Funny Microsoft Live Search TV Ads That Should Be Aired

Two weeks ago, I attended a Microsoft event in London to talk about its progress in search. One of the highlights were these fake, hokey TV ads they showed us in between breaks. I loved them. They're especially funny if you know Britain, but anyone should get a chuckle out of them. Videos are below, via Microsoft's Mel Carson. If Microsoft were brave, they'd actually get aired. Video: Live Search 4 - The hunt for saucy hotel snaps An inside look at the machinery of how Live Search works. Lots of gears and gadgets, heh. And the request? "Oh look. A Mr. G. Swanson from Hemel Hempstead has [...]

Indiana Jones Search: Indy Meets Microsoft Live Search

For over a year, Microsoft has been experimenting with games to help build its search marketshare. Yesterday, I learned of one that certainly caught my eye: Indiana Jones Search. Designed for those in the UK, you perform a search: Then at the top of the search results page, two stones turn, with you hoping they'll turn green: Then you get your results. I lost: You also get shown how many people have won prizes that range from a trip to the New Mexico film location, to an Indiana Jones hat, whip, DVDs, and more. If you don't live in the UK or Ireland, y [...]

Microsoft Launches Search Prizes With Virgin In UK: Big Snap Search

Microsoft runs prize campaign for Live Search users from NewMediaAge reports that Microsoft is running another search and win promotion. This time the contest is based in the UK, in partnership with Virgin. It is named the Big Snap Search. Users can go to and search. At the top of the search results page, two cards will flip over. If those cards match, the user wins. What do you win? According to the terms and conditions: 23 Virgin Experience Days vouchers worth different amounts A pair of tickets to Necker Island 7 nights accommodation for 2 adults sharing a room in [...]

Politically Tinged Promotion For Live Search

Microsoft has launched another would-be viral online campaign for Live Search that conceptually mimics the earlier Ms. Dewey campaign but is politically themed for the election year. The site is called Left vs. Right and (probably) takes its inspiration from the old Saturday Night Live skit point/counterpoint, featuring Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtain, which was itself a parody of a long-running "60 Minutes" debate segment. A left-leaning male and a right-leaning female commentator snipe at each other and make quips while they wait for users to input terms into the search box. While Ms. Dewe [...]

Live Search Webmaster Center Blog Now Open For Business

Microsoft announced the launch of the new Live Search Webmaster Center Blog. The Live Search Webmaster Team promises to use the blog to communicate: New tools and features available to webmasters Search engine optimization tips A method of open communication with SEOs and Webmasters You can subscribe to the RSS feed via this link. I am not sure if comments are disabled or not. It seems like some posts have some comments, but I am personally not able to comment at the moment. The other search engines also have blogs to communicate with webmasters. Google has the Google Webmaster Centra [...]

Microsoft Tries Search & Win Again?

Is Live Search bringing back the search and win "Live Search Trial Program?" A Marketwatch article suggests so, even though the page is invalid. Microsoft did run this program back in August. In addition, it has also run the Live Search Club program. Giveways and contests look to be the new wave. Microsoft saw its share rise after doing Live Search Club. iWon recently revamped to go after those seeking prizes. And Google has even been trying it, as with its previous Bourne Ultimatum giveaway. We are checking with Microsoft for more, but in the meantime the FAQ page is still live. [...]

Comparing Annual Ad Spending From Google, Yahoo, And Microsoft

This Associated Press article chronicles how Google has been able to build a multi-billion dollar consumer brand largely without advertising. That's the part everybody knows. But the article also compares the annual ad spending of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and eBay. It points out that when Google does buy any advertising, it's typically to recruit employees. Citing no particular source, the article says: While major rivals like Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. pour more than 20 percent of their annual revenue into sales and marketing, Google devoted 8 percent of its revenue to the category in [...] Gets New Home Page Ahead Of “Searchification” Next Week

Next week, Microsoft takes a page from the Google Searchology Day book and is planning a special day of its own to talk about its search efforts. Called Searchification, Microsoft has invited a number of bloggers and journalists for the event next week, on September 26. But Microsoft apparently can't wait to release some things, since is now sporting a new home page. Below, some background on how this isn't really Live Search 2.0 (more like 5.0), plus a look at what's new. I've seen the relaunch described as Live Search 2.0 [NOTE: Microsoft is not calling it this, see postscrip [...]

