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Little more than a decade ago, Microsoft was public enemy number one. After the United States Justice Department filed suit, a judge ruled that the world's largest software maker was a monopoly and must be broken up.
That ruling was overturned, and in 2001, the company settled with the Department of Justice.
Today, Microsoft is still one of the world's largest software makers, and Internet Explorer, the product that was the focus of so much of the government's action against the company, is still the world's most widely-used internet browser.
The company, however, has been humbled in markets like search and mobile, which were nascent in 2001. The implication: try as hard as they might, big technology companies can't use their size to guarantee success.
For Microsoft, Google's overwhelming dominance of search has not deterred the Redmond software giant from trying to compete in the market.
In fact, if anything, it's only given Microsoft a greater incentive to try to recapture a market it probably believes it should have owned.
After years of failure, it's hard to argue that Microsoft has finally made some headway in the search wars with Bing. At the same time, of course, this doesn't mean that Bing will ever compete toe-to-toe with Google, or that Bing will ever become a profitable investment.
Google has announced that it has expanded the number of sitelinks shown on search results pages, something you'll see on a search for most brands.
I've been asking some of our SEO guest bloggers about how the changes will affect websites, and how they can adapt to and take advantage of them...
Just how important is being on the first page of a Google search result page? Just how valuable is owning the top spot?
Following recent updates Google has made to its algorithm, Optify, a marketing software vendor, decided to create a new CTR curve based on data it has collected on behalf of a subset of its B2B and B2C clients.
Content may be king. At least that's what many companies in the business of producing content think for obvious reasons.
Take Demand Media, for instance. It's so confident that its content is an appreciating asset that will produce value over a long period of time that it amortizes the costs of producing content over five years.
In the past several months, Google has undertaken a major effort to improve the quality of its index.
From cracking down on high-profile retailers using black hat and grey hat SEO techniques to algorithm updates designed to weed out low-quality content farms, there can be little doubt that Google is serious about changing perceptions about its dedication to quality SERPs.
And Google's effort continues. Yesterday, the search giant announced that it rolled out its "high-quality sites algorithm" globally to all English-speaking users. It also announced that it's incorporating feedback provided by users into its algorithm.
2011 has been a busy year for Google. Faced with increasing criticism about the quality of its search results and the tactics publishers use in attempts to influence them, the world's most prominent and widely-used search engine has taken aggressive steps to crack down on paid links and content farms.
But Google's tweaks may go well beyond moves to reign in black and gray hat SEO tactics. In fact, it may be looking at core components of its algorithm altogether.
Recently, Google has stepped up its effort to improve the quality of its SERPs. But despite its effort, which seems as concerted as it is genuine, one thing is clear: there's only so much that can be done.
Google can't uncover every paid link, and even after cracking down on content farms, there are those who think it hasn't done enough.
Last week, Google unveiled an algorithm update designed to ensure that its SERPs aren't dominated by low-quality content farms which specialize in producing rivers of search engine-friendly pages.
The rationale for this update is clear: faced with increasing public criticism over the quality of its SERPs, Google had to act.
You'd think that after being caught red handed copying Google (or not), the engineers at Bing would come up with something original. But copying Google is just far too easy.
Sarcasm aside, Bing announced yesterday that it has added new personalization and localization features closely resembling similar features Google has had in place for some time.
Have you started questioning the quality of Google's search results? You've probably noticed that a lot of people have been lately.
Before you start asking too many questions, however, Google's Matt Cutts wants you to take into consideration a fact you may not know: Google really wasn't all that good in 2000.
Google and Microsoft are rivals, and they have been for some time. Everybody knows that. But what was previously a healthy rivalry between two of the most prominent names in technology increasingly looks like a bar-room brawl.
Earlier this week, the two companies became involved in a very public spat that created a social media spectacle and led TechCrunch's MG Siegler to write, "Wow, Microsoft and Google are punching each other in the face right in front of us."