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Bing and the Future

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					                       Bing and the Future




Today, you type a word in a box and you get a plethora of results that may or may not be what
you‘re looking for. For example, I just did a search for Fight Club on Google and the top 6
results were about the film. Now, had I been an author that searches for books a lot, or was
always visiting Barnes & Noble‘s website (www.bn.com), perhaps the lone result for Chuck
Palahniuk‗s book would have been higher, or available in more results. That‘s the dilemma that
Bing is trying to tackle.



From it‘s inception, Bing has always been forward thinking and we should expect nothing less
from the Microsoft company. Remember those ―search overload‖ commercials? With market
share at roughly 14.7% (compared with 15.5% for Yahoo, and 65.3% for Google according to
comScore), Microsoft knows it isn‘t going to be the leader in the search space overnight. With
key innovations like a new focus on improving search through apps as referenced here in Laurie
Sullivan‘s article, they could quietly sneak into second place, which isn‘t necessarily a bad spot.
The goal is simply to differentiate itself from Google.



The Bing Team even put an article out last month to explain the whole process, which makes
perfect sense. It‘s called ―Adapting Search to You‖, and you can read the whole bit here. The
article explains,



―Ambiguity is a tough problem for a search engine.



You generally search with a clear intent in mind but, without context, the phrase you enter may
have a very different meaning to someone else. For example, if you were to type ―CSI‖ odds are
you‘re interested in the TV show. But, if you live in Twin Falls, you may, instead, be looking for
the College of Southern Idaho. When we think about ambiguity at Bing, understanding what
your query represents (primetime entertainment or a college in Idaho) is only one step. You may
be interested in CSI (the show) but what you‘re specifically interested in is this season‘s cast, or
perhaps you want to catch up on a missing episode. The intent is ambiguous here as well. In fact,
over half of the queries issued on search engines are ambiguous to some degree.



For many searches, there may be ―hidden context‖ which would improve our understanding of
what you‘re trying to do. Whether it‘s picking which movie to see or figuring out which bus to
take, a more personalized search experience can help you make decisions faster. Earlier this year,
we started to take on the challenges of personalized search by looking at two key scenarios – the
first was tailoring results based on your physical location, and the second was designed to ―re-
find‖ websites you had previously visited. Today, we‘re taking another step forward with the
roll-out of a new feature: Adaptive Search.”



Stefan Weitz, senior director of Bing, believes that the future of search is more intuitive and not
just based on the web of days past, like some of his competitors. Earlier this year, he said,
―When Google launched, they wanted to organize the world‘s information that was their mantra
— it still is,‖ Weitz said in an interview. ―It was a great vision that assumed really the web of
yore, which is a web of documents, literally pages and the connections. Google‘s whole mission
was to leverage those connections and say, ‗Okay, I can see that the connection between these
two pages is almost as important as the page content itself in defining what these things are
about‘ — it was a brilliant, brilliant model.‖ From now and for the next 18 months, Bing will try
to focus more on the intent and not so much info. Worried that too much info is getting too
personal? Bing has always maintained a high value for privacy, so users have the option to wipe
out a search history, etc. I like to pride myself in being an expert at knowing how to find
something on the net, but with Bing and the way things are looking, my stock might be falling
fast.



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