Bings Plan to Gain More Traction

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-03-22 Print this article Print

In this model, the search experience doesn't just take a dead stop at returning results to users' queries; it opens doors to help users subscribe to new services, find goods or learn new information when they arrive at their destination.

Take Bing event search. A user can type in a query to see New York event and see event listings and results from popular ticket vendors right in the search result.

Users can then go to those sites and make their purchases. So the search and the transaction are more closely aligned than ever before. Instead of search and stop, Bing is becoming search and buy.

Now imagine that is paired across thousands of industry applications, as suggested recently by search expert John Battelle. That could make Bing a powerful destination for not only information retrieval, but e-commerce.

Google isn't really taking this approach. If users type in New York events on Google, they will see links to Websites that promote events.

But this experience is not geared around fueling transactions so much as helping users find the sites where users may want to do a transaction. That is a key difference between Bing and Google.   

"People are behaving differently on the Web," Weitz said. "The Web itself has progressed a ton since Google pioneered PageRank. It was a static, text-based Web. There was not a lot of interactivity options or massive updates on a global scale.

"Whereas Google organized the world's information, we are moving beyond links and multimedia on a page to services that provide data that we will never ingest. But we know it exists and we can pull it in in real time to augment that answer."

Is this approach working? Bing is doing something right. Since its broad June 2009 launch, Bing has grown from roughly 8 percent market share to 11.5 percent, according to comScore.

While Google has retained its 65 percent market share, Bing's growth appears to be largely at the expense of Yahoo, which has fallen steadily since Bing's arrival and subsequent partnership to let Bing power Yahoo results. Tacking on Yahoo's search share will give Bing 28 percent of the market, well behind Google but much closer than before. 

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