Bing! Steals The Silver From Yahoo!

Bing Logo White 300x231 Bing! Steals The Silver From Yahoo!Truth be told Bing! already defeated Yahoo! last year as Microsoft now power’s Yahoo!’s search engine (at least in the US).

However as far as global domination goes, it looks like Bing! just stole the silver from Yahoo! (at least according to one stat company).

Its research arm StatCounter Global Stats finds that globally Bing reached 4.37% in February ahead of Yahoo! at 3.93%. Both trail far behind Google’s 89.94% of the global search engine market.

In the United States Yahoo! at 9.74% still retains its lead over Bing at 9.03%. Google’s share in the US is 79.63%. In July 2009 Microsoft announced an agreement whereby Bing would power the Yahoo! search technology. This has been implemented in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. (StatCounter Global Stats).

Microsoft has made some impressive strides in their attempt to steal the gold from Google, including partnering with Facebook as well as launching some humorous commercials on TV to raise awareness of Microsoft’s “decision engine.”

While it’s only a matter of time before more searches in the US are done through Bing.com than Yahoo.com, Microsoft has a long ways to go before they can catch up to Google in the US (as well as globally as well).

Facebook, Bing! Making Social Search A Reality?

facebookbingsearch e1298592705617 490x173 Facebook, Bing! Making Social Search A Reality?

Instead of mimicking Google’s insta-search (which would probably be a huge engineering challenge in of itself), Microsoft has decided to “out Google” Google by leverage the one asset the search giant has been unable to obtain.

A few months ago, we announced an exciting partnership with Facebook to make search more social. As part of that work, we introduced Liked Results, which promotes links your friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Today we are extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by our algorithmic search results to all users in the US.

If your friends have publicly liked or shared any of the algorithmic search results shown on Bing, we will now surface them right below the result. (Bing! Community Blog)

Combined with the partnership with Twitter, Bing! is as close to a social search engine as we will probably see in the next few years (provided Facebook doesn’t launch their own competing engine).

Unfortunately once again this is only available for American users, although hopefully the company will consider expanding this feature to the rest of the planet as Facebook’s user base extends beyond the shores of the US.

While their rival Google can rely upon its superior resources (not to mention tapping into Twitter as well), the search giant’s lack of a decent social graph could prove to be a major hurdle down the road as users rely more upon social friends than sophisticated machines to filter their search queries.

(hat tip: Mashable)

Is Bing Really Copying Google?

googlebingsimilar Is Bing Really Copying Google?Apparently assimilating Yahoo! and embracing a more social search wasn’t enough for Bing! to compete against the search engine giant as Google has provided “evidence” that Bing! is copying their search results.

In order to verify their suspicions, Google created 100 synthetic queries (all containing made up gibberish) in order to prove whether or not Microsoft was indeed copying their search query.

We gave 20 of our engineers laptops with a fresh install of Microsoft Windows running Internet Explorer 8 with Bing Toolbar installed. As part of the install process, we opted in to the “Suggested Sites” feature of IE8, and we accepted the default options for the Bing Toolbar.

We asked these engineers to enter the synthetic queries into the search box on the Google home page, and click on the results, i.e., the results we inserted. We were surprised that within a couple weeks of starting this experiment, our inserted results started appearing in Bing. (Official Google Blog)

According to Search Engine Land, Bing! readily admitted that they were using data from the Bing! Toolbar although Microsoft did not seem to show any remorse for using the information as a way to improve their search engine (which probably means that this practice will continue).

While I personally could not verify whether Bing! was indeed copying their rival (in fact I ironically found Bing!’s search queries to be worse than Google’s), this new revelation doesn’t help improve Bing!’s image overall which may convince consumers to stick with Google out of sympathy.

Google has not indicated whether or not they will sue Microsoft regarding this issue, however if left unchallenged Bing! will be able to catch up to Google (quality wise) which could threaten search engine giant’s dominance (not to mention their future revenues as well).

Should Bing! Buy SnapShots? (Microsoft)

Dear Bing!, we have a problem. Despite the fact that you were able to assimilate Yahoo! search (without having to buy the whole company), you are still falling behind your number one nemesis, Google.

Not only has Google come out with Instant Search, but now they are already rolling out their preview feature to the masses.

Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview. (Official Google Blog)

Although Microsoft could simply hire a few extra engineers to create the same exact thing upon Bing!, it might be a better idea to acquire a startup by the name of Snap Shots instead. [Read more...]

Can Bing! Save Firefox?

Bing Logo White 150x150 Can Bing! Save Firefox?Unless you live outside of the geek-o-sphere, you probably did not realize that Mozilla recently added Bing! as a search option to Firefox.

Today Bing and Firefox announced that Bing will be included as one of the search engine choices within Firefox on both the Mac and PC.

We’re very excited to be included in the search engine choices in the upcoming version of Firefox.  Having Bing in the “out of the box” list makes it easier than ever for the Firefox community to experience the benefits of Bing.

We expect the Bing option to show up in an upcoming build of Firefox 4. (Bing! Community Blog) [Read more...]

Bing Creeps Me Out With Twitter Recommendations

bingtwittersuggest e1285015214427 Bing Creeps Me Out With Twitter RecommendationsAfter being thrashed by Google’s Instant search, it looks like Microsoft has come up with a new strategry in order to subplant the search engine king.

