Archive for the ‘Microsoft Live’ Category

Ironic? Microsoft Cashback Buying Ads in Google

March 6, 2009

I was reading Greg Sterling’s report in Search Engine Land about Microsoft’s Cashback search promotion being added to the MSN Toolbar.

After completing the article I scrolled to the bottom of the page where I noticed two Google Adsense ads.

Google’s distributed advertising on web publishers sites is called Google Adsense.

Adsense analyzes content on web pages where it places ads and since this article was about Microsoft and Cashback – Google searched and found within its ad inventory the most relevant advertiser ads.

Microsoft Cashback Google Adwords Ads

Microsoft Cashback Google Adwords Ads

Somewhat surprisingly, the first ad titled “Rebate” Search that Pays You Back. Search Now and Save! is an advertisement from none other than Microsoft itself for their Cashback program.

Clicking through takes readers to the Cashback Live Search page.

Cashback Live Search

Cashback Live Search

Microsoft’s advertising on Google’s publishing partner sites isn’t too unusual.

It does seem a bit ironic to me however that Microsoft is also advertising their Cashback search product on Google.

Google Search Cashback

Google Search Cashback

Do competing media networks advertise their television products on networks other than their own?

I guess the search business hasn’t yet considered what implications there may be – if any –  by allowing competitors to advertise their business on each others respective search networks.

Trackstick Personal GPS Tracker

February 29, 2008

I bought a Trackstick II Personal GPS Tracker today to try out over spring break.

Trackstick Personal GPS Tracker

Tracksticks are tiny GPS location recorders capable of continuously logging their own location histories for extended periods of time.

The Trackstick records its own location, time, date, speed, heading and altitude at preset intervals from anywhere on Planet Earth. I can set the record time intervals to once every 5 seconds or from once every minute to once every 15 minutes.

It includes a GPX photo stamping feature for adding my favorite photos to my own maps too.

I can view my travels in Google Earth, Google Maps and Microsoft Live.

I am going to see if and how well it works in the “user-created content” section of Google Maps.

Amazing.

Microsoft & Yahoo Vs. Google: The Battle for Local Audience and Mobile Keystrokes

February 9, 2008

Let’s look at two areas where search will play a role in winning new audience and their keystrokes: Local and Mobile search.

Here are how Microsoft, Yahoo and Google web property’s search are performing today.

Its been reported nearly 50% of searches are local in nature. Let’s see how Microsoft’s Live handles a local brand search for Verizon Wireless in New York, NY.

Live is able to locate Verizon Wireless stores in New York and provides five viewing options: Road, Aerial, Hybrid, Bird’s Eye and Traffic. Are their results relevant? Yes. Could we make our way to Verizon Wireless store or reach them by phone with the information Live provides? Yes.

With the Bird’s Eye view we may even be able to see what our destination looks like. Pretty cool.

Microsoft (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Road Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Road

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Aerial Map
Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Aerial

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Hybrid Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Hybrid

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Bird’s Eye Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Bird’s Eye

Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Traffic Map

Microsoft Verizon Wireless NY Traffic

How does Live perform outside the United States? A search for HSBC in London yields similar results. This particular brand search result is for a location near Trafalgar Square. If you aren’t going to be able to stop by a bank branch in London today, you can still take in the sights.

Microsoft (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Microsoft HSBC London UK Bird’s Eye Map

Microsoft HSBC London Bird’s Eye

Now let’s try the same searches in Yahoo. Yahoo offers similar results. The look and feel isn’t too much different from those we received from Microsoft.

Initially though, I had difficulty locating the results I was hoping to find. Eventually I did find them – must have been my error.

Our options for connecting with one of the stores include: Getting directions, Save for later, Send to phone and Write a review.

Yahoo (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless, New York, NY

Yahoo Verizon Wireless NY “Find a Business”

Yahoo Verizon Wireless Find A Business

Yahoo Verizon Wireless New York

Yahoo Verizon Wireless New York

I can get the same type of UK map results from Yahoo however; I have to pull Yahoo’s UK web property up to get London results whereas with Microsoft I was able to get results from their US site.

