iPhone 5 Won’t Change Mobile Search, But Can Nokia?

With the launch of the iPhone 5, perhaps the most eagerly awaited electronics launch ever, speculation has been rampant on the impact it'll have on the mobile phone market, on Apple's future as an innovator post-Steve Jobs, and on the coolness of the next gadget to get dropped into your pocket. But from a mobile search perspective, iPhone 5 is pretty much more of the same. A more effective version of Siri will be standard in the new phone's iOS 6 - but that was a game changer from the iPhone 4s. iPhone 5 has certainly caused a sales storm, pushing more smartphones into more pockets. B [...]

Confirmed: Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablets To Use Bing As Default Search Engine

bing logo Ubergizmo is reporting that Bing (not Google) will be the default search engine for the Amazon browser on the new Kindle tablets.  (We were able to confirm this with Microsoft directly earlier this evening.) The original Kindle Fire used Google. Amazon is likely to sell several million of these new devices given their aggressive pricing (partly subsidized by ads). If so, that could provide a boost to Bing, especially in a mobile/quasi-mobile context. There are several alternative browsers currently available for Kindle Fire/HD including Opera, Maxthon and Dolphin. I would anticipate tha [...]

Bing Completes “Global Ortho” High Resolution Imagery Project For Continental US

Screen Shot 2012-08-30 at 9.13.51 AM Back when Bing Maps was called Microsoft Virtual Earth (2006) the company bought Vexcel, a US Defense Department contractor that specialized in high resolution aerial photography and automated 3D image rendering. That acquisition became the basis of Bing Maps' subsequent ambitious aerial imagery and 3D mapping efforts. Microsoft then improved upon the camera that Vexcel had developed. In 2010 Microsoft embarked on what it calls its Global Ortho (GO) project. For the past two years Bing has been "collecting every square inch of the Continental United States and Western Europe at 30cm resolut [...]

Bing Previews Rich Search Experience For Windows 8

Windows 8 is almost ready to hit the market. When it does it appears that it will deliver a new more "immersive" search experience, via Bing. In the video at the bottom of this page, Microsoft's Stefan Weitz demonstrates that new experience on a Microsoft Windows 8 tablet (presumably a Surface device). Windows 8 Bing appears to be very fast and it's highly visual, one of the most appealing aspects of the Bing experience. From my vicarious perusal of the materials the most compelling new feature appears to be what Microsoft/Bing is calling "snap." Initially, search results appear in a gri [...]

Microsoft Hires Hillary Clinton’s Former Campaign Chief Mark Penn For Bing Strategy Role

[caption id="attachment_128353" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Credit: MarkPenn.com"][/caption] By all accounts Microsoft is struggling. It's true that Bing is growing, but only slightly, while partner Yahoo continues to lose search share (to Bing) keeping the "Search Alliance" in the doldrums. Microsoft also recently took $6+ billion write-down on its 2007 aQuantive acquisition, resulting in a loss for its most recent fiscal quarter. Its core Office and Windows franchises are still healthy but their future is cloudy as PC sales continue to slow. Microsoft's Windows Phones and m [...]

Switchboard Tags: Like Canonical Tags, But For Mobile SEO

When Google published their new guidelines for mobile SEO, the item that made headlines was their declaration of responsive design as the preferred option. Last month, I covered the basics on how responsive design works and how to optimize it. But the second option Google discussed got lost in the headlines: increased support for purpose-built mobile sites located on m-dot subdomains (e.g. m.brand.com. ) This type of site had previously been flagged by Google’s Matt Cutts as being the favorite from a usability standpoint. While Google now favors responsive sites, their support for m-do [...]

Confirmed: Bing 411 Closing June 1st

Microsoft is closing down their toll-free voice search program named Bing 411. I have confirmed the Bing 411 service is closing by calling the service and hearing immediately the message: Bing 411: On June 1st, we are discontinuing the Bing 411 service. There were reports of this via LiveSide where they said they "received a tip" on this news. But this is indeed happening and Bing is closing down their 411 service. Google shut down their GOOG-411 service back in 2010. Bing kept theirs live hoping to fill that void, but clearly with the rise of smartphones and voice search embedde [...]

Analyst: Mobile To Overtake PC For Local Search By 2015

Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey has projected that by 2015 there will be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs  in the US. It's a bold prediction and one that has logical merit: smartphone search volumes are growing faster than search on the PC. While local search is at least 20 percent of total queries on the PC (per Google) it's at least 40 percent of smartphone queries, also according to Google. Mobile vs. PC Local Search Volumes (BIA/Kelsey Forecast) Source: BIA/Kelsey (2012) In some categories such as restaurants and travel, mobile searches represent 15 - 20 percent [...]

Microsoft And Nokia Unify Maps On PC, Mobile

Microsoft and Nokia announced the fruit of their recent mapping collaboration today. Each company has a blog post describing what's changed and improved (Bing, Nokia). The effort comes out of the companies' strategic partnership in mobile. As part of that arrangement Microsoft is relying heavily on the Nokia-Navteq mapping and data infrastructure. Nokia for its part has made Ovi Maps much more Bing-like in appearance. Essentially the UI has been simplified, colors have been muted and there's an improved "visual hierarchy" at each level of zoom. It's challenging for me to specifically tell w [...]

Nokia Now “Powering” Bing Maps

In May of last year I had a conversation with someone who told me that Nokia Maps (Navteq) would effectively replace the infrastructure behind Bing Maps. I was surprised to say the least and wrote about it in a story entitled Bing Maps To Be Powered (Replaced) By Nokia? The impression I got is that Bing would control the presentation layer and search on top of maps but that the "guts" would come from Nokia/Navteq. At the time of the story Microsoft offered the following comment: Bing Maps has utilized Nokia content for road data, geo-coding and routing services for several years, through N [...]

