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theEweekly Wrap 3 July 2009

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Bing it on

A third of search users prefer Bing – Microsoft’s latest attempt at launching a successful search engine – to Google, according to research from the Catalyst Group.

The study, which saw 12 users compare the two websites, found that a third of participants favoured Microsoft’s search engine. The research looked at various factors, including design, relevancy of results and filtering options.

The remaining participants said that they preferred Google’s search engine based on its usability and familiarity with the site.

Nick Gould, CEO of Catalyst, said the results were promising for Microsoft, although he added that the majority of participants were ‘not swayed’ by Bing.

Hunch about success

The co-founder of the latest search engine, Hunch, has revealed that he is relatively pleased with the site’s progress. Chris Dixon said the site was ‘going pretty well,’ but admitted that there was still some improvements to be made.

Two weeks ago, theEword reported on the launch of Hunch, a new search engine designed to answer users’ questions based on their previous searches. The site can answer questions such as ‘what do I want for dinner’ or ‘should I move in with my partner’, by collating personal data which users have previously enter into the system.

Dixon revealed that there were 63,000 user-submitted search results on the system at present. Over 20 million ‘Teach Hunch About Yourself’ questions had been answered by searchers.

Converting clips

Media-sharing site YouTube is allowing advertisers to display ‘call to action’ banners on video clips. The new scheme sees advertisers place a text promotion banner near the bottom of their own YouTube videos.

Advertisers will be hoping that the new scheme leads to a growth in conversions. Every banner will link through to the intended website and YouTube has promised that all clicks on this overlay will be tracked in its analytics programme, YouTube Insight.

Tweeting the truth

Evan Weaver, Twitter’s lead engineer, revealed some of the secrets behind the phenomenal success of the social networking site this week. Speaking at the QCon 2009, Weaver disclosed various titbits of information about Twitter and its users. He revealed the average user has 126 followers and that over 80 per cent of the site’s traffic comes from third-party software such as the Twitterific iPhone application.

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