Yahoo (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Yahoo HSBC UK Brand US Search

Yahoo HSBC UK US Search

Yahoo HSBC UK London UK Search

Yahoo (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England

Now, let’s run searches for the same terms in Google. Like Microsoft, Google returns five types of views albeit under different button terms: Map, Street, Traffic, Satellite and Terrain Views.

The look and feel of Google’s views seem more visually pleasing than both the Microsoft and Yahoo products, however my appraisal is subjective.

Microsoft’s search and map features seem to be evenly matched with Googles’ and beyond those of Yahoo’s. Microsoft’s “Bird’s Eye” view does appear to ahead of its counterpart – Google’s satellite view.

Google (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY

Google Verizon Wireless NY Map View

Google Verizon Wireless Map View

Google Verizon Wireless NY Street View

Verizon Street View

Google Verizon Wireless Traffic View

Google Verizon NY Traffic View

Google Verizon Wireless NY Satellite View

Google Verizon Wireless Satellite View

Google Verizon Wireless Terrain View

Google Verizon NY Terrain View

Google offers only three viewing options in the UK at this time compared to Microsoft’s five, yet I can fetch the results from Google’s US property unlike with Yahoo.

Google (UK) Brand Search: HSBC, London England

Google US HSBC Brand Search London UK Map View

Google (UK) Brand Search: HSBC, London England

Overall Microsoft, Google and Yahoo each offer their version of both business and brand rich search results.

From what I can tell, businesses and brands have yet to scratch the surface so to speak when it comes to reaching their potential customers in this new geographically rich and fertile target marketing environment.

Mobile Search and Reverse Business Telephone Number Lookup, a Visual 411

February 8, 2008

As local information requests are being keyed in from mobile devices, 411 and driving directions are becoming more visually rich and available via search.

Case in point: The business telephone number reverse lookup.

How does Microsoft’s Live render a reverse lookup for Microsoft’s own telephone number? Microsoft delivers the correct result along with the five previously mentioned view options: Road, Aerial, Hybrid, Bird’s Eye and Traffic. The map view does however default to Chicago, IL even though Microsoft is located in Bellevue, WA.

I can find the Microsoft campus on the map after scrolling over a couple thousand miles. I ran several more queries with each defaulting to the same Chicago starting point. I am not logged into a Microsoft account so I wouldn’t think it was based on my computers cookies or IP address which by the way is still several hundred miles south.

Evidently, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google all seem to generate their map results based on your past location specific searches.

Microsoft’s reverse lookup offers: 1 Click Directions, Add to collection, Send to Email, Mobile and GPS and Reviews. The send to GPS requires MSN Direct compatible navigation systems.

Reverse Business Lookup– 425-882-8080 Microsoft

Microsoft 425-882-8080

Microsoft 425-882-8080

A reverse lookup for Yahoo’s telephone number in Yahoo produces two results both of which are Yahoo locations. The map provides the same functionality found in their standard searches: Get Directions, Save for later, Send to phone and Write a review. If a web address is associated with the location it will be displayed too.

Reverse Business Lookup– 408-349-3300 Yahoo

Yahoo 408-349-3300

Yahoo 408-349-3300

A search for Google’s telephone number yields the same five view options: Map, Street, Traffic, Satellite and Terrain Views as with the brand or business category search before. Additionally, Google provides a dialogue box with more options.

Searchers options are: Get directions, Search nearby, Street view, Save to My Maps, Send to phone and Edit. More information about the business and reviews are also one click away.

With “Search nearby” a searcher can locate additional businesses and services like finding Chinese takeout from their hotel.

Where Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye view appears to have bested Google’s satellite view, Google’s “street view” takes visualization to the next level.

With Google’s street view, Google provides eye level images of locations. It’s not available in every area yet. Coordination with volunteer picture geotagging projects may eventually speed the population of their street level image file.

Google’s new Edit feature lets anybody correct the location of a business. It also prompts business owners to “claim” their business in Google’s Local Business Center. These two options should eventually help them improve their data.

Reverse Business Lookup – 650-253-0000 Google

Google 650-253-0000

Google 650-253-0000

Google Street View

Google Street View

Edit Map Feature

Reverse Lookup Edit

By pushing more information out to users third screen (mobiles), Google, Microsoft and Yahoo regardless of their corporate status, have greater potential to attract ever-larger audiences and their keystrokes – a situation where all consumers ultimately win.


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