Microsoft Bing Director Stefan Weitz said Microsoft is fine not catching up to Google in traditional keyword search. However, Bing expects to differentiate by offering e-commerce-related verticals that ease consumers' transactions. Weitz pointed to areas such as event-driven tasks, commercial queries and knowledge-type queries as Bing's strengths and advantages over Google and any other challenger. For example, users searching for events in a city will be connected immediately to theater showings and other happenings. Users can then easily purchase tickets.
Microsoft's Bing search engine has been gaining market
share at a solid clip, growing from roughly 8 percent in June 2009 to 11.5
percent through February,
according to comScore
Still, that growth won't make people confuse Bing with
Google, the U.S. leader at 65 percent (and greater abroad), anytime soon.
The Bing team is fine with that, as long as it continues
to attract users to key money-making verticals, according to Microsoft Bing
Director Stefan Weitz. In keyword search, Bing can be the Pepsi to Google's
Coke without feeling bad about itself.
"People are happy with keyword-based search,"
Weitz told eWEEK. "People are creatures of habit and they're fairly happy
with Google's keyword search today and they think it works well and
there's no reason for them to look around."
Weitz pointed out: "It's not a zero sum game. I think what we're doing
with search and as we look at how people are using the Web itself and how the
Web is changing, we think we can expand that which people do with these
engines. We can grow the overall pie, the overall number of searches that are
happening across the Web."
pointed to areas such as event-driven tasks, commercial queries and
knowledge-type queries as Bing's strengths and advantages over Google and any
other challenger. For example, users searching for events in a city on Bing will be
connected immediately to theater showings, and other happenings. Users can then
easily purchase tickets.
, which lets users search and buy goods, often with a discount
. Bing Travel lets users easily book flights, hotels and conduct other
e-commerce verticals pose a departure from Google's current offerings, and
could be a big part of why Google is looking to fortify
its e-commerce experience.
going to have a radically different experience that in many cases rethinks
search should look like. I hope we take a portion of share in those areas.
We'll continue to compete in keyword-based search. But the more exciting place,
and the place we're looking at more often is how we expand the art of the
possible in search and in those areas where we can create that expansion, we'll
have an experience people will come to. It's almost a different playing field
at that point."
magic in what search will be able to do is let create dozens of verticals that
are built on the fly to correspond to what the user is doing," he added.
of verticals means Bing needs access to more information, which means greater
scale. And because Bing isn't creating the information itself, it needs to hook
into myriad Web services that people enjoy using.
For example, Bing Travel today
quickly puts consumers in touch with Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and other
purveyors of travel. Weitz said Microsoft needs to do that with additional Web
Microsoft is working on integrating
with additional Web services to draw more users into its broadening
aim to refine intent so that a human can understand what you're asking," Weitz
added. "Google organizes the world's information and that's great. We are
moving beyond organizing information and what comprises knowledge and that's more
than links or multimedia on a Web page. Knowledge can be a combination of
opposing points, it can be services that provide data that we will never
ingest, but we know it exists and we can pull it in real time to augment that
Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft's
Online Audience Business, Bing is
expected to discuss
with Bing at the Search Engine Strategies show in New York City March 25.
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