bringing the most relevant results to the user is the quest of every search engine. Fighting spam is one aspect of this issue. The other one is personalization – showing the results that would be the most interesting to the SPECIFIC searcher. Hence the localization, hence the search history….

Bing has recently followed Google on that path, applying city-based localization to the query results in the US. It will now give additional weight to local businesses, especially service providers. This is another step forward, as the local Bing searches in various countries are showing different results for quite a while already. However, for big countries, such as the States this might be not enough – so additional refinement is now applied, based on the city you are in. It must be noted, the results are not entirely different – it is just that local businesses are given some “extra points” by the search algorithm.

Another aspect is using your past search queries in the results. The Bing (as does Google for some time already) tries to “learn your preferences” based on the searches you conduct and the results you pick from the presented list. Those will be stored in search history and shown more frequently (or higher) in the result list when similar query is submitted.

It seems that “those who bought this also liked that” feature, used by many online stores and other websites is now entering the SE world.

How big should you be to successfully fight Google and beat it? Pretty big probably. Far bigger than and DuckDuckGo. Even being a multibillion company, such as Microsoft, is not enough – Bing is still behind in the SE battle. Having the law in your hands, however, might help. Especially, if you are the law. Especially in China.

Chinese government has a very strict policy considering the internet, and censorship of information is a major part of it. Back in 2006, Google has agreed to censor the results, despite the critics – a footstep on the Chinese soil was too big to give up at the time. However, when issues arouse in Jan 2010, with the renowned “hacking human right accounts” accusation, they stopped the censorship. And then the government stopped them. Since January 2010 nobody can access Google from inside China (Honk Kong is one exception with the British influence sealing certain autonomy even under Chinese rule). Other options, such as Baidu, who was local Search Engine market leader even when Google was there, or the recently launched are, of course, available.

After one year without the about-500-million Chinese users, it seems Google is willing to at least negotiate. According to Google’s Patrick Pichette, the company is going to re-enter the Chinese market soon, opening new horizons to the people of China. The question, of course, remains about the compromises that have to be reached with the Chinese government. Currently, it seems that the communists have the upper hand, as Google needs China more than China needs Google…

The “Slash-the-web” engine is trying to gain ground on its bigger rivals, Google and Bing. The mark of thirty million queries was passed in January – a decent accomplishment for Blekko, launched in November 2010. Additionally, over 100K new slashtags were created by users and editors. If you are not familiar with this term, I would definitely recommend visiting and checking out their concept of bringing the most relevant results for the specific user.

Fighting Spam is the trend of today, and Blekko’s “spam clock”, introduced about a month ago, was another trigger for this trend. Next they announced removing several “low quality” websites from the search results (including the quite popular eHow and Expert-Exchange) before ten days, stating that this “black list” will grow.

Other recent Blekko activity included launching an iPhone and Android app, pretty similar to the desktop version and offering almost all of its features, and integrating Facebook “Likes” into its results. A partnership with DuckDuckGo can be another step to counter Google, combating it out of the “spam” field. Of course, there is a long, long way to go, but for now the key is probably staying in the news and adding new features.

I am really getting tired of Google presenting information and blog posts from 2007. The authority Google gives to these old blog posts and news items causes their results for particular topics to just STINK.

So I jump search engines to BING or for today trying Blekko. Both these engines tend to do a better job weeding out some old content from their results which is great. But…..and this needs to be BUT….

What is with the results in BING and BLEKKO showing websites from every English speaking country? A search on Blekko for “promotional mugs” presents results from all over the world, and although not quite as bad the same thing happens with BING.

Which search engineers decided that it is a good idea to present these international results to a US search query? It seems to me that this is the most basic part of a relevancy algorithm.

I can provide free tips to the engineers at Blekko and Bing:

1.) if the domain ends in these results should be provided to people searching in the United Kingdom.

2.) if the domain ends in these results should be provided to people searching in Australia.

