Bing-bong – anyone home?!

Microsoft has unveiled its new
search product, Bing, and no doubt search marketers and commentators around the world are creating as
many puns as possible. The name Bing may seem a little unusual, but choosing this name certainly
creates attention and hype.

Perhaps Microsoft is taking a lesson
out of Nintendo’s book. Does anyone remember when Nintendo unveiled the name
(pronounced wee) for the home console? It had a similar reaction that
created massive buzz and in the end, the name became memorable white noise
because the product was of such high quality it spoke for

What will be interesting now is
whether Microsoft Live’s rebranding also introduces further improvements to the search product. According to Ashley Highfield, Microsoft’s Consumer Vice
President, “Our search engine knows what it is you enter into that
search box. If you enter Nikon D80, it will know that you are looking for a
camera.” Otherwise known as semantic search, using technology that
understands the meaning behind the
text. Looking at the demo, the “decision engine” seems to become the world’s biggest price comparison site too, among other features.

For marketers these could be
interesting times indeed as Microsoft makes a major bid for a larger share of the search
market, and if the semantic product is as powerful as it is claimed to be, it
could turn the world of SEO on its head. Microsoft has gone on record that it intends to differentiate their search product from others like Google and Yahoo!,
and with a multimillion pound marketing budget we’re all about to find out

In terms of Bing’s introduction to the UK, I spoke to Microsoft advertising community manager Mel Carson to confirm what was happening, “ is a
crucial part of Microsoft’s commitment to succeed in the search space. We’ve
built a search experience which will help consumers find what they’re looking
for faster and more intuitively. Bing was built to address the current
frustration of internet users towards search results.”

“With the same
consumer-focus, we preferred to launch as a Beta in the UK, so our
London-based Search Technology Center (STC) could further enrich the global
experience with more local input throughout, from the front end to the User
Experience, not to mention the algorithm and the relevancy. The knock-on effect
is that advertisers will connect with more engaged consumers who are even more likely
to convert. The ROI from Microsoft adCenter is second to none, so with more
users coming back time and time again that’s all the more opportunity to tap
into our engaged and diverse audience.”

My thoughts on the name “Bing”? I
like it, but I like odd things.

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