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Monday, 17 March 2008

China's Alternatives To Banning YouTube

Instead of just banning YouTube and keyword-filtering on Google News, the Great Firewall Of China could have been a bit more creative with the way they handled their problems with Tibet.

Chinese users trying to access YouTube, the Yahoo! home page and even the UK Guardian just see a blank page. When they search Google News for anything related to Tibet, they also see a blank page.

Instead, when people searched for Tibet, the government of China could have delivered:
  • A Google page saying "Did you mean China?"
Or, when someone searched for Tibet, they could have delivered a Google page saying:
  • No such country found!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Live Search Users 3 Times More Interested In Sponsored Links

According to the latest post on the Microsoft adCenter Blog searchers on Live Search are 3 times more likely to look at the sponsored listings first than those using Google.

Additionaly, they have published a chart (shown below), based on research done in partnership with Nielsen NetRatings, which shows that searchers on Live Search are significantly more likely than those on other search engines to regard a website more favourably if it appears in the sponsored listings.



Microsoft users might trust sponsored results more than Google users do, but this is probably more due to the type of users that visit each of the search engines rather than better quality or trustworthiness of one over the other.

Microsoft Live search users tend not to be as sophisticated. They tend to be older people and non-tech savvy users who use the default settings on their PC rather than using Google, which is widely recognised as being technically superior, by those in the know.

These same people also probably do not even realise the difference between Sponsored Links on Live Search and their organic results, and therefore just trust whatever they see right at the top of the search resuts pages.

Yahoo! Search Marketing Changes Reserve Prices

Yahoo! Search Marketing announced yesterday that minimum bids will no longer be fixed at $.10 for Sponsored Search.

Google removed their limits ages ago. Yet Yahoo! did nothing.

Yahoo! launched their new Panama system after Google had removed their limits, and yet they didn't think to eliminate their reserve minimums at that time either.

Now when they have almost no market share to speak of, and everyone's moved on, they go and make this lame announcement. Why do they even bother?