Microsoft’s Latest Google Attack

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Microsoft’s Latest Google Attack

Microsoft is putting its billions where its mouth it. It wants to be a serious competitor to Google and it realizes advertising is the best way to get people to try its new Live search service. On the Fox News site they have purchased oodles of contextual keywords in at least the science area. When you hover over the keywords, ads come up allowing you to search on Windows Live at www.live.com. You may search for images, web, Q and A, or maps.
 
My take? Perhaps the only way to gain traction in search – with Google so far ahead in mind share -- is to make people think about searching while they are reading content online. The giant of Redmond has chosen to advertise on virtually every keyword you can think of such as Africa, Mexico, science, etc.
 
I haven’t tested Windows Live in a while so I decided to search on numerous terms. As I was testing – at some point I started to put searches in the Google toolbar without realizing it. I then continued to search on Google for a while. At some point I marveled at how close these two search sites were to one another. I then realized I was on Google and not live.com
 
There are a few points here. The first is Google is so closely connected to search in my mind that it is tough for me to even demo another search engine. The second is that Microsoft has done a good job of copying the Google interface while keeping it a bit different. The interface is certainly better than Yahoo!’s search.
 
In the spaces I tested, Google still does a much better job as they rank important sites higher. It is almost as if Microsoft doesn’t take the number of referring links into account when displaying results.
 
I still think Windows Live has a long way to go but I think the advertising model makes great sense and can build tons of traffic. To get the maximum number of people to return though the algorithm needs to weigh referring links more heavily.


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