Archive for the 'Bing' Category


Spam-free Searching: Can Blekko Seize the Moment?

Alternative search engine relies on Slashtags

Bing TV Ad - Search Engine Overload

I’ve always enjoyed the TV ads for Bing, they focus on one of my biggest frustrations with search engines – the superfluous, unrelated information delivered as search results.  Bing was the first alternative search engine focused on providing better search results. Although, once the deal with Yahoo! was finalized, it can be argued that they are courting the same advertising dollars as Google – as evidenced with the Bing PPC guidelines.

Google addressed the issue with the launch of Google Instant in September. It allows me to refine my search terms dynamically.  Now, comes a new search engine, Blekko, currently in beta. This search engine encourages the use of slashtags to reduce spam.

Basically, a slashtag filters search results by limiting the sites that are searched.  The slashtag mirrors the popular Twitter hashtag and if slashtags catch on, search could be significantly changed.

Here’s a quick example of the slashtag “/”:

If you select a topic that has a lot of content covered from many viewpoints, you can use the hashtag to identify the viewpoint you wish to find.  If your subject is “global warming”, you can use the slashtag /liberal or /conservative and get distinctly different results.

Since the more traditional search engines do not provide results ranked by journalistic integrity, the searcher has to wade through content returned driven from SEO-centric sites that aggregate content without regard to reputation, credibility or integrity. The flood of second-rate, SEO-driven content is an opportunity for a search engines that eliminate spam.

This leads to a series of interesting questions that will impact future marketing decisions:

  • Will Blekko gain traction outside the tech community?
  • Will slashtags impact search engine optimization techniques?
  • Will the public change behavior and type a symbol prior to searching for a topic?
  • Are the searches really better than what I can get with Google?

Blekko acknowledges that it is still in the embryonic stages. That is partially why it still in its beta stage. “This is just the beginning.  We wanted to put out a base set of features, but we can think of lots of ways to work with our users to improve search,” said Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta.

Tell us if you think there is an opportunity for a new search engine or are we already saturated, and if you think the slashtag is an innovation or just too late to make a difference. You can find Weise Communications on Facebook and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.



Searching for answers: Quora and the boom in the web search industry

The web search business is booming for engineers hoping to fill the gaps they see left open by Google. One of the new hopefuls who publically launched Monday is Quora.

Developed by two engineers who previously worked for Facebook, the site is a “continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited and organized by everyone who uses it.” Sounds a little like Wikipedia, but rather the site is a search engine for knowledge that people posses that might not be on the web. Things like how to get a reservation at an exclusive club or the inner workings of a specific company would be searchable Quora items. Users must enter their real names and connect the Quora account with a Facebook or Twitter profile. This link helps Quora route questions posed by other users to those who can potentially answer the questions.

To give you a little more insight, here’s the results from searching: How much of a threat is Google Buzz to Facebook and Twitter? on several search sites.


Yahoo! Answers:


and finally, Bing:

As you can see, Yahoo, Bing and Google come up with similar articles written about the topic, where as Quora brings up a long answer direct to the question from a supposed expert on the topic. Quora, which employs a staff of nine, joins the likes of Yahoo and LinkedIn in trying to build a search-like question and answering service that relies on real people, not machines to do the answering. The key with Quora will be in the user being able to identify the validity of the expert’s knowledge on the question as well as someone answering the question posed.

These efforts of industry leaders and start-ups illustrate the continual evolving web search industry, which must constantly adapt to new information and technology. However, the legitimacy and longevity of these startups seems tenuous. Even the more established Yahoo! Answers has received questionable reviews. When asked about the company’s business model, Quora co-founder (and previous chief technology officer at Facebook) said, “if I had to guess, it would probably involve some kind of advertising,” in a Wall Street Journal article.

Nevertheless, others are taking notice. Facebook, Google and others are testing technology for question and answer-based search services and Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are trying to capture more content uploaded directly by individuals including results from Twitter and Facebook.

Definitely something to keep our eyes on because as the search industry changes, so does the effort to appear in the results. If Quora becomes successful, the way marketers create SEO strategy would need a total overhaul, or at least a facelift.

What are you thoughts on this new industry? Does Quora stand a chance?


Bing Breaks New Frontier by Adding Social Media to Search Results

Bing, the Microsoft search engine, launched a new homepage that features real-time results from Twitter and Facebook, however the results are filtered. Demonstrating sensitivity to well-publicized Facebook privacy issues, Bing displays updates only from Facebook fan pages and shared links from ‘non-fan’ pages in which the status is set to share content with everyone.

The new homepage is separated into two sections. The top section, Public updates, displays Twitter feeds and content from Facebook fan pages. The bottom section, Shared links, includes the latest tweets and links from individuals’ Facebook pages that may include YouTube videos.

Wednesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, below are the results from the new Bing ‘social’ search. It shows both the Public updates and Shared links sections.

The potential for Twitter to maintain a prominent position on search engine homepages could provide major opportunities for marketing.

  • Timeliness – Using Twitter makes sense when the need for immediate information is high, now Bing gets your information out to many more where it can be retweeted.
  • Promotions – You have the ability to tell the entire Bing-using universe the latest news without a huge investment of time or money.
  • Reach – You significantly extend the reach of your social media network, plus through Bing users can search for you to fulfill a specific need.
  • Content Optimization – It will be critically important to optimize the content of your tweets to ensure they can be searched effectively by Bing.

Tell us if you have any Twitter marketing success stories, and we’ll post the best ones here.

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