This is the title that Bing’s Rob Adamson gave his presentation at this year’s UK WSI Digital Summit. A revolution is coming, he told the room. Search is getting a radical overhaul.
We’ve been stuck in the old ways of thinking about search; using keyword to URL mapping to retrieve the information on the web that’s been searched for. But search is evolveing way beyond this and if we don’t think about where the format is going in the future we risk applying the same old rules and formulas to search in a world where everything else is changing.
Here’s an example of where this has happened in another industry – watches. Watches were always advertised with their hands positioned at 10.08 or 10.11. Why? So the brand name across the centre of the watch is clearly visible. In addition, psychology says people are more likely to buy a watch that loos like a smiley face!
That premise no longer applies in the digital world, yet the time on digital devices is still always set to 10.08 on ads. Why? Probably because someone , at some point said “watches are aleways set to 10.08, it’s the rule to sell more” and they just stayed with that.
So at Microsoft we are thinking very differently about search and we see the future as being something way beyond the search bar.In search we can’t keep thinking like that, we can’t rely on old standards for new formats, it doesn’t work. We have to think differently. Evolution is not a linear process where one things follows another, It is a state of continual improvement and adaptation.
Because search doesn’t belong in a box.
Search is the new electricity! Search will eventually become invisible, like electricity. You know it’s there and you may think about flicking the switch, but we rake it for granted, it’s there and part of our daily lives.
So how will this happen? Through integrations and innovation.
Search functionality is becoming seamless across everything we do and it should be where you are. If you’re in Word writing about something or someone, Bing Insights will bring you up useful information about the person or thing, right there in Word. It comes to you in the place you need it. Integration.
As for innovation, Bing are at the heart of cutting edge technology and have a number of ways in which Bing is being integrated and changing the way we think about search. Cortana is an example. Search where you need it, or even before you need it! When compared to other similar technologies like Siri, Cortana consistently handled the sequential search better.
Taking things one step further Bing are working on object recognition. Imagine if you could search from a picture?
So what does all this mean for you as businesses? Technology continues to evolve and we (Bing / Microsoft) need to recognise that you may be resource poor – there’s no question, you’ll always be time poor! Now we know that you may well focus more of your search budgets on Google so we have innovations like google Sync that allow you to keep your search accounts even across both engines.
We created Universal event tracking, to replace search only tracking capabilities to work across all your marketing campaigns. We are working to make utilising Bing as a search engine less of a burden on your time, but allowing you to take advantage of our 15% and growing market share.
The final point to get across was to businesses
Do not just focus on the technology, but your product or service and the end users behaviours. Think about the devices they use. Do they use Kindle or Xbox or Microsoft Office? These are all places your customers can be reached with Bing.