Future of search is pervasive, predictive and proactive, says Bing

The search land­scape has long been dom­i­nat­ed by Google. But as that land­scape con­tin­ues to evolve, Bing believes there are some key step changes that will impact the way we mar­ket our­selves and the way we search more gen­er­al­ly. The future of search is some­thing every­one...

Laura Hampton By Laura Hampton from Impression. Join the discussion » 3 comments

The search land­scape has long been dom­i­nat­ed by Google. But as that land­scape con­tin­ues to evolve, Bing believes there are some key step changes that will impact the way we mar­ket our­selves and the way we search more gen­er­al­ly.

The future of search is some­thing every­one in the search indus­try likes to talk about. Any hint we can get about how the search engines are adapt­ing to bet­ter meet user needs is essen­tial infor­ma­tion in help­ing us to bet­ter pro­mote our brands and talk to our audi­ences.

When we were giv­en the chance to inter­view James Mur­ray, EMEA Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing Man­ag­er at Bing, we jumped at it. Here’s what he had to say about how Microsoft sees search evolv­ing:

Future of Bing Search from Impres­sion.


The per­va­sive­ness of search was James’ first point, talk­ing about how the way we search is chang­ing and that users are going beyond the search bar to seek infor­ma­tion via medi­ums like voice, which we know has been a big area of focus through­out mar­ket­ing con­fer­ences this year.

The Inter­net of Things, as an exam­ple, will change the way users behave. A com­mon exam­ple giv­en by Bing is that of the inter­net enabled fridge, where­by the fridge can let you know what food you have and where dig­i­tal assis­tants can there­fore make rec­om­men­da­tions on what to eat. Per­haps a more per­va­sive exam­ple today is that of inter­net enabled cars, or even the increas­ing use of voice search on mobile devices; the more we inter­act with search out­side of the search bar, the greater the poten­tial for search to play an inte­gral part in our lives — and for us as mar­keters, the greater the oppor­tu­ni­ty to nur­ture brand loy­al­ty and bet­ter serve our cus­tomers.

What does this mean for mar­keters? We’re already see­ing an increased inter­est in search fea­tures like Fea­tured Snip­pets, which no doubt play an essen­tial role in the devel­op­ment of voice results mov­ing for­ward. Savvy mar­keters are invest­ing in cre­at­ing great con­tent to answer user queries using nat­ur­al lan­guage — mean­ing we should see even bet­ter qual­i­ty con­tent around the web over the com­ing months.

It also means we need to be aware that our audi­ence may not be com­ing via the tra­di­tion­al search bar. How many results are there in voice search? One! Whether they’re search­ing on a mobile device, Google Home, Alexa, via their car or any oth­er inter­net enabled device, the user will be giv­en just one answer to their query. Secur­ing and retain­ing that num­ber 1 posi­tion will be more impor­tant than ever.


The idea of pre­dic­tive­ness, accord­ing to Bing, is that search engines and dig­i­tal assis­tants will be bet­ter able to per­son­alise their results to the spe­cif­ic indi­vid­ual searcher. Algo­rithms are already adapt­ing the results we see on screen, and have been for years, but Bing’s sug­ges­tion is that that per­son­al­i­sa­tion will be tak­en to a new lev­el, allow­ing for rec­om­men­da­tions to be made based on pre­vi­ous behav­iour and future needs.

One exam­ple James Mur­ray gave is that of the inter­net enabled fridge, which is able to con­nect with your cal­en­dar and make the rec­om­men­da­tion that you buy more milk on the basis that your par­ents are com­ing to vis­it and you’re cur­rent­ly run­ning low.

It will be inter­est­ing to see how this tran­spires, and indeed how the upcom­ing GDPR rules affect the inter-con­nec­tiv­i­ty of devices at this lev­el.


The final com­po­nent of Bing’s future pre­dic­tions lies in proac­tiv­i­ty, and the abil­i­ty for dig­i­tal assis­tants in par­tic­u­lar to make use of infor­ma­tion about the user to take action on their behalf.

James’ sug­ges­tion is that as users grow more con­fi­dent in giv­ing machines auton­o­my, we’ll reach a point where a dig­i­tal assis­tant could, for exam­ple, pur­chase more milk for us when it knows we are run­ning low and our par­ents are com­ing round.

What this essen­tial­ly means for mar­keters is pret­ty much what we already know; that the future of search is all about improved user expe­ri­ence. When we can attract and then retain cus­tomers, we’re more like­ly to be the preva­lent brand when it comes to dig­i­tal assis­tants mak­ing deci­sions on our behalf. In the short to medi­um term, that’s got to mean a con­tin­ued focus on high qual­i­ty con­tent, tech­ni­cal excel­lence and build­ing brand aware­ness in the form of return­ing traf­fic.

You can watch the full Bing inter­view at https://www.impression.co.uk/bing-interview/

Laura Hampton

Written by Laura Hampton

Digital Marketing Manager, Impression

Laura is the digital marketing manager at multi-award winning digital marketing agency Impression. Laura is a regular speaker at conferences including Brighton SEO and her work has featured on sites including Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal. When she’s not working to improve her clients’ search visibility, Laura can usually be found jumping out of airplanes and has competed for her country in international skydiving events.

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