Big changes in the realm of search

We’ve had a few large products go out the door recently so I’ve finally been able to catch up on many of the things going on in the world of search engines. The major search engines have all been trying to do what they can to get your advertising dollars. I’d like to highlight the biggest things for you.
Google has unleashed a few new products that are really cool. 1st off would be Google Calendar which, when combined with GMail, competes head to head with Microsoft’s Outlook. The interface is very slick and it offers a lot of convenience. The latest entry into the battle is Google Notebook. Essentially it’s a way to categorize and organize your research and notes and make it accessible publicly if you wish. The last new tool is a utility called Google Trends. This is more of an extension of Google’s infamous Zeitgeist (which also got a nice makeover) that allows you to search and compare trends for searchers. It’s a great tool for web marketers and SEOs.
The biggest news for Yahoo has to be their long overdue redesign for their home page. It’s not 100% live yet however they are letting anyone view it. It’s a great, modern look with lots of integration of their various products and services. The new page fuses AJAX programming seamlessly and makes for a very enjoyable user experience. The other thing Yahoo has done is reawaken the beast known as AlltheWeb. They have brought some very slick AJAX coding to the search engine world which is a refreshing change. The AJAX functionality adds a new dimension to searching through Yahoo’s massive index by giving vertical search suggestions. Even if you prefer another search engine, it is definitely worth the time to take a look at.
Microsoft has been pretty quiet as of late. They are slowly rolling out their online advertising program called adCenter. This will be replacing their current model of using Yahoo’s sponsored listings and help give MSN its own identity. With Microsoft putting a lot of money into the Xbox360, I expect them to invest heavily into MSN in the near future. Amazon recently dumped Yahoo in favor of Windows Live search (which is another great AJAX based web site). Steve Balmer has stated he wants to compete more heavily against Google for the online advertising dollar.