Archive for the ‘Bing’ Category

Is Microsoft Launching a Rival to Google+?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 |

Microsoft’s PR department has been working overtime thanks to the recent discovery of a “social search” project discovered on a Microsoft-owned domain. The new search engine, titled “Tulalip” on the teaser landing pages, was discovered shortly after the launch of Google’s new social network, Google+.

Though Microsoft claims the leaked site is nothing more than an “internal design project,” media sources all over the Web are asking one question: is Microsoft launching a rival to Google+?

Microsoft Turns Out to Be Mystery Owner of “Socl.com” Domain

microsoft-plus-one

While researching the recent sale of the domain name “Social.com,” a Fusible.com reporter made another discovery: “socl.com” was also sold on behalf of an unknown client. That unknown client? None other than Microsoft.

Later, reporters discovered a teaser landing page on Socl.com. The landing page read, “Welcome! With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever” (prior capitalization left intact). The site appeared to be a social media addition to Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. The landing page offered log-in buttons for both Twitter and Facebook.

The landing page also held a variety of non-working links that included a link to a “See how it works” demo as well as the project’s terms and conditions. The Twitter sign-in link did function and revealed that if authorized, the Tulalip app would be able to:

  • See the tweets on a user’s timeline,
  • Post tweets,
  • Update the user’s profile,
  • See the user’s followers and
  • Follow new people.

Microsoft’s Response

The Tulalip landing page was ripped from the web shortly thereafter. A message on Socl.com now reads:

Thanks for stopping by.

Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly pulished to the web.

We didn’t mean to, honest.

The Punches Kept Coming

Just north of Microsoft headquarters, there’s a Native American reservation with a familiar name: the Tulalip tribes. Upon hearing the news of Microsoft’s impending search engine of the same name, the tribes wasn’t exactly flattered. The Tulalip name is a trademark of the tribe, which operates a successful casino under the trademark. ”We just don’t want anyone using it in a bad way. It’s our name,” a tribe member told a local news station. Microsoft met with the tribe to explain that the name was strictly intended to be an internal code name and would not be used publicly.

What’s the Future for Socl.com?

Most agree that it doesn’t look like Microsoft is crafting an entire new social network, especially given Microsoft and Facebook’s partnership. Instead, the Tulalip project will probably be more of a social-infused search. Some sources are predicting that Microsoft is trying to beat Google to the social search game since G+ hasn’t been combined with standard Google searches yet.

So what could be the future for Socl.com? Would all Bing + Socl searches include your friends, families, and colleagues’ interests? For example, if a freelancer “likes” a copywriting blog or a content writing services company on Facebook, would that freelancer’s Twitter followers see those results first in a Bing search for “writing?” If your niece tweeted a link to an upcoming photography exhibit, would that exhibit be highlighted in a local “things to do” search?

New network? Bing supplement? Mere “internal design project?” Whatever the Tulalip project may be, it’s clear that the Bing vs. Google battle is far from over.

Image Source: Ronada via Flickr

Optimization of Search Engine Results in Bing

Thursday, June 11th, 2009 |

I’ve played around with Bing over the last few days to see what it offers. Most of my evaluation has been of the results page from the user’s point of view.

  • Are the results I’m getting relevant?
  • How would I use the tools on the left side (“refined” results, Related Searches, Search History, etc)?
  • How would I pick which result to click on?

As an SEO company, we know it’s important that the client’s site ranks well and that search engine users click through (more traffic + more sales = more revenue which makes our clients happy). Users only have a few pieces of information to help them decide what site to visit when they’re looking at a results page: the title (that is also the link to the page), a short description, and the URL of the page.

From what I’ve seen of the results in Bing so far, it looks like the results page is pulling the title tag and meta description, which is pretty standard. However, they’ve added a little something extra to help users decide if this is the site they want before they click. When you hover over a search result, a horizontal line with an orange dot appears on the right. Mouse over the dot and a Preview window opens. In that Preview there is copy from the page, maybe a phone number and/or email address for the site, and sometimes even 5 deep links. So where is this information coming from?

It looks as if Bing is pulling the first content on the page and the first links. This isn’t so great if you’ve put a tag line at the top or Global navigation above your more-customer friendly links. Here I did a search for “diamond engagement rings” and found MySolitaire as the #3 result. The Preview included the first content on the page (double bonus, it also contained the terms “diamond”, “engagement”, and “rings”) and the first links.

diamond-header-page

But wait, there’s more to it. A search on “Lucero CDs” gives us Amazon as the #7 result. But its Preview copy is not what appears at the top of the page (and the code). Instead, the Preview pulls information father down; it is actually a customer review.

amazon-results

In this case it looks like Bing is pulling the first “unique” content on the page since many of Amazon’s pages share the same information at the top.  And the content it pulled did not contain “Lucero” or “CDs”.  In a few other results for different searches, it seems they are pulling content near the top but not what I would’ve guessed. So it seems like  Bing is looking for copy that:

  • Is near the top of the page
  • Is unique
  • Has the keywords in it (which is like when there is no meta description and the SE pulls content from the page, that includes the keywords, for the description of the listing on the results page)

Bing is so new that I’m not suggesting your run out and change the key pages of your website to maximize what could be in the Preview window. But, if you are thinking about site optimization for Bing’s result, you might want to consider what content and links are at the top of your page and the copy around your prominent keywords for the page.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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