3.) if my IP address is based in the United States, please only show me websites whose IP address is in the US. (Take this same theory and apply it to whatever country the search query originates from).

It is really sad when in general the entire internet community is looking for alternatives to Google, and this is the best competition we can come up with?

No wonder Google is taking over…..

Beside the big and known Google, Yahoo, Bing, Blekko and and the local leaders Baidu and Tandex, there are several other, “little” search engines – such as HotBot and DuckDuckGo. The latter was launched in 2008 and has a very, very limited market share with about 2.5 million searches a month. However, everyone is trying to gain ground these days – and if this is done on expense of Google – it is even better.

DuckDuckGo tries to gain users by emphasizing their pretty unique approach – they do no store search data. Either this is done on purpose or the company simply does not have the necessary resources, the manner is now advertised as being solely correct.

In an aggressive marketing campaign, the company specifically highlights “the Google way” of “invading your privacy”, stating that with little effort, your search history associated with computer IP and, stored at Google servers can be tracked down to you in person. Next goes your personal data, credit history, insurance policy etc.

Although the campaign (as most advertising campaigns) is not entirely correct, purposely exaggerating the “big brother” threat of in its quest of “making the privacy aspects of search engines understandable to the average person” (quoted is DuckDuckGo founder, Gabriel Weinberg), it might have an effect on certain privacy-concerned users. Will they switch to DuckDuckGo or go elsewhere? That is another question, of course… and Bing are very anxious to prove the world they can beat Google. Even in minor things, like Image Search that Bing was enhancing constantly over last several month. Or in a Search Engine Jeopardy contest, managed by Stephen Wolfram. Well, it seems Google competitors still have some work to do, as the Search Industry leader was victorious once again.

The SE Jeopardy consisted of Jeopardy questions randomly selected form a database of around 200000 that were fed into the search queries of various engines. The developers then looked at the number of correct answers that appeared in the search results page and also at the number of correct answers that were included in the page that search engines presented as the top result.

The results were as follows:

Percentage of correct answers appearing somewhere on the first page: Google – 69%; – 68%, Bing – 63%, Yandex – 62%, Blekko – 58%, Wikipedia – 23%.

Percentage of correct answers appearing in the top result of the page: Google – 66%; Bing – 65%, Yandex – 58%, – 51%, Blekko – 40%, Wikipedia – 29%.

Obviously Wikipedia didn’t stand too much chance, as it was only one website competing against “the whole internet”. Still, it must be noted that only about one-third of Jeopardy answers are already in Wikipedia…

As to Search Engines – Google has beaten the competition, although the margins are not that big. But based on these results, Ask and Blekko have to do a better job of listing the most relevant link at the top (see how their percentage dropped when they looked into the first document. And Bing is “almost there” – but still a fraction behind Google.

Yandex numbers were very impressive, as it is basically a local Russian search engine. If the test has been done in Russian (or at least, based on Russian Jeoprdy Analogue, “Svoya Igra”, which includes fewer questions about American culture and history) Yandex would probably beat Google – exactly as it does in the Russian Search Engine market.

In summary, nobody can beat Google in providing relevant information. Not just yet. So, when you want to know “What is” something – don’t ask and don’t bing. Google it!

It seems that Bing decided to combat Google first of all in the Images section. Merely a month after introducing its Image Categorization Panel, Bing now applies a new look to the Bing Image Search page.

It is now showing the 20 top most searched images of the day – people, event, places, animals etc. Yesterday, the squirrel appreciation day brought “Cute Squirrel” to the top of the list. Today, the “National Geographic Photo Contest” occupies the number one Bing Image Search spot, with “Todd Palin” (6) beats “Sasha Obama” (10) and “Chelsea Clinton Wedding”.

Of course, once the search is done the top list disappears – but it can be easily retrieved via the “Browse top image searches” link just below the categorized search tabs bar.

The option is currently available in US, Australia and Canada Bing websites.