Microsoft On Search Gains & Live Search Club

Earlier this week, Microsoft got some positive news about its search share growing thanks to a Live Search Club program it started in May. But then came the criticisms. Was the traffic just off people using robots to win prizes? Nope, says Microsoft. I had a short talk with the new general manager of Window Live's search business group, Brad Goldberg, earlier today. The traffic comes from real people, and he thinks Microsoft will retain those people over time. Compete: Microsoft Gaining Searches; Live Search Club Giveaway Working? is my earlier article that looks at how Microsoft saw [...]

Compete: Microsoft Gaining Searches; Live Search Club Giveaway Working?

Compete is out with its latest search marketshare report for June 2007, showing that MSN/Windows Live Search has posted a dramatic rise since last month. This appears to be do to the Live Search Club promotion that's going on. Below, a look at the trend, a history of how giveaways for search have and haven't worked, as well as some revisiting to past issues with Compete's figures. First the figures. Below is the share of searches in the United States estimated to happen at each service, based on the ISP data, traffic panel data and toolbar tracking information that Compete gathers: You can [...]

Microsoft Launches Live Search Club While Closing

The LiveSide Blog reports that Microsoft has launched a new site named Live Search Club, where you can play games to earn rewards. Some of the prizes you can win include ringtones, earphones, T-shirts, Microsoft Office, Xbox and many other prizes. Microsoft did offer a Search & Win program in the past, but that seems to have been taken down now. LiveSide Blog also reports that Microsoft is going to redirect to on May 22, 2007. is a personalized portal powered by Microsoft that launched in November 2005. [...]

Aussies Turn Out For Battle Of Sydney; Google Gets Shot Down

Australia Day was last week. For the occasion, both Google and Microsoft both planned to do flyovers to snap imagery of the Sydney landscape and actual Sydney residents (Sydneysiders) for the event - ultimately to be used in Google Earth, Google Maps and Microsoft Live Local (Virtual Earth). However, Google's flyover didn't work as planned. Microsoft ran a "Look Up and Smile" campaign with prizes such as $2000 for the best dressed person. Aussies came out to claim their space on the maps with lavish banners and love letters, all dressed up and ready for the big day. Microsoft obtai [...]

Use Microsoft Live Search & Microsoft With Donate To Charity

I am not really sure what to think of the most recent Live Search blog post that says, Use Live Search and We'll Donate to Team Seattle and If you search at, Microsoft will donate $1 to Team Seattle's Seattle's Children's Hospital fund. Each time you search at, Microsoft will donate $1, but it has to be at In addition, if you search at, Microsoft will "contribute to, a UN agency-led campaign providing education and sports programs for the n [...]

Microsoft Live & Yahoo Push For Firefox Users, Plus Revisiting The IE7 Search Battle

Today I noticed trying to get me to search with it in Firefox. Then Yahoo did the same thing. So I guess a new round of "let's change search defaults" is going on within Firefox. That seemed a good excuse for a revisit how the various search engines are trying to pull us as their default choices in both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox. Back in October, I did a big fat article looking at the state of how search worked in Internet Explorer 7 and how search providers were trying to suck you into making them your default search choice. It was Firefox stuff that got me going to [...]

Microsoft’s Advertises On Google

It is always amusing when one of the big search engines advertisers on one of the other ones. Both Google and Yahoo advertise through each other's PPC programs. And now it looks like Microsoft has jumped into it as well, by advertising through Google AdWords, according to Google Blogoscoped. However, the same search on Yahoo doesn't show the same ad, so they are obviously being selective about where they spend their advertising dollars! [...]

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