Tag Archives: Bing

Search Engine Results and the PDF USER TRAP

Many major search engines (Google,Yahoo, Bing, MSN) now have the capability to index PDF files and return them in search results. If you are a Web site owner with PDF files on your site, this is good news. If you are an SEO, you also know that the new capability presents potential usability problems. And what exactly is the big deal? Let’s find out.

Searching for “blessing of a Christmas tree” on Google returns a link to a PDF file as the first result: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=BLESSING+OF+A+CHRISTMAS+TREE

If searchers click on it, the link automatically opens a PDF file with no navigation back to the main site. Users are trapped! So, what’s going on and, more importantly, how to do we fix it? Essentially, the PDF format is not the culprit; the real problem is the author’s failure to create the files with Web users in mind.

PDF authoring software, such as Adobe Acrobat 5.0, offers the ability to include both a navigational structure and hyperlinks on a PDF page. Ideally, the best solution is to create your pages in HTML, rather than PDF format. Depending on the purpose, however, a PDF format can be preferable. For example, PDF files offer better functionality for pages that are commonly printed, such as order forms and price lists.

To avoid the PDF USER TRAP, you will have to republish your files, adding some type of navigation structure and/or link back your main Web site. This is the best option for SEO’s, because it allows the pages to still be indexed. If this is not an option, the next best solution is to place all of your PDF files in a single folder and do a robots exclusion.

Microsoft’s Bing mobile site now live

We’re not sure if Microsoft plans to get as deep into the mobile website business as Google but as of yesterday, the company’s new Bing mobile site is alive and ready for action. Bing, for those who took a long weekend, is Microsoft’s new search engine; a reincarnation of Microsoft Live Search that is infinitely more usable. Since its launch yesterday in preview form, Bing has definitely received a fair amount of acclaim from around the blogosphere and preliminary user feedback is pretty positive as well. In the short time we’ve tested the site so far, Bing mobile is no different. The site is nice and spry, results pages are laid out well with web, image, news and local breakdowns one click away, and Bing will format linked pages for your phone if you so choose — just like Google. Truth be told, we like Microsoft’s mobile formatting much, much better than Google’s so far. If you’re looking for a great new mobile search option, definitely check out m.bing.com from your handset.

Thanks, Rich!

Microsoft Bing search engine goes live

Microsoft’s new search engine Bing is now live for users to test drive. Though labeled a “preview”, the search site is fully functional and all live.com search requests are being re-directed to Bing. Using Bing is not nearly as bad as saying its name. The interface is clean, search options are easily accessible and the search results appear on point. Video search gets a nice improvement as well — place your mouse cursor over a video search result and Bing will play back the video in thumbnail mode within the search results page. Just a word of caution about those videos. Don’t turn the safe search option off at work as you may get an unintended eyeful that is very much nsfw. In the end, Bing is pretty and seemingly works well but will this new contender have the power to take even a small bite out of Google’s domination? Only time and an $80 million ad campaign will tell.

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Microsoft Bing gets previewed on video

Now, we’ll preface this by saying that it is absolutely, positively, 100% impossible to draw any real conclusions about a product like a search engine without a fair amount of hands-on time. After viewing this preview video, we can also absolutely, positively, 100% say that the name “Bing” sounds more ridiculous each and every time it is uttered. Seriously, it’s a really bad name — to quote one of our commenters:

Eh, I dunno. Can you imagine someone saying “Gee, I wonder if I can find a picture of a kitten online?” – “Sure you can, why don’t you Bing it?”

Doesn’t quite work…

As trivial as it may seem, Google is such a powerful brand that it’s now as much a verb as it is a noun. Microsoft’s Bing… Will never be a verb. It does however, appear to be a powerful amalgamation of a variety of existing services. Does it have that x-factor that will help catapult it into significance? Maybe not from what we’ve seen in this video preview so far but only time will tell. One thing is certain: an $80 million launch campaign will give Bing a better chance to compete than any comparable search engine has had before it. Hit the read link for the video and let us know what you think.

Thanks, Jason!

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Microsoft to debut Bing search engine alongside $80 million ad campaign

It’s been a while since rumblings of Kumo, Microsoft’s codename for its new searching engine offering, made the rounds. From the looks of things, that’s about to change… Big time. Redmond is said to be preparing to launch Kumo — with the final name “Bing” — alongside a massive $80 million advertising push that will aim to convince people search is broken and Microsoft has fixed it. It’s a tough sell, no question. Microsoft’s latest Laptop Hunters ad run has been quite the success of course, but there is a pretty massive difference here: Laptop Hunters addresses personal computers, where Microsoft is already the undisputed heavyweight champ with a shade under 90 percent of the market. Bing is a search engine and Microsoft’s search products currently combine to hold just over 8 percent of the market. Bing needs to build a user base, not keep one. So the task where advertising is concerned is a much different one, but the market could be ready for a true contender. According to Microsoft’s research where search is concerned, 42 percent of searches require refinement and 25 percent of clicks are the back button. As dominant as Google is, there still may be plenty of room for improvement in terms of efficiency.

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