#SESNY Day 3 Keynote: Evolution of Search with Yusuf Mehdi, SVP Bing


Mr. Mehdi, started with an interesting history with Microsoft starting with Windows through the 90’s, introduction of explorer and the adoption of the internet. The conversation continues regarding anticipating user intention and service up specific content. It actually pretty amazing how wrong most searches are there is a renewed interest in serving up relevant content based more on long tail search terms and or phrases. More users are using phrases to search including myself. Yusuf Mehdi, mentioned that users won’t make a purchase for approximately 2-4 weeks after their first query search. Again, discussing “user intent”.

Finally Yusuf demonstrated new functionality coming from Bing. Doing a search for Taylor Swift and how Bing serves up related content on the left side which is valuable realestate. Then along the top of the search results there are additional related content, like tour, appearances, events, concerts, photos, etc. The intention of the Bing search is to anticipate the information a user wants when performing that search versus just providing links. Now, with a single search you have more options to take action like book travel, tickets, and buy.

Wow, the new Microsoft mobile phone OS looks very cool. Also, Bing has improved their mapping technology to be a little more user friendly to zoom in out and see locations of interest.

Bing prototype will take photos taken and allow you to scroll around to view the area you are. Similar to Augmented Reality with photos where data is overlayed on photos that appears.

So the future of search is going to be a mashup of geospatial search, augmented reality, mobile visual search, real-time streaming search and serving all of that information up in a relative way that helps anticipate user intent. For instance, the integration with foursquare and Bing will allow geotagging for your friends. If you go into a restaurant you may receive a message from a friend who was there weeks before letting you know how the service was or what they recommend from the menu… another interesting concept for serving up user intent content.

Next session is Eye Tracking and how to determine web visit behavior in order to optimize website conversions.

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