Microsoft’s Bing recently set the media ablaze with the reveal of its adaptive search function; the latest move in the company’s bid to overthrow Google’s throne as the search king. While the company has struggled to emerge from Google’s shadow since unveiling Bing in 2009, a recent ComScore report revealed that Microsoft is gaining market share, a development that can be attributed to their steady stream of search enhancements. The latest, and arguably the greatest, of these enhancements is adaptive search, which the company says “helps decipher the intent and context of each search you conduct based on your search history.” Simply put, Bing is bringing personalization to search by examining past history to make predictions about future interests.
Make no mistake, personalized search certainly isn’t new. Since 2008, Google has had a previous query option that takes into account past searches when conducting new ones. But what’s interesting about Bing’s vision is that the company “views personalized search as less of a ‘feature’ and more of what to expect from search.” As people become more reliant on the internet to gather information, make buying decisions and carry out the functions of their every-day lives, they expect their content to keep up and personalization is the key.
At Baynote, we define Bing’s approach as personalization 2.0. Personalization 1.0 was 100 percent rules driven, where content was personalized based on user profile information. The classic example of this is the Yahoo homepage that shows different content to users when they login. Personalization 2.0 (what Bing just announced) trolls the user’s history to infer what he/she may want based on past actions. The classic example of this type of personalization is Amazon.com where you typically see recommendations based on your past purchases. Personalization 3.0, what Baynote views as the next frontier and where we are focused, takes advantage of those first two approaches, and also watches real-time behaviors to determine in the moment intent.
We help retailers and consumers develop a relationship that is driven by the consumer but is ultimately beneficial to both brands and consumers alike. The end result? Satisfied customers, happy marketers, and markedly higher conversion rates and increased profit margins. That’s why we’re excited to hear that more and more companies are joining the personalization revolution; by taking into account each user’s browsing history to make predictive recommendations, we are taking measures to heighten online productivity and to maximize each browsing experience.
It’s the internet, but it’s your internet. Quite frankly, do you deserve any less?