Don’t get Scroogled by Google, use Outlook – Says Microsoft

ScroogledWhen a company wants to increase its profile it’s a common practice for the company to use advertisements; whether online or in print. I think it’s fair to say that generally the content of the advertisement seeks to inform the potential customer of the service that the company can provide for them. However, sometimes the thrust of an advert can be an attempt to discredit a competitor, and that’s exactly the line that Microsoft have gone down with their ‘Scroogled’ campaign.

In a nutshell, on the 7th of February, Microsoft began a campaign that was quite simply an attack on the search engine giant Google. Rather than the content of the campaign predominantly being an informative look at what Microsoft can provide for you, Microsoft were intent on letting the public know that Google uses information gleaned from the contents of customer’s Gmail in order to create advertising relevant to the customers interests. Microsoft report that Google target keywords within emails to get a clearer of idea of the kind of products that the customer may be interested in. The selling point of Microsoft’s campaign is a plea for Gmail customers to leave Google and use Microsoft Outlook instead.

Microsoft’s “Scroogled” Gmail Ad

On Scroogled.com you’ll find all the information that Microsoft has dug up regarding the way that Google uses information in order to tailor advertising. You’ll also find a petition that Microsoft invites you to sign, imploring Google to stop using their customer’s information to sell advertising space. To say that the petition isn’t going well would be a bit of an understatement: as of today Microsoft had just over 5000 signatures out of a desired 25000.
Many are questioning whether or not this was a sensible move from Microsoft. There are many that suggest that Microsoft come out of the Scroogled campaign looking pretty petty and aggressive. The overwhelming opinion seems to be that rather than discrediting Google, Microsoft should be trying to focus on selling their own product. If Outlook is that good, then it will overtake Gmail in a natural and organic way. It seems unlikely that all of Gmail’s customer’s will suddenly stop using their Gmail and switch to Outlook on the basis of a seemingly bile-filled campaign from Microsoft. It reflects poorly on Microsoft, and it makes it clear that they seem far too concerned about their competition rather than providing quality products that users want to use.

Outlook or Gmail?

These two mail clients tend to divide opinion. Only recently has Outlook emerged as a serious contender to Gmail having branched out from Windows Outlook to browser-based email. Generally, the opinion seems to be that Outlook is a far prettier email client to use; users believe that it has a more intuitive design. Outlook also seems to integrate better with most social networks. However, Gmail tends to gain the most favorable reviews in regard to the actual messaging system which is of course the bread and butter of any email client.

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Microsoft will conquer China through Bing

In January 2010 Google decided to withdraw its service activity from China because of the censorship policy. This decision has left a big opportunity for Microsoft, who on Monday announced an English-language search deal with Baidu, China’s leading search provider. Being a company with an arguable morality, Microsoft will censor Bing’s search results in order to ensure that they are in compliance with local laws.

With a 75 percent share of China’s search queries, Baidu will offer about 10 million english-language queries per day for Bing. The contract between these search providers will lead to an improvement in the search quality results for China and offers a chance for Baidu service to expand worldwide.

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Google launches ‘+1’ button

Google announced this week that they are testing a button functionality similar to Facebook’s “like” button. Known as “+1”, the button is only available to Google profile/Gmail users. This button gives users the ability to show their approval for search result relevance. The button appears when you are logged-in to your account, next  to any search result.

While pushing the button, you will give a stamp to the search result that will be indexed more highly when linked friends perform the same search. Is like voting for a web-page or a web-site.  It appears that votes are not limited to only immediate connections. Actually, the votes are public and can appear in any search result.

At the moment this feature is only experimental but will appear in more places as the feature grows.

If you want to enter the experiment, check Google Labs.

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Google Farmer Update

Google has recently changed the algorithm which determines the ranking of web pages. Website owners globally have cause for concern over the effects these changes will have on their websites’ visibility. These changes took effect on February 24th in the US and will filter to the UK in due course.

The updated algorithm is set on a page-level basis, meaning every page of a website should contain unique, authoritative, high quality content in order for the website not to suffer. Gone are the days where web pages could be stuffed with keywords to boost their ranking.

Google remains the most popular search engine. To maintain this position it seems the update was long overdue as so called ‘content farms’ and poor quality sites were commonly being ranked on the first page. The full effect of the Google Farmer Update will not be apparent until it is rolled out across the UK.

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For the layman or the expert, picking out new computer peripherals can be difficult. Prices, sizes, power consumption, and more all come into account. It can seem impossible to choose. Pikimal is an online decision engine that can help.
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Pikimal was created to help users make the difficult choices in their lives. People want to make informed decisions, but the effort of educating oneself on all topics is overwhelming. That’s where Pikis come in. Thanks to Pikimal, you don’t need to be a breeder to know the right dog for your family or a ski expert to know the perfect resort for your weekend get-away. Finding the best products for your lifestyle or the solution to difficult online choices has become painless thanks to the power of Pikimal.
As an example visit Pikimal’s computer monitors Piki here: http://computer-monitor.pikimal.com/

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