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Ecosia is a search engine that promotes privacy first and plants trees around the world, and with Mondays updates, it is now available as a default search engine setting on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Ecosia uses their income from search ads to fund planting trees around the world in harsh environments. The search engine doesn't track users, encrypts searches, and anonymizes data within a week of it being created.

The ad revenue generated from Apple users alone have planted over seven million trees in 2020, and now you can do more by making it the default search engine. The website shows over 115 million trees have been planted as a result of search revenue so far.

Users can customize what data is gathered by using the Safari browser extension or altering settings on the website, which creates a cookie to store those settings. Ecosia uses keyword searches rather than building user-data profiles and hyper-targeting. The company also makes its earnings reports public to show exactly where finances are being distributed.

Browsers that can be set to default in Safari settings:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ecosia

When a default search engine is set, it will replace Google everywhere web search occurs on the device within the OS except when using Siri. Spotlight search will pull data from everywhere on the device or use the default search engine to surface web results. When asking Siri for information it will search Google using a random identifier so Google doesn't know its you.

Set Ecosia as your default browser on iOS and iPadOS by navigating to Settings, scroll to Safari, and select Search Engine. On macOS set the default search engine from Safari settings.

Users who wish to set Ecosia as their default must update to iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3 or macOS 11.1 to do so.

Even as Apple adds competitors to Google to its platform, it appears as if Apple itself is preparing an in-house search engine. While web crawlers used by Apple could be related to bolstering Siri results, it could also indicate a larger project for Apple's search engine.

[Source: This article was published in appleinsider.com By Wesley Hilliard - Uploaded by the Association Member: Barbara larson]

Categorized in Search Engine

Bing is rolling out several updates to improve key search features including autosuggest, people also ask, and intelligent answers.

Bing is improving several key search features with updates designed to provide users with a wider range of results.

Now, when users search using Bing, they can expect to see:

  • Better autosuggest predictions
  • More ‘people also ask’ recommendations
  • Intelligent answers in more regions
  • Semantic highlighting in search snippets

Each of these updates are made possible due to advancements Microsoft has made in the areas of Natural Language Representation and Natural Language Generation.

Here’s how these updates will enhance the Bing search experience going forward.

Better Autosuggest Predictions

A new technology called Next Phrase Prediction is being integrated into Bing’s autosuggest feature.

 

What that means for users is Bing can now provide full phrase suggestions in real time for long queries.

Previously, Bing’s approach to handling autosuggestions for longer queries was limited to completing the current word being typed by the user.

Now, Bing can generate phrase suggestions for long queries before a user starts typing the next word.

Here are some examples of suggestions that Bing wouldn’t have been able to show previously.

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In addition, since phrase suggestions are being generated in real-time, autosuggest results are no longer limited to previously entered queries.

As a result of this update, coverage of autosuggest completions increases considerably, which improves the overall search experience.

More Questions in ‘People Also Ask’

Bing can now generate question-answer pairs in the People Also Ask (PAA) block for queries that haven’t been entered before.

“We use a high-quality generative model on billions of documents to generate question-answer pairs that are present within those documents.

Later, when the same documents appear on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), we use the previously generated question-answer pairs to help populate the PAA block, in addition to existing similar questions that have previously been asked.”

This update allows for greater exploration of search results by asking more questions instead of just browsing documents.

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Expanding Intelligent Answers

Bing is expanding intelligent answers to 100 languages and 200+ regions, which covers almost every area Bing is available in.

Previously, Bing’s intelligent answers were only available in 13 markets.

Bing’s intelligent answers are similar Google’s quick answers. The key difference is Bing’s intelligent answers are only displayed when the same answer is backed up by multiple trusted sources.

Google’s quick answers, on the other hand, are pulled from a single source.

Semantic Highlighting in Search Snippets

Bing is improving search snippets in all markets with a feature called semantic highlighting.

This feature allows Bing to highlight words in snippets beyond simple keyword matching.

Semantic highlighting is designed to help users find information faster without having to read through the entire snippet.

Previously, Bing’s ability to highlight snippets was limited to matching the exact keywords a user typed in the query.

“Highlighting the answer in a caption is similar to Stanford’s Machine Reading Comprehension test in which Microsoft was the first to reach human parity on the benchmark.

With Universal Semantic Highlighting, we can identify and highlight answers within captions, and do it not just for English but for all languages.”

Here is an example for the query “what temperature is a fever for coronavirus.”

ac.png

Notice how Bing doesn’t highlight the words used in the query.

Rather, Bing highlights the answer the user is looking for (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Expect updates similar to these in the future as Microsoft continues to make advancements in natural language processing.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Daniel K. Henry]

Categorized in Search Engine

Update: July 15, 2020 at 5:29 PM ET: In an email, Microsoft confirmed the news to Android Authority that Bing has indeed been added to the list of search engines in certain parts of Android after installing the Outlook app. The company claims this addition has no impact on users’ default search engines on their phones.

Original article: July 13, 2020 at 9:40 PM ET: If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine.

Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world.

The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing.

We’ve asked Microsoft for comment, although this isn’t a completely novel strategy. The company slipped suggestions for its own apps into Android’s share menu in 2019.

There is an incentive for the company to experiment with features like this.

Microsoft is using built-in Android functionality to add the Bing search option. It’s not compromising your device or otherwise going out of bounds, then. However, the practice might not find many fans. The company is promoting Bing to users who didn’t expect it (and frequently didn’t want it) on their devices in any form, let alone system-wide.

There is an incentive for the company to experiment with features like this. Bing had just under 2.8% of search engine usage share in June 2020, according to StatCounter. While that’s larger than most of the competition, it pales compared to Google’s 91.75% share. Microsoft has a lot of ground to cover if it’s going to be more competitive, and suggesting Bing searches to millions of users there have been over 100 million downloads as we write this) theoretically helps close the gap.

[Source: This article was published in androidauthority.com By Jon Fingas - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff]

Categorized in Search Engine

Bing updated its backlink tool. Now it reports competitor backlinks. So much better than what Google provides.

Bing updated an improved backlink research tool and announced it on Twitter. The backlink tool shows links from unique top referring domains, links on a page per page level as well as the top anchor text.

It also shows the same data for competitors.

This makes Bing’s backlink tool useful for researching links as part of a link building process.

Bing Backlink Research Tool

The tool has recently been upgraded with the new feature.

Archive.org has a screenshot of the Bing Backlink Tool support page. The screenshot is from April 2020.

The archive of the backlink tool support page has a snapshot of the old version of the Bing backlink tool.

It can be seen in the screenshot that the old tool only had two backlink features:

  • All Links
  • Disavow

old-tool.png

The new Bing support page shows that the tool now has three features

  1. All Links
  2. Similar Sites
  3. Disavow Links

Bing Similar Sites Tool

Bings similar sites tool presents a great way to do backlink research. The tool helps you gain insights on competitor backlinks and can be useful for non-competitor backlink research.

While the tool calls it the “Similar Sites” tool, you can actually put any domain name in there, regardless if it’s similar to your site and research away. This means it can be used for backlink research for clients or to find backlinks of sites that aren’t direct competitors.

Detailed Backlink Information

The tool shows domain level backlink information, with the number of links from each domain listed in a right-hand column.

If you scroll down the list of backlinks there’s a link to detailed information for each domain.

 view-detailed-report.png

Clicking the link provides a page by page listing of the backlinks. You can hover over each link and alternatively copy the URL or visit the web page to inspect it.

Backlink Filters

You can compare your site with a competitor site and use a filter to show three different kinds of backlinks.

Show All

This shows you all the domains that link to your site, to your competitor, and those that don’t link to one or the other.

Show Only Common Domains

This shows the domains that link to both your site and your competitor.

Show Domains Not Linking to My Site

This shows links from domains that your competitor has that you don’t have.

Anchor Texts

The detailed report contains an option to view the anchor text used to link to competitors and your own site, including the option to use the above-described filters.

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That’s useful for seeing what anchor text a competitor has that your site does not.

Download Reports

All of the detailed reports include the option to download the reports in CSV format.

Bing Backlink Tool is Representative

The Bing backlink tool does not show complete backlink information. It shows what it calls a “representative” set of backlinks.

That means it’s a partial set of backlinks. That said, I think it shows a decent amount of links. But it seems to me that Bing might be randomizing the quality of the links resulting in some high-quality links not being shown.

I checked the tool and noticed it was reasonably comprehensive although some links I was aware of were missing.

Still, it’s a free tool, and Bing provides a decent amount of information.

Backlink information is an area that Google has traditionally been stingy about sharing.

I have been waiting years for Bing to get a clue and exploit Google’s shortcoming by providing competitor backlink information.

That day has finally arrived.

Give the Bing backlink tool a spin. You may find it useful.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Roger Montti - Uploaded by the Association Member: Robert Hensonw]

Categorized in Search Engine

GOOGLE is the most popular search engine on the internet, with Microsoft's Bing a distant second. But which is better, and which is safer to use?

People can actually choose from more than 20 different search engines. Most, however, stick with the most popular search engines, particularly  (92 percent) and Bing (2.5 percent). Both Google and  Bing take online safety extremely seriously, making it very it very difficult to choose between them.

Google's sheer pervasiveness into the fabric of our everyday lives makes it very difficult to argue any other search is a credible challenger to its crown.

Google can help users narrow down what exactly they are looking for with specialised searches.

Users can browse through different categories pertaining to keywords, including: Images, Maps, News articles, Products or services you can purchase online, Videos and scholarly papers.

Like all search engines, Google uses a special algorithm to determine its search results.

And while Google shares some facts about its algorithm, the specifics are a company secret.

google-vs-bing-which-search-engine-better-is-google-or-bing-safer-2461895.jpg

Google vs Bing: The overwhelming majority of people stick with the most popular search engines - Google and Bing (Image: Getty)

This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines and reduces the chance of hackers discovering how to abuse the system.

Google uses automated programs called spiders or crawlers to help generate its search results.

What differentiates Google is how it ranks its results, which determines the order Google displays results on its search engine results pages.

The world-leading search engine uses the PageRank algorithm to assign each Web page a relevancy score.

A web page's PageRank depends on three main factors:

google-vs-bing-which-search-engine-better-is-google-or-bing-safer-2461896.jpg

Google vs Bing: Google can help users narrow down what exactly they are looking for with specialised searches (Image: Getty)

The most important factor is the number of other Web pages linking to the page in question.

Also, if the keyword appears only once within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.

And the length of time a web page has existed ensures Google places more value on those with an established history.

Although Microsoft's Bing is also a search engine, it differs slightly to Google in the way it works.

But the way Bing works is relatively simple in comparison to Google.

Bing will scan all documents for the frequency of root words, meaning "running" will be shortened to "run" and will cut out the irrelevant words.

These frequencies are then given a hash value or an ID number.

So, when a term is typed into the search bar, the roots of the words are found, a hash value is calculated and found in a frequency table.

The outcomes that contain this result are called essential pages and only the highest-scoring pages will be chosen.

These pages then go through a second process called Click Distance.

Bing combines a page’s relevancy in addition to Click Distance – the number of mouse clicks it takes to find the content.

This is then analysed using URL depth property, with lengthier URLs considered less important due to their distance from the homepage.

So if a URL has numerous backslashes, Bing will not rank it, even if it is linked to from the homepage.

And although relevancy and click distance are important factors, Bing also factors a user’s search history when displaying search results.

Is Google or Bing safer?

Google Safe Browsing helps protect over four billion devices every day by showing warnings to users when they attempt to navigate to dangerous sites or download dangerous files.

Safe Browsing also notifies webmasters when their websites are compromised by malicious actors and helps them diagnose and resolve the problem so that their visitors stay safer.

Safe Browsing protections work across Google products and power safer browsing experiences across the Internet.

Google Chrome and other browsers use Safe Browsing to show users a warning message before they visit a dangerous site or download a harmful app.

Bing's SafeSearch helps keep adult content out of your search results.

There are three different ways you can turn on SafeSearch.

For individual accounts, choose SafeSearch options on the Settings page.

At a network level, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.

For an individual PC, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.

[Source: This article was published in express.co.uk By TOM FISH - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore] 

Categorized in Search Engine

Despite their seemingly simple goals, search engines like Google are actually very complex beasts, and the results they deliver up to users on a silver platter are the result of very complex algorithms. In very basic terms, when you type a keyword into a search engine like Bing or Google, its sole goal is to find you the best possible result for your needs. The problem in this case is what these search engines consider the best result when you consider there are hundreds of thousands of pages that may contain some kind of relevance to your search term on the internet. In this article, we take a look at how Google brings users such accurate results (most of the time, anyway).

What goes into bringing you the right results

Every SEO agency in Melbourne knows that there are a few things that Google will rely on to deliver you what you need. The first of these is search intent. This is basically to say that Google wants to leave you satisfied with the result you’re given, so to basically satisfy your intent and search goals. This is actually a very difficult ask, as the search terms a user may put in could be very open to interpretation. For example, a question could be related to a need to find very basic information, very detailed information, methods (such as recipes), or to buy a product. What Google delivers when you search for something is usually what most users want to see when they type in that search term. For this reason, this is something quite important to keep in mind if you’re planning on implementing keywords into your own website. Next up we have relevancy: although you’ll be linked to a page that Google finds relevant, the search engine also takes into consideration the relevance of the entire website. Consistency is something that Google values very highly, so if the rest of the website provides information that isn’t all over the place, it will rank it higher. This is because if the content isn’t consistent, Google can’t determine what it’s actually about, so it can hardly recommend it!

Other things Google factors into your search results

It’s not just relevancy to your core enquiry that Google is interested in. It wants the results it brings to you to be of a high quality, which is why content quality is factored into the search results as well. Although what determines quality can be highly subjective, there are a few things that Google keeps in mind when it delivers you those juicy results. The first thing it keeps in mind is the length of the content – large pieces can often be determined as being detailed, which is exactly what many people want when searching for information. Detailed shouldn’t mean that the piece isn’t easy to read, so breaking up the content with small paragraphs, relevant headings and images are also very valuable, as these elements are generally very useful for people looking for informative content. Finally, Google will take into consideration the authority of the website. For Google, authority translates as trustworthiness – if Google has knowledge that the website is reliable, it will be much happier sharing the content. The primary way that Google processes trustworthiness is through backlinks, which involves sites linking to other sites in order to vouch for their quality. When Google sees this linking, it attaches authority to the linked site.

Figuring Google out

Although we have a basic understanding of how the Google algorithms work, a lot