Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

Microsoft announced today its Bing search engine, a "decision engine" that will replace live.com worldwide as of June 3.  A distant third place in the search engine game, Microsoft hopes that this engine will help it gain more searcher share by delivering results and content more relevant to how users actually search.  What makes Bing different from existing search engines?

  • Bing focuses on delivering answers, not Web pages.  Microsoft research shows (and Forrester's research affirms) that users rely more and more on search engines to deliver solutions...hotel reservations, movie listings, gift ideas, newsclip replays...not just a directory of Web sites.  Bing was developed to help consumers make decisions, not just to catalog content.

  • Bing organizes content/results by searcher (not algorithm) relevance.  Using research of what types of results have proven relevant to former searchers, Microsoft has organized its Bing interface to deliver the content users are most likely to value, rather than just content that matches an algorithmic formula.

  • Bing filters out results that aren't relevant.  Instead of giving users an overwhelming volume of results, Bing acts as a concierge to help point users to the results most likely to meet their need.

What does Bing mean for interactive marketers?

  • More, quality search inventory.  Today most advertisers buy search ads just with Google and Yahoo because Microsoft has a measly 8% share of searches -- not enough reach to make buying search ads with MS worth the trouble.  Forrester expects Bing to change that.  We expect Bing to appeal to the savvy searcher seeking more relevant search results.
  • A new approach to SEO.
  •   Instead of Bing showing all sites that match the search engine's algorithm, it will show just three results for a given "subcategory" related to a search.  For example, a search for "Britney Spears" may organize by the subcategories "biography," "videos," "music" and "concert information."  This means SEO strategies will adjust in order to optimize Web content for select sub categories, rather than select keywords only.
  • Search engines will become information portals.  Search engines have long been used as gateways to Web content.  But as a decisioning engine, Bing introduces a search engine that actually delivers Web content without sending users away to other destination sites.  A search for "airfare to Denver" shows avaiiable fares, pricing trends, a buy or wait recommendation, and a link to purchase.  Since we expect other search engines to follow Bing's lead, this means marketers should expect increased costs for search and display ads.  We also expect online media planners to adjust the sites where they buy.  We expect consumers to frequent Bing (and other similar search engines in its wake) instead of other portals (Yahoo) and preferred destination sites.


Comments

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

The results seem to be very over-reaching... almost scary.Oh well, I 'll wait till June 3rd to make my final judgment.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm actually kind of excited to see what transpires with this. I recently read an interview with Qi Lu as well as the info page on the Bing website.I can't wait to see the outcome...I love innovation!

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

With only 8% of the search share MS has a lot to gain and I'm feeling Bing will close the gap with Google.Since Bing's results are more relevant we should see a higher return but I guess this depends on what the cost will be. If Bing gets decent traffic and we see some examples of good return on search spend, I'd expect that many will redistribute a bigger portion of their search budget to MS. June and July will be an interesting months in the search world.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

85% chance of a useless product ala "you've just opened a new tab!".Seriously, if there is anything to learn from what comes of this, it will only better Google. MS is and ever-slower, fast follower.Interestingly, if you read this "blog" article, you'll see that the author simply copy-pasted info directly from the MS Press Release... what a favor!

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Umm, this is what Google already does right? If I type in a movie name it gives me a list of theaters in my area. Type in a zip code and i get the weather and other information, type in a math equation... etc.This is like 4 years behind google. I try Live.com every once in a while because it is the default on many computers with a fresh install. It never gets me the information i need.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm wondering if 75% of the 100M MS ad budget for this latest bernouli trial will be spent on Google AdWords for people searching on Google for the term "MS Search Engine" or "Answers", or "Bing" (sic), since the article, (and countless research shows), that Google is generally the best place to spend your online ad dollars. I'm guessing that Forrester has covered that already.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Did they pay for this write up from the Bing advertising budget?

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

how many times have we heard this from microsoft now? About 1million times, who cares about search, google is the search "king" and probably will continue to be for the next decade.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

this is a terrible write up, just a parroting of ms's silly claims.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

This article fights straw men.- "Bing focuses on delivering answers, not Web pages." Google yields answers (see http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html) and web pages.- "Bing organizes content/results by searcher (not algorithm) relevance." Pitting algorithm against person is a false dichotomy. The algorithms aggregate the work of people, when they have made links to other web sites, styled content with HTML, etc.- "Bing filters out results that aren't relevant." Google filters out results that are not relevant. Every search engine filters out results that are not relevant.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

There seems to be a number of worried Google investors whistling past the new guy on the search block.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Bing has a paid ad in Google, how funny is that

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Decisioning (as in "decisioning engine") is not a word. Perhaps you can solutionize yourself by acquiring a dictionary.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Oh boy, more MS knowing more about what we need than we do. Bing might be slightly less objectionable than the notorious MS Office Assistant (who could forget the cute little animated paperclip which revolutionized the office suite). MS is into automating not only the routines used by programs but the way we think about data. Frankly, I've never been impressed with their sagacity.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

his reads a tad too boostery to me, sorry. Next time maybe a little more critical analysis would be more helpful to the audience here. Could it be because Microsoft and Forrester's "research" agree?... ; >That said, I hope Bing makes a dent in their ever-shrinking share of search. Competition is good. As was noted elsewhere, the barriers to switch engines are low, but habits are tough to break. Can Bing find me better, quicker sushi in a strange new town at 11pm?I know what would make me switch --- if Bing simply got search right and then attacked Hulu and forgot about chasing Google. Now that would be a unique and differentiated mix of information, entertainment and user experience. There's no way that property gets longterm monetization right whilst jointly owned by voracious, near-identical media competitors.THAT, could be a niche MSFT could own and dominate.What would Forrester say, I wonder?...