With Twitter growing to more than 145 million accounts, finding interesting people to follow can be difficult. People Recommendation on Bing Social helps you discover interesting and relevant Twitter users based on your searches. Whether someone is “Influential” and helping shape the conversation or “Popular” like a celebrity, the new Twitter User Recommendation feature helps to identify Twitterers related to your query. (Bing Community Blog)

Excluding the fact that Twitter already has a similar feature on Twitter.com, Bing’s tweet recommendation feature could help Microsoft challenge Google for search supremacy (the latter who owns the web).

A few users however may not enjoy have Bing! play tweet match maker based on search queries (as it does sound kinda creepy to have a search engine company “know” your tweet preferences).

Bing! has not indicated whether they will port this feature upon Yahoo! (which they recently assimilated), although as of right now there is no word on if they will include Facebook in the near future (which would give Bing! one leg up over its Google foe).

Bing! Hearts Android (Sort Of)

bingandroid 180x300 Bing! Hearts Android (Sort Of)After making its debut upon the iPhone, it looks like Bing! is expanding its mobile presence by (finally) embracing Android.

However it looks as if Bing! embrace of Android is half hearted.

Today we are happy to announce the first official Bing for Mobile Android App available to Verizon customers.  You can now download the free Bing App from your Verizon Wireless Android phones’ Marketplace.

The app homepage features the Bing image of the day, complete with clickable hotspots that you can explore and discover related trivia (Bing Community Blog)

Note: Emphasis mine.

While Bing!’s embrace of Android should help Microsoft steal some mobile momentum away from Google, truth be told launching the app only upon one carrier is baffling.

Although Bing! is still available for Americans only, Android has (more or less) been embraced by all US carriers, even AT&T (who also carriers the iPhone).

While we will probably see Bing! eventually be ported to other carriers (thanks in part to the numerous hackers available), Microsoft may want to rethink its approach at handicapping its own mobile search engine, especially if they want to dethrone Google as the king of mobile search.

Yahoo! Welcomes Its Bing! Overlords (Search)

bingyahoo 490x160 Yahoo! Welcomes Its Bing! Overlords (Search)

After previously announcing plans to assimilate Google’s former rival, Bing! has confirmed that they are now powering Yahoo! search, ushering a new age of search duopoly for all.

Today I am happy to share that Bing is powering Yahoo!’s search results in the US and Canada (English only for now, the other languages will come in the weeks and months ahead).

So what’s next?  We continue to work hard on the migration to adCenter, and are optimistic about completing this phase later this fall.  As we have said all along, our primary goal is to provide advertisers with a quality transition experience in 2010, while being mindful of the holiday season. (Bing Community Blog)

While taking over Yahoo! will help benefit Bing! (who is trailing Google badly, especially in the mobile search department), users will now be forced to choose between two search engines backed by two powerful companies.

Although Bing! is overjoyed about its new conquest, Yahoo! seems to be ashamed at forfeiting its number 2 position as evidenced by the “powered by Bing” text at the bottom of the screen.

With Yahoo! losing its search soul in the US and Japan, it looks as if one of the mightiest tech companies known to the geek-kind is slowly fading away into irrelevancy (despite the companies awesome portfolio).

Is Bing Really Powering Facebook Places?

googlemapsfacebookplaces 200x300 Is Bing Really Powering Facebook Places?Now that Facebook Places has finished rolling out to the masses (that is if you reside within the US), users are now able to “check in” and checkout where their friends are hanging out throughout the day.

However to my surprise, instead of seeing Bing powering Facebook Places, iPhone users are instead seeing Google Maps dominating the scene.

Bing however was able to provide an explanation as why iLovers were seeing their rival instead of them.

Chris Pendleton of the Bing Maps team offers this explanation: “Bing Maps is the map provider for Facebook Places on Facebook.com. Facebook is using the native Apple iPhone map kit within the SDK which fetches Google Maps for check-ins. Note, this is an Apple API that proxies to Google Maps and not a Google Maps API.” (via TechFlash Mobile)

Since Google Maps is the default maps program for the iPhone, Facebook had no choice but to utilize their frenemy’s application, despite their partnership with Bing.

While users can check in via Facebook’s web app, most users will probably use the native iPhone app instead, which (to Bing’s displeasure) will help push Google Map’s mobile numbers even higher.

Although a future iPhone SDK could change all of this, for now it looks like the Google has once again secured victory, this time against 3 of their biggest rivals (Facebook, Apple and Microsoft).

Is Bing Crippling Facebook Places?

bingfacebooklocations 200x300 Is Bing Crippling Facebook Places?As every iLover knows, Facebook recently added Facebook Places to their iPhone. However instead of choosing to partner with their frenemy Google, Facebook instead is allowing Bing to power its location feature.

And, while location-based services like this are certainly interesting to me I’m writing this for you because Facebook is using Bing Maps to pinpoint everyone’s location-based experiences on Facebook.com. [...]

Select the Places button, find the location where you are and check-in. Just like that, the check-in will flow to your profile on Facebook.com complete with a Bing Map, a pin of your location and any commentary you’ve added to your check-in. Places also includes the ability to see where your friends have checked in, a link to get directions to a place (via Bing Maps) and a Like button for the respective place page. (Bing Community Blog)

While it’s no surprise Facebook chose Bing over Google (due to the latter’s upcoming social network), doing so may have handicapped the service as Bing via iPhone is only available for users within the US, despite the fact that Facebook has a large international audience.

Unless Bing plans on expanding their mobile feature beyond the US borders soon, Facebook’s places will probably fail to be as powerful as Twitter Places (the latter which choose Google Maps for their service).

Although Facebook places has the potential of making location statuses popular among the masses on a scale yet to be seen by any social network, its America only limitation may keep Facebook from being adopted globally (which may benefit rivals like Twitter and the upcoming Google Me).