Google Maps The Great Indoors (Android Only)

Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 9.04.51 AM Google is bringing the blue dot indoors. Google Maps for Android 6.0 is going to start showing interior maps of airports, select malls and retail stores in the US and Japan. In Japan transit stations are also mapped. The floor plan data has been obtained from all the participating entities, which Google's Steve Lee says are "very excited" to be a part of the program. Those entities include numerous Macy's, Bloomingdales, Home Depots and all US IKEA stores. (See the full US list at the bottom.) Below is a Google-provided screenshot of the Mall of America before interior maps and after: [...]

Bing Marries Native App, HTML5 In Upgraded Mobile Version

Microsoft has updated its iPhone and Android apps to make them more consistent with the features and user experience in the HTML5 version of Bing. The HTML5 mobile web version of Bing had actually "gotten ahead" of the native apps that Microsoft had developed. The upgraded Bing app is an interesting hybrid approach as Microsoft seeks to leverage the capabilities of the handset but also make the app work across platforms in a consistent way: Rather than tightly binding functions into a mobile client, we want to embrace the drive towards exposing our functions via an HTML5 experience.  In o [...]

Bing On Mobile Search & SEO

If you read this column on a regular basis, you may think that Google is the only game in mobile search. The fact is, SEOs optimize for traffic, and Google is the mobile search market leader, so it is often the focus of our mobile optimization efforts. But it’s not the only game in town. As someone who uses mobile search often, I am more often than not frustrated at the number of sites in the results that make me do extra work pinching and zooming to get the information I need. I’m hoping a mobile search engine can come along that will provide a better user experience than Google. An [...]

Bing Rolls Out Another New Deals Product

Screen shot 2011-10-10 at 10.54.05 AM Bing has put considerable effort in the past several months into building out its deals content. First Bing introduced third party deals via its mobile website. It then created a retail-centric deals portal within Bing Shopping. More recently Microsoft added self-service group buying deals to the Bing Business Portal. And now there's a new product in Microsoft's deals mix: Bing Deals. (It was first noticed by TechCrunch.) It's a more "traditional," email-based daily deal offering vs. the company's earlier deal products and efforts (which are still ongoing). The new daily deals email capabil [...]

Bing Makes Bid To Become Top Deals Destination

bing-shopping-deals-featured When Bing launched deals several months ago its partner was deal aggregator The Dealmap, which was subsequently acquired by Google. That forced Microsoft to turn elsewhere for deals and today, as a result, we're seeing the launch of a new deals experience on mobile and the PC that pulls in content from a wide range of sources. The mobile deals experience hasn't really changed; you can see daily deals in  your selected area, as well as deals "nearby" and also browse deals by category. It's available via the m.bing.com HTML5 site and Bing apps. There's a new more comprehensive online [...]

Bing’s Streetside Now Appearing In The UK

In April of this year Microsoft announced that its visual mapping feature, Streetside, was making its way to Europe. The BBC reported at the time that cars mounted with the now familiar 360 degree cameras were driving around London collecting images. The fruit of that effort has now begun to appear. Microsoft previously said that it isn't going to try and map every street in every European capital. Rather it would concentrate on urban and more heavily trafficked areas -- a kind of 80/20 bet. In following Google into Europe Microsoft also benefits from the former's earlier missteps, [...]

Bing Maps The Mall

Today Bing added 400 shopping mall maps as part of a larger "venue maps" (indoor mapping) effort. A minor but useful addition to Bing Maps (especially if the initiative expands), users can now zoom in on any of the included malls and see the stores and related details for the various tenant retailers. This is the expansion of a product enhancement that was first introduced last December. It works both online and at m.bing.com, although I had some difficulty finding a mobile example this afternoon. Below is an example from the PC version of Bing Maps, a mall map for the San Francisco Cent [...]

Whoa Doggies! Bing Lassoes Search On The iPad

Microsoft is updating Bing for iPad with a useful new search feature called "Lasso." It offers a simpler way to search in context -- with your finger. On any page within the Bing app (which is effectively a Safari browser alternative) users will be able to circle a word or phrase -- hence the name "Lasso" --  and it will automatically search on that term or keyword in Bing. It's not unlike a right-click search on the PC but on a tablet using your finger. Users can return to the original story or content they were viewing in Bing with two swipes. The Bing app for iPad should be av [...]

Mobile Phone Forecast Sees Windows Beating iOS By 2015

Practically every day some research firm somewhere in North America or Europe releases a forecast about how many widgets will be sold next year, or how large a given market is going to be in five years. And every day the overwhelming majority of those forecasts are poised to turn out wrong. In most cases forecasting market size or growth is an art form rather than a science. Assumptions drive the metrics behind the models. But we typically don't get to see the assumptions so clearly on display as we do in the recent IDC smartphone forecast (below). Some Safe and Risky Assumptions Across t [...]

Bing Mobile To Feature iPhone Apps In Search Results

Here's a new way for iPhone users to find apps: Bing is now showing relevant app download links right in the search results of Bing's iPhone app and mobile browser. The examples above from Bing's blog post show search results for (L-R) "Thor," "Facebook" and "Hotels in Seattle." Where this might be helpful is in cases when the searcher isn't aware that there's an iPhone app related to a search result. (The iPhone app store has its own search engine, but that generally works best when you know what app you want to download.) At the same time, iPhone app links will also show up on s [...]

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