Exactly a month ago today, Scour, the new meta search engine went live. It continues to soar and score high points from its users unlike Cuil, the other search engine who took the blogosphere by storm and promised a bunch of things and failed to deliver. That just shows that just because the brains behind the site are ex-Google honchos doesn’t mean they can compete with the god of search herself, Google- head on.
Scour on the other hand, didn’t promise anything. As stated on their About page, its mission is simple: “to bridge the gap between searchers and relevant results… to provide users with the most relevant results available by providing a platform for searchers to vote on relevancy, share their feedback and connect with one another creating a true social search community.”
That’s more like it. Unimposing. They didn’t do much talking and allowed its users handle the raving. We waited before the initial launch publicity is over before jumping on the train. We registered as member today to test it and we are very impressed!
According to the latest Nielsen online report released in May 19, 2008, Google is the top search provider in the United States garnering a whooping 62% share of all search queries made in April 2008. Yahoo! Search came in second with a mere 17.5% while MSN/Windows Live Search has a lousy 9.7% .
To represent the huge difference in numbers, it means that Google easily handled roughly 5.1 billion searches in the United States in April alone while Yahoo! Search had only about 1.4 billion and MSN Search, about 796 million.
Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior. The Nielsen Company is the leading internet media and market research company in the world.
Checked your website lately? How easy is it to navigate? Are your readers often confused what your site is all about? Are you marketing something? What? Is it using too many flash or too many colors? Are you using too many fonts within a page? Too many unnecessary links? Perhaps it is time for a clean up!
Yahoo, Inc. submitted a patent pointing out that search engines may soon be looking at our web page design for consideration in Search rankings. The patent is a method with guidelines determining a usability of a web page.
“It can be important to make web pages easy and pleasing to use, which can be particularly important for web pages it is desired to monetize. This may include, for example, advertisement-containing web pages (of a so-called “web portal,” for example), for which an advertiser pays money when a user views the web page and activates a link of the advertisement. If such web pages are not easy and pleasing to use, the money-making potential of those web pages can be jeopardized. One conventional indication of whether a web page is easy and pleasing to use is called “clutter,” Yahoo further explains on the patent application.
Structural Characteristics of a web page
Here are 51 factors detailed on the patent that search engines may look into for usability of a web page:
* Total number of links
* Total number of words
* Total number of images (non-ad images)
* Image area above the fold (non-ad images)
* Dimensions of page
* Page area (total)
* Page length
* Total number of tables
* Maximum table columns (per table)
* Maximum table rows (per table)
* Total rows
* Total columns
* Total cells
* Average cell padding (per table)
* Average cell spacing (per table)
* Dimensions of fold
* Fold area
* Location of center of fold relative to center of page
* Total number of font sizes used for links
* Total number of font sizes used for headings
* Total number of font sizes used for body text
* Total number of font sizes
* Presence of “tiny” text
* Total number of colors (excluding ads)
* Alignment of page elements
* Average page luminosity
* Fixed vs. relative page width
* Page weight (proxy for load time)
* Total number of ads
* Total ad area
* Area of individual ads
* Area of largest ad above the fold
* Largest ad area
* Total area of ads above the fold
* Page space allocated to ads
* Total number of external ads above the fold
* Total number of external ads below the fold
* Total number of external ads
* Total number of internal ads above the fold
* Total number of internal ads below the fold
* Total number of internal ads
* Number of sponsored link ads above the fold
* Number of sponsored link ads below the fold
* Total number of sponsored link ads
* Number of image ads above the fold
* Number of image ads below the fold
* Total number of image ads
* Number of text ads above the fold
* Number of text ads below the fold
* Total number of text ads
* Position of ads on page
On February 1st, software giant Microsoft Corp. proposed in marriage to Yahoo! in a highly publicized press release that had people’s opinion online and offline divided. It seems like a match made in heaven and seen as a strong force that will eventually compete with Google Inc. head to head, if not weaken the latter. On the other hand, it is seen as an evil plan to monopolize the internet industry.
Google or Microsoft?
Depending on which side you’re on, Google Inc. or Microsoft- you’re bound to love or hate the whole deal! We say, let there be a merger if only to level the playing field in the internet where Google Inc. is obviously the runaway winner especially on Search and online advertising.
Yahoo! is playing hard to get. That is understandable. It wants to remain independent but for how long could it keep up with Google? Microsoft won’t hear of it as it aggressively pursues its unsolicited bid and even threatens a hostile takeover.
The news yesterday says that it will authorize a proxy fight for Yahoo! which means that if it pushes through, Microsoft “would nominate a slate of directors to take control of Yahoo’s board and support the company’s proposal. The nominees would be voted on at Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting in June.”
Let’s play name that company! If Microsoft marries Yahoo, what will be its new name? Microsoft-Yahoo! MSN-Yahoo? Microhoo? MicYahoo!? Yahoo Live!? Hoosoft? MiYahoo? MicroYahoo? Hoomail? Micromail? SoftYa! Got beter suggestions?