RIMC 2011: Meet the search engines

Now, switching over to the Search and Display track in hall 4, Cederic Chambaz is explaining the ethos behind Bing.

Microsoft’s latest foray into the search market in opposition to Google, Cederic explains how Bing is not trying to replicate Google, but rather offer something completely different.

Every day Bing has a beautiful new photo homepage and the site’s visual search is so much more than just an image search. Visual search allows you to narrow down your search using pictures and without typing a single word. For example, luxury holidays in May in France.

Bing is already the best search engine for conversions. Google is great for driving through traffic volume, but Bing is better at converting to custom. A UK Bing user is 49% more likely to purchase from a site than average.

But with such a tiny market share, how is Bing expanding? The first thing is the Bingification of Microsoft: Hotmail, MSN, Microsoft.com all powered by Bing. Even Facebook and Yahoo! are Bing partners now. Then there is also traditional advertising striving to raise awareness on TV and the like.

The Bing/Yahoo! link up is bringing Bing into some 40 markets and a global audience of 600+ million searchers. In short, it is an aggressive programme.

Next on stage is Mikkel DeMib, search evangelist. Mikkel has come to share his theory predicting what search engines are going to do in the future. The core of his argument is “do not optimise for search engines” – adding “optimise for web users”!

What has changed most about search is partly that algorithms have changed so much and are now so complicated they cannot be revere engineered easily. Spam protection is now much more advanced and harder to trick – but still not impossible. Although spams and cheats are quick to disappear.

Why not optimise for search engines any more? Well, for a start, the search engines these days are developing themselves to provide exactly what the user wants; so optimising for the user has sort of become optimising for the search engines too.

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2 Comments.

  1. The primary starting point to optimise your site for Bing’s algorithm is to familiarise yourself with the free Webmaster tools (http://www.bing.com/webmaster) and to register there your sitemap, hence ensuring that your site is indeed crawled by the Bing spider.

  2. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you talk about optimizing for users.

    The search engines are increasingly factoring in user experience and this will only become more true as time goes on.