There are a variety of tactics that search engines can use to draw people in, and it looks as though Microsoft’s tactic with Live Search is to throw up a nature scene of someone in a canoe, add some hotspots, and then hope people are intrigued enough to stay for a while. Below is a screenshot of what the Live Search homepage looks like while hovering over one of the “hotspots”:
The hotspot we hovered over in the image above says, “Is that a lily pad or a crocodile” and then clicking on it takes you to an image search for African Crocodiles. They are trying to show off some of their features in a unique way which makes the Live Search homepage a place of discovery. It’s something different, that’s for sure. We haven’t seen any other search engine take an approach like this which could draw in some users.
Now that Microsoft may draw some new users in, they just have to make sure that they provide great results. We’ve already talked a little bit this week about the importance of search engines providing quality search results. This came up with that whole Cuil situation because while the site may look nice and they’ve been able to talk it up quite a bit, the results are terrible. We wouldn’t say Microsoft’s Live Search results are terrible like Cuil’s, but they do still have some work ahead of them.