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm hopeful that Microsoft marries this innovation with an historical strength of theirs -- SDKs and APIs to let third parties plug in their results into the search engine.Looking at travel, for instance, when I type in "Maui vacation rental" into Google, or Yahoo, or Bing, I want the results to not only show me a bunch of photos of vacation rentals, I want the portal to let me filter on *when do I want to go*, and *how much do I want to pay*?To answer that question with actual, accurate results, it needs to link into the places where the answers are. (Escapia Inc., the company that I serve as chairman, offers the leading web-based software for vacation rental property managers. We have an API that provides availbility, pricing and more for tens of thousands of vacation rentals for any query.)Looking out to all categories that exist in the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or the classified advertising world, I think the move to decision-making style engines like Bing is inevitable. But to capitalize on it, Microsoft should publish a service provider interface, and a set of XML interfaces that get called when certain queries get issued.You should be able to say "Seattle plumber", and the decisionmaking engine should let you filter on services offered, availability schedules, reviews from past users, etc. It's a huge opportunity to push search forward, but it cannot be done in an insular "central planning" style way. It needs to be open -- and it will be -- it's just a matter of time.The Web 1.0 model of building a large classified-ad style directory of a vertical is greatly threatened by the move toward decisionmaking-style engines. (I wrote about this trend a couple of years ago on my blog.)But it's inevitable, in my view, and best for consumers and suppliers alike.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

This provides no insight into the real challenges Bing faces changing people's search behavior or overcoming the technical and cultural lock Google has on internet search. What this does, instead, is talk about Bing's features and present Microsoft's talking points, while hinting at Forrester's research on the subject.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm trying to figure out how this is different from Google--perhaps it's more formatted? Hard to tell without trying it, and there's not much more analysis here than I found in the press release, unfortunately.One thing does bother me: The pitchvideo says that Bing presents information from the best sources, with an implication that it filters out irrelevant or ill-informed material. Who's making the decision on the filter? An algorithm? A human? Both? What measures are they using to determine expertise and will those measures be available publicly?Such filtering can conceivably hide opposing but valid views and might even be seen as censorship in some cases. One of the reasons the Web has replaced media as a primary information repository (I think) is that it delivers more than just a regurgitation of a press release. Yeah, there's a bunch of junk to weed out, and I get the information overload bit, but I still want to have that info available.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I don't think Bing is really going to dictate much of how we code our pages and write content.Bing is Google with a tighter noose and bunch of questionable features that in reality would require hordes of human editors. It would run off the results of authoritive partner sites while everyone is throwing money around behind our backs.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Cant say for sure what is in the offing. If the search results seem to mechanical, and there is nothing more for the actual searcher to use his brains on, and there is no more fun in ending up with unexpected sites and information, it may scare away the searchers. Yet, who can say for sure what is being planned. Micro Soft has always been innovative. It is true that many of their products connected to browsing and searching have been overwhelmed by minor toys from others, yet they may still have something up their sleeves. The wager is on if they are Aces!

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Will Bing correct typos? "avaiiable fares."Otherwise, let's see how this Bing thing goes. If the search results and UI are good, I'll use it.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Agee with Ved. Who can say for sure what is being planned. However, I hope it's not going to be a manipulative machine that attempts to lead me to an answer based on everyone else's preferences. That sounds horrific, like a path of religious enlightenment along which all the worlds preferences would somehow converge. Or a bit big brother 1984.Discovery, at least for the important things, isn't about being given answers. It's about building the knowledge to that lead you to the really interesting questions.I do love google. I love the thrill of the search, to be in control of the search, to finnesse and refine the search, to plough through the crap and find the gems. A great search is part science, part art, part logic, part zen, part luck. Just like life. You gain insights and intuition as you duck and weave through the rubbish, just as you do in life.A good search, like a good life, is one that lets in new ideas, to think, learn, integrate new knowledge and undo previously held assumptions or beliefs.Life is not always about quick answers. The important truths are complex, and the many winding paths we take to discovery are often more important then the destination.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

For the skepticshttp://www.pcworld.com/article/165749/bing_vs_google_vs_yahoo_feature_smackdown.htmland please stop bashing the messenger if you don’t like the message.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Wow! This post clearly struck a chord with folks. I think this is the most comments to date on a post of mine. Although I'm not surprised to hear the varying opinions about MS and its latest search engine, I *was* a bit surprised by the emotion expressed in people's comments. I guess I just never expected people to have that much passion for a search engine! Our research shows that 55% of consumers use more than one search engine every week. But it does sound like people feel a very strong emotional connection to Google, even if they flit around to other engines from search to search.Who has tried out Bing.com since it went live in the US this morning? What is your initial take?

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm sad to see a quality organization like Forrester post such a marketing spin. I don't find posts like this helpful--there is no data, no rationale--just the marketing information that the vendor puts out. I'm disappointed.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I think the author has NO CLUE what an algorithm is. Is this the first time she's run across this strange term? Of COURSE Bing uses algorithms, and there's no such thing as "relevant" results apart from an algorithmic calculation. There are no little people on the other side of a search engine helping you find anything. Sorry to disappoint.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

SEO for Bing will only gain momentum when it has lived up to its reputation for sometime and gains a fair share.Let us see how the future unfolds.

re: Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

I'm actually kind of excited to see what transpires with this. I recently read an interview with Qi Lu as well as the info page on the Bing website.yarismak