Microsoft has booked American Idol alumni Adam Lambert to give a live performance at the Bing Lounge in Portland, Oregon on March 25th. As part of the promotion, Bing is offering an exclusive meet and greet access to one Twitter follower and guest at the show. To win, users have to retweet specific tweets from the @Bing handle to be entered into the sweepstakes. Bing will randomly select one winner from the followers who retweet the @Bing handle sweepstakes tweets during the following time period: 9AM-5PM PT on March 14, 2012.
Bing’s promotion comes on the heels of a series of tweaks the company has made to its search engine. The most recent is a feature called Linked Pages, which lets the user link websites related to him or her in search results. "Now your friends looking for you online can find what you want them to find. You can also link pages to your friends to help them shine on Bing as well," Bing said. Links can include a blog, a personal website, organizations the user is associated with, activities he or she is involved with or just sites he likes.
Whether its product improvement and marketing initiatives are enough to beat Google, or at least make a dent in its market share, is still an open question. Google’s dominance in the search engine sphere continues unabated, according to survey results released in March 2012 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. 83% of search engine users report using Google most often, compared to just 6% for Yahoo. In 2004, 47% said they used Google most often, compared to 26% for Yahoo.
The survey also shows that most people are satisfied with their search experiences—which means there is little incentive for users to experiment with newcomers. The vast majority (86%) of the Pew survey respondents say they have learned something new or important using a search engine that really helped them or increased their knowledge, a figure which rises to 92% among college-educated users. Half of users said they have found a really obscure fact or piece of information they did not think they would be able to find, also higher among those who have been to college (56%).