“You won’t win it with a single website anymore, you just won’t” – Search: where to next panel

“You won’t win it with a single website anymore, you just won’t” – Search: where to next panel

23rd March 2010

How could we miss a session which is on the track “State of Search” and called “Search: where to next?”. We can’t off course, so we sat down to watch this session which has Bing and Yahoo in it doing a presentation and a discussion with the panel.

The panel consists of: Stefan Weitz, Director, Bing, Brett Tabke, CEO, WebmasterWorld.com, Robert Murray, CEO, iProspect, Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo! Search.

Stefan Weitz – Bing

First up is Stefan Weitz from Bing. He talks about the changing web itself. Many of us are optimizing for the textual web, but it’s a more interactive web. He shows the way he feels the web is built up:

  • There is the real time firehose
  • There are the services like booking, taxi magic etcetera, which engines can’t answer
  • There are services like Flickr, YouTube etcetera, which
  • There are the output devices, like mobile

Bing wants to think about search differentL deliver knowledge by computationally understanding user intent. He shows the example of Linda. Bing looks at who she is, what her intent is. They are using semantic parsing. The intent should drive the user experience.

Larry Cornett – Yahoo! Search

Its much more about diversity. He sees the steps:
Retrieval – Ranking – Diversity – Answers – Inspiration
Yahoo knows your social graph

Yahoo has 3 areas of focus:

  1. Find things faster
  2. Explore what matters
  3. Get things done

He talked about search assist. They have taken that technology and taken it to the universal header. They give answers even before you asked the question. Yahoo also changed to faster query reformulation.

Web of things
In stead of just linking you to pages Yahoo tries to get the answers together and give a total answer. Yahoo is trying to create a different type of web, relate things together. “Discover everything about a ‘thing’.” He showed the example of a search on Tom Cruise:

Getting things done
Yahoo has brought richer interaction on SERP. You don’t leave the search page if you click a map. It changes the map.


After the two short presentations the panel goes into discussion about the topic. Some quotes from the discussion:

  • “You won’t win it with a single website anymore, you just won’t”
  • when is it relevant to take people to a vertical experience in search? Stefan “When it helps to accomplish tasks.”
  • Stefan Weitz: how many other 8-year-old technologies are you still happy with?
  • The search engines are trying to bring a more interactive experience to the SERP page.
  • Tagging the semantics is a great first step, but for things like events partnering is evident.

About personalized search:

  • Yahoo tries that with searchmonkey which you can turn on and off.
  • With very few variables you can make a result page personalized (Stefan Weitz)

About privcay concerns:

  • Privacy is more important than a year ago. People are sharing way more than they should
  • It’s coming but you need to be transparant about it as a site or search engine

About realtime / social:

  • We’ve signed deals with Facebook and Twitter to get access to that data. Twitter integration shows real-time Tweets on trending topics
  • If you can start thinking about aggregating all your stuff using the external sites you are ready for the next Twitter
  • Search isn’t about SEO now, its also about social


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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