There continues to be new surace areas to compete and dierentiate across content types, entrypoints, devices, and use cases in Search, and we see this evolution continuing. Bing was a clearexample o innovation in the richer user experience it provided, the integrated let-pane searchrenement tool or a more relevant search experience, and the vertical searches, as an example. However, user behaviour has also evolved signicantly, and the market is undeniably movingtowards open interoperability. Open and Social experiences are becoming the norm. Search canimprove signicantly by leveraging the open web and social networks like Facebook, Twitter andMySpace to provide real-time and social eeds. The power o Social Media is just that – social.Over 65% o users contribute, share or discuss content with riends and amily. Decisions aboutwhat to read or view are oten made based on popularity or “wisdom o the crowds.” And that is agood signal o intent.Social networks like Facebook are an incredible targeting asset on multiple ronts: it provides anonline people directory and audience with a rich dataset and prole or targeting; it allows or richuser generated content (UGC); it enables a digital community play or brand building and anity;and it is an app platorm or developers; amongst other dimensions o Social Network Services. What does it mean or advertisers, however? The uture o search depends on integrating suchrich experiences into the SERP to provide better targeting and monetization opportunities throughbetter relevancy (i.e., intent inerence). This is a vast source o uture value creation or us and therest o the industry.
Search has been called “The Database o Intentions.” Rightly so, but that is just thestart. At Microsot’s Online Services Division, our mission is to “Empower People withKnowledge” - this is a multi-decade quest to enable people everywhere to gain knowledgeand creativity rom the web by computationally understanding user intent and matchingthat with published content, advertising oerings, and sotware services. This is akin tobuilding a virtual mind-reader, which automatically understands what people are trying toaccomplish (intent: needs & interests) and distil knowledge (undamental meanings, theinsights and know-how rom digital inormation).
by Dr. Qi Lu
,President,Microsot, OnlineServices Division