For a supposed technology company, Microsoft sure fails to compete technologically when it comes to search. Instead of actually building a better search engine, they’re bribing newspapers in a feeble attempt to hurt a rival search engine. [Read more…]
Unable to compete with Google in terms of search quality, Microsoft Bing continues to try and buy its way into the search game. On the user side, they’ve got their Cashback program. Now, on the publisher side, they’re offering newspapers “premium placement” in their search results, in exchange for blocking Google with a proprietary extension to the robots.txt protocol (whose development will also be funded by Microsoft).
This is cross-industry anticompetitive collusion at its finest. Instead of revolutionizing the media landscape with better search, Bing seeks to prop up dying old media through biased search. Amazing how Microsoft is willing to break their own search engine just to satisfy their vendetta against Google.
Wonder how the Bing development team feels about this. All their efforts to create a better search product are now being tossed aside to give dead tree media a handjob.
The question now is this: will people fall for Bing’s broken biased search, or will they continue to google what really matters to them in an ocean of infinite media choice?
Think it’s okay to run a sluggish site? Think again. In a recent interview, Google’s Matt Cutts says page speed may become a factor in Google search rankings come 2010.
“Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast,” says Cutts. “It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.”
It’s about time, really. Between the constant improvement of content management systems and the falling prices of content delivery networks, I’m sick of n00b webmasters forcing me to endure half-minute pageloads. If Google search results can give me the information I need in less time, then I’m all for site speed factoring into rankings.
The future of media driven by search. Unfortunately, old folks grew up in a time when “search” meant walking down to the local newsstand and browsing for dead trees to buy. To them, finding stuff on Google is “stealing“. That’s why News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch plans to block Google from indexing his media conglomerate’s newspaper content, in an effort to put it all behind a paywall. [Read more…]
As early as nineties, people were already playing music from their browsers instead of traditional media players. Despite its eventual fall from popularity, I brought a client to the top of her local pop charts on MP3.com. Despite its current stagnation as Yahoo Music, I have fond memories of listening to Launch.com at work.
Between services like Imeem and Pandora and Last.fm, music has been going the way of almost every other computing application: to the cloud. Google, of course, wants to be your gateway to the everything in the cloud. That’s why they’ve introduced Google Music Search.
Google’s approach to music stands in stark contrast to their approach to video. With video, they bought the world’s number one video destination site, then used it as a testbed for video search, recommendation, and monetization across the Web. With music, they’re skipping the testbed phase entirely. Given the litigious nature of the RIAA, the relative simplicity of music compared to video, and the preponderance of major music destination sites, perhaps that’s the best approach: let partner sites worry about rights clearing. That way, Google can focus on what it does best: search.
In the meantime, let’s hope Google works its algorithmic magic to take this feature to awesome extremes. Right now, I’m imagining song recommendations, genre searches, and predictive playlists. Now that would rock.
The kids have gone back to school and Apple has made its annual iPod/iTunes announcement, so perhaps that will explain why Google is making a bit of a thing about the marginal increase in the size of its search box.
On Safari on a Mac I can’t see any difference, so either it hasn’t rolled out yet or it’s something that only Chrome users can see.
In any case, if I want to make the search box bigger I just press Cmd and +. In fact, that works in a lot of places in Mac OS X and I don’t really need other people making themselves look bigger by default. [Read more…]