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Search Blog — Nov 2008

  • November
    25

    Webmaster tools now sniffing for malware

    Last week we announced Project Silk Road, our vision for delivering a broad suite of products and services for publishers and web developers, including a customizable Live Search API, rich content, multiple media and source types, and the ability to monetize through ad-serving. Today we're expanding our toolkit with two important updates to Webmaster Center: the ability to detect malware on your site and the sites you link to, plus a greatly simplified authentication process that makes accessing our tools much easier. Together these updates help improve your site performance for Live Search, and protect you and your customers from inadvertent exposure to malware. Here are just a things our tools can help you do. Malware Detection Detect whether there is malware present on any of your webpages or on any of the webpages you link to (all these links will be disabled and flagged in the search results as malware). Download reports detailing which webpages on your website are affected and how to fix the problem. Ping our support team to get your sites re-scanned and re-included in Live results within days, not weeks. Simplified Authentication One authentication code per user account can be... Read More Last week we announced Project Silk Road, our vision for delivering a broad suite of products and services for publishers and web developers, including a customizable Live Search API, rich content, multiple media and source types, and the ability to monetize through ad-serving. Today we're expanding our toolkit with two important updates to Webmaster Center: the ability to detect malware on your site and the sites you link to, plus a greatly simplified authentication process that makes accessing our tools much easier. Together these updates help improve your site performance for Live Search, and protect you and your customers from inadvertent exposure to malware. Here are just a things our tools can help you do. Malware Detection Detect whether there is malware present on any of your webpages or on any of the webpages you link to (all these links will be disabled and flagged in the search results as malware). Download reports detailing which webpages on your website are affected and how to fix the problem. Ping our support team to get your sites re-scanned and re-included in Live results within days, not weeks. Simplified Authentication One authentication code per user account can be... Read More
  • November
    24

    Fly over the river and through the woods...

    Last week we covered how you can use instant answers to find deals on travel. This week we'll show you how to save on last-minute flights for Thanksgiving weekend . Have a great holiday trip! Joel Grus, Live Search Farecast Fareologist Last week we covered how you can use instant answers to find deals on travel. This week we'll show you how to save on last-minute flights for Thanksgiving weekend . Have a great holiday trip! Joel Grus, Live Search Farecast Fareologist
  • November
    21

    'Tis the season for instant answers

    Ahh...once again the holidays are approaching. Once again we're thinking of family, gifts, travel, and at least some of us are dreaming about snow-covered slopes. Time for joy, family, fun, and lots of web searches. The Live Search team has made the last part quicker and easier. Here are a couple of instant answers that will simplify some of your holiday tasks. Shopping How about a new digital camera for your dad? Simply type in the name of the camera you have had your eye on (say, a "Canon PowerShot"). You'll see an instant answer with the images and prices of several popular models. You can also type in the exact model (such as a "Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH") and then see an image and a summary of the reviews and specs. Travel Finding travel deals is one of the most frustrating parts of the holidays. Airfares seem to be more fickle than the stock market. I never know the best time to buy my tickets. Thanks to Farecast joining Live Search, you can find out whether airfares are climbing or dropping. Just type "Flights from (point A) to (point B)." You'll see an instant answer with the current price of a flight between those two points and a prediction... Read More Ahh...once again the holidays are approaching. Once again we're thinking of family, gifts, travel, and at least some of us are dreaming about snow-covered slopes. Time for joy, family, fun, and lots of web searches. The Live Search team has made the last part quicker and easier. Here are a couple of instant answers that will simplify some of your holiday tasks. Shopping How about a new digital camera for your dad? Simply type in the name of the camera you have had your eye on (say, a "Canon PowerShot"). You'll see an instant answer with the images and prices of several popular models. You can also type in the exact model (such as a "Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH") and then see an image and a summary of the reviews and specs. Travel Finding travel deals is one of the most frustrating parts of the holidays. Airfares seem to be more fickle than the stock market. I never know the best time to buy my tickets. Thanks to Farecast joining Live Search, you can find out whether airfares are climbing or dropping. Just type "Flights from (point A) to (point B)." You'll see an instant answer with the current price of a flight between those two points and a prediction... Read More
  • November
    14

    Browsing for videos hits prime time

    Many of you in the U.S. have noticed some big changes in Live Search Video this week. Now you have lots of tools for browsing to find your favorite TV shows, music videos, and all of the most-watched content on the Web, just by clicking. Based on what we're hearing, it's a primetime hit! And of course, it still includes the best and only "smart-motion preview" technology that plays a preview right on the page to spare you those frustrating misclicks. Start browsing the TV Shows pages to find popular shows on your schedule — the power of Live Search now means you're in control. You can browse through the most relevant genres, the most watched and most recent shows, and alphabetical lists. And you can also refine your results by the duration, resolution, and most importantly, you can search our index of the full-length TV shows. For instance, Hulu.com has great quality TV shows, and YouTube is a great source of user-generated content. Looking for what's hot in music videos? Start out on the Music pages and use similar power tools for exploring. Here, you can browse by genre, the most popular musical artists, the most watched, and the most recent videos. When you home in on... Read More Many of you in the U.S. have noticed some big changes in Live Search Video this week. Now you have lots of tools for browsing to find your favorite TV shows, music videos, and all of the most-watched content on the Web, just by clicking. Based on what we're hearing, it's a primetime hit! And of course, it still includes the best and only "smart-motion preview" technology that plays a preview right on the page to spare you those frustrating misclicks. Start browsing the TV Shows pages to find popular shows on your schedule — the power of Live Search now means you're in control. You can browse through the most relevant genres, the most watched and most recent shows, and alphabetical lists. And you can also refine your results by the duration, resolution, and most importantly, you can search our index of the full-length TV shows. For instance, Hulu.com has great quality TV shows, and YouTube is a great source of user-generated content. Looking for what's hot in music videos? Start out on the Music pages and use similar power tools for exploring. Here, you can browse by genre, the most popular musical artists, the most watched, and the most recent videos. When you home in on... Read More
  • November
    13

    Six months in, Live Search cashback is...

    When we launched cashback nearly six months ago, we mentioned that we're going to use these three criteria to measure the program: Number of offers in the system Advertiser ROI Percentage of commercial searches as measured by ComScore Well, we've been measuring, and today we can report that we've increased the number of product offers available in Live Search cashback by 30%, indicating strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI. Stephanie Tilenius, GM of eBay North America, has told us, "Microsoft Live Search cashback has improved our ROI on paid search by 50%, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold." ShoeMall, a cashback advertiser also mentioned that the cashback program has increased their sales 6x since it began participating, prompting ShoeMall to devote even more marketing dollars to the program. In addition, we've seen a monthly average of 4.5 million unique users participating in cashback — they've conducted more than 68 million commercial queries. In these tough economic times this early traction speaks to the differentiated and unique value proposition... Read More When we launched cashback nearly six months ago, we mentioned that we're going to use these three criteria to measure the program: Number of offers in the system Advertiser ROI Percentage of commercial searches as measured by ComScore Well, we've been measuring, and today we can report that we've increased the number of product offers available in Live Search cashback by 30%, indicating strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI. Stephanie Tilenius, GM of eBay North America, has told us, "Microsoft Live Search cashback has improved our ROI on paid search by 50%, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold." ShoeMall, a cashback advertiser also mentioned that the cashback program has increased their sales 6x since it began participating, prompting ShoeMall to devote even more marketing dollars to the program. In addition, we've seen a monthly average of 4.5 million unique users participating in cashback — they've conducted more than 68 million commercial queries. In these tough economic times this early traction speaks to the differentiated and unique value proposition... Read More
  • November
    13

    The next step in search

    Today at PubCon we launched a new release of the Live Search API for publishers and web developers. Now, in one place, we're making available what is essentially a content management system for your site or blog, plus the ability to monetize by selling ads. This release is the next step in what we're calling Project Silk Road, a broad range of tools and services we're offering online publishers and developers to help them generate traffic, increase engagement on their sites, drive insight, and boost productivity and agility. We call it Project Silk Road because it's the next step in our journey to bring the power of Live Search to the online community. In much the same way that the original Silk Road offered opportunities for cultural and technological exchange and innovation, we believe that Project Silk Road can spark innovation in the online ecosystem. Project Silk Road allows you to serve your search results in the rank and format that you choose and call them from the web service protocol you prefer. On top of that, you have access to content from Encarta, related search queries, and a set of tools — like an Excel add-in that tracks keyword performance — to help you optimize... Read More Today at PubCon we launched a new release of the Live Search API for publishers and web developers. Now, in one place, we're making available what is essentially a content management system for your site or blog, plus the ability to monetize by selling ads. This release is the next step in what we're calling Project Silk Road, a broad range of tools and services we're offering online publishers and developers to help them generate traffic, increase engagement on their sites, drive insight, and boost productivity and agility. We call it Project Silk Road because it's the next step in our journey to bring the power of Live Search to the online community. In much the same way that the original Silk Road offered opportunities for cultural and technological exchange and innovation, we believe that Project Silk Road can spark innovation in the online ecosystem. Project Silk Road allows you to serve your search results in the rank and format that you choose and call them from the web service protocol you prefer. On top of that, you have access to content from Encarta, related search queries, and a set of tools — like an Excel add-in that tracks keyword performance — to help you optimize... Read More
  • November
    11

    Sun shines on the MSN Toolbar

    On Monday we announced a search distribution deal with Sun Microsystems. Now, when U.S.-based Internet Explorer users download the Java TM Runtime Environment (JRE TM ), they're offered the MSN Toolbar. Like our partnerships with HP and Facebook, this agreement is another example of our strategy for gaining traction in the search market. When Internet Explorer users downloading Sun's JRE opt to download the MSN Toolbar, they'll have one-click access to Live Search features, as well as to news, entertainment, sports, and more from the MSN network. They'll also have direct access to Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. With more than 6.5 million Java software developers around the globe, Java is one of the most widely available and popular software platforms. It's already present on 91% of Internet-connected PCs worldwide. The Java Runtime Environment is one of the highest-volume consumer downloads on the Web, with tens of millions of downloads each month from http://java.com/ . We're excited about this partnership.....download it, and tell us what you think! Angus Norton, Senior Director, Live Search On Monday we announced a search distribution deal with Sun Microsystems. Now, when U.S.-based Internet Explorer users download the Java TM Runtime Environment (JRE TM ), they're offered the MSN Toolbar. Like our partnerships with HP and Facebook, this agreement is another example of our strategy for gaining traction in the search market. When Internet Explorer users downloading Sun's JRE opt to download the MSN Toolbar, they'll have one-click access to Live Search features, as well as to news, entertainment, sports, and more from the MSN network. They'll also have direct access to Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. With more than 6.5 million Java software developers around the globe, Java is one of the most widely available and popular software platforms. It's already present on 91% of Internet-connected PCs worldwide. The Java Runtime Environment is one of the highest-volume consumer downloads on the Web, with tens of millions of downloads each month from http://java.com/ . We're excited about this partnership.....download it, and tell us what you think! Angus Norton, Senior Director, Live Search
  • November
    10

    Looking forward to PubCon 2008

    PubCon (Nov 11–14) has established itself as a rich forum for web professionals of all shapes and sizes to come together to network, learn, and share the latest on SEM topics and more. It has become a key event for us on the conference circuit, so our team is excited to be joining Brett Tabke and the WebmasterWorld team in Las Vegas this week for PubCon 2008 . I'm particularly looking forward to having the chance to address an audience of around 3,000 attendees on Thursday, the 13th for the final day's keynote. In my talk, I'll discuss how the search engine landscape continues to evolve rapidly and the opportunity that provides for us all. I'll also share updates on how Microsoft is innovating for consumers, advertisers, and publishers by: Demonstrating progress and new features with Live Search Explaining how advertisers can achieve increased ROI from search Showcasing how publishers can make the most of Live Search as a platform Members of the Microsoft Search and Advertising teams will be in attendance throughout the conference. Make sure you check out their conference sessions (listed below) and be sure to stop by and see us all at Booth 17. Satya Nadella... Read More PubCon (Nov 11–14) has established itself as a rich forum for web professionals of all shapes and sizes to come together to network, learn, and share the latest on SEM topics and more. It has become a key event for us on the conference circuit, so our team is excited to be joining Brett Tabke and the WebmasterWorld team in Las Vegas this week for PubCon 2008 . I'm particularly looking forward to having the chance to address an audience of around 3,000 attendees on Thursday, the 13th for the final day's keynote. In my talk, I'll discuss how the search engine landscape continues to evolve rapidly and the opportunity that provides for us all. I'll also share updates on how Microsoft is innovating for consumers, advertisers, and publishers by: Demonstrating progress and new features with Live Search Explaining how advertisers can achieve increased ROI from search Showcasing how publishers can make the most of Live Search as a platform Members of the Microsoft Search and Advertising teams will be in attendance throughout the conference. Make sure you check out their conference sessions (listed below) and be sure to stop by and see us all at Booth 17. Satya Nadella... Read More
  • November
    06

    Buy now on eBay for 25% cashback

    Christmas presents to be purchased? Budget a bit tight? Microsoft Live Search has a solution for all the parents out there being harassed for big ticket items by our kids. Why not save up to 25% right now? I need an Xbox 360 for ankle-biter number one. What is the plan? I head on over to http://www.live.com/ and search for "xbox 360," where I see a bunch of search results. At the top I see "Xbox 360" with the gold coin cashback icon and "Live Search cashback." That's what I'm after! Clicking the result takes me to http://www.ebay.com/ to complete my purchase. But first I need to make sure I have a cashback account so I don't miss out on my discount. If you're not yet signed up, do so at https://cashbackaccount.search.live.com/cashback/welcome.aspx . Opening an account is very easy. Find out more here . This 25% cashback offer has a few conditions attached. Remember, this offer applies to Buy-It-Now offers on eBay, paid with a PayPal account, and a total of $200 rebate. The cashback $$ will be available for you to redeem 60 days after completing the purchase. By the way, this is offered in the U.S. only. I know where I'll be doing my shopping in the lead up to Christmas... Read More Christmas presents to be purchased? Budget a bit tight? Microsoft Live Search has a solution for all the parents out there being harassed for big ticket items by our kids. Why not save up to 25% right now? I need an Xbox 360 for ankle-biter number one. What is the plan? I head on over to http://www.live.com/ and search for "xbox 360," where I see a bunch of search results. At the top I see "Xbox 360" with the gold coin cashback icon and "Live Search cashback." That's what I'm after! Clicking the result takes me to http://www.ebay.com/ to complete my purchase. But first I need to make sure I have a cashback account so I don't miss out on my discount. If you're not yet signed up, do so at https://cashbackaccount.search.live.com/cashback/welcome.aspx . Opening an account is very easy. Find out more here . This 25% cashback offer has a few conditions attached. Remember, this offer applies to Buy-It-Now offers on eBay, paid with a PayPal account, and a total of $200 rebate. The cashback $$ will be available for you to redeem 60 days after completing the purchase. By the way, this is offered in the U.S. only. I know where I'll be doing my shopping in the lead up to Christmas... Read More
  • November
    06

    Time to book for the holidays as airfares...

    Starting in late October, holiday travel fares have been falling quite a bit, and right now the average airfare for both Thanksgiving and Christmas travel are actually below their price points from this time last year. But don't take our word for it. You can see for yourself. Farecast puts the power to predict into your own hands with expert travel advice based on science, not marketing. Farecast tracks airfares and helps you identify trends like these: Live Search Farecast is the smart travel search site that helps consumers buy travel and hotels with confidence. For more about price trends for 2008 holiday travel, see Holiday Fares Plummet — Great Time to Buy . Joel Grus, Live Search Farecast Fareologist Starting in late October, holiday travel fares have been falling quite a bit, and right now the average airfare for both Thanksgiving and Christmas travel are actually below their price points from this time last year. But don't take our word for it. You can see for yourself. Farecast puts the power to predict into your own hands with expert travel advice based on science, not marketing. Farecast tracks airfares and helps you identify trends like these: Live Search Farecast is the smart travel search site that helps consumers buy travel and hotels with confidence. For more about price trends for 2008 holiday travel, see Holiday Fares Plummet — Great Time to Buy . Joel Grus, Live Search Farecast Fareologist
  • November
    04

    We interrupt this broadcast!

    We've been having a great time bringing you our daily homepage updates over the past couple of months. You may have noticed that our normal programming for the Live Search homepage content is occasionally interrupted by newsworthy events, like last week's World Series image of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrating their win. We think that the 2008 presidential election is about as newsworthy an event as you get. Regardless of which party wins, the results will be historic for our country and we wanted to celebrate the occasion with an image of the winner. So we planned one image for each candidate and hoped we'd know who the winner was by early Wednesday morning. Once the image is live, it will run until midnight Wednesday and then we'll resume our normal programming with a fantastic shot from the Maldive Islands. We hope you've been enjoying the new homepage, and look forward to your comments and suggestions. - the Live Search Homepage team We've been having a great time bringing you our daily homepage updates over the past couple of months. You may have noticed that our normal programming for the Live Search homepage content is occasionally interrupted by newsworthy events, like last week's World Series image of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrating their win. We think that the 2008 presidential election is about as newsworthy an event as you get. Regardless of which party wins, the results will be historic for our country and we wanted to celebrate the occasion with an image of the winner. So we planned one image for each candidate and hoped we'd know who the winner was by early Wednesday morning. Once the image is live, it will run until midnight Wednesday and then we'll resume our normal programming with a fantastic shot from the Maldive Islands. We hope you've been enjoying the new homepage, and look forward to your comments and suggestions. - the Live Search Homepage team