‘Local’ Search on Live.com

Search the word "Local" on MSFT's Live.com and what do you get?

  1. Local.google.com
  2. Local.yahoo.com

. . . In that order. Live.local.com is the seventh result. (It's the second paid result.) Depending on how one looks at this, one could either praise or criticize Microsoft.

And there's something even more interesting going on. Undoubtedly this has already been written about but I just noticed it: Live.com has developed a new twist on "metasearch." The "search within this site" feature allows users to search Google or Yahoo or any other site and stay within the Live.com environment. Here, for example, is a search for "best chinese food in new york" on Yahoo! Local — within Live.com!

Once you click the search result you go to the content page. Otherwise, all results are within the Live.com "frame." Miscrosft could take this a step further with "site preview" functionality such as Ask's Binoculars Site Preview or Browster. That way entire pages (and all their content) could be previewed without leaving Live.com. (There are hypothetical legal issues here that have yet to be addressed.)

At this stage of the game, this "search within results" feature is a power-user tool to be sure. And Google is testing something similar: "expandable search results." But it's interesting to see Microsft experimenting with some new interface and user experience approaches to search. The search results of tomorrow, especially in Local, will look very different than today.

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Related: LiveDrive, offering users nearly unlimited storage, is on the way from Miscrosoft. And it may arrive before Google's rumored GDrive. Privacy concerns notwithstanding (which are considerable), these initiatives are pretty interesting. Can Y!Drive be far behind? đŸ™‚ 

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2 Responses to “‘Local’ Search on Live.com”

  1. Scott Milener Says:

    Thanks for mentioning Browster in your post. This is an interesting move by MS to try to push beyond MSN and ‘average’ search with Winows Live. (Why they’re calling it Windows Live I don’t understand, other than a marketing ploy, what does search have to do with Windows? it’s classic MS, pushing their brands in areas that don’t really correlate).

    The part I find most clear is that MS, like others, have realized, as Browster did, that users want a better navigation process on the web. Clicking, loading the page and hitting the back button incessently is not the right experience and will change dramatically over the next few years to a more fluid, faster experience.

    However, in using Live.com, I found the process of searching images a terrible one. There are tons of images that are simply a front and traffic driver to the publishers real content, and you never actually get to the image you want. This has been an issue on Google and Yahoo, but somehow was much worse on Live.

    Browster just launched 1.6.8 with greater speed and several new features on Firefox, including our hover control that lets you view any link in afaster way than clicking.

    thx,
    Scott Milener
    CEO
    Browster

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks for the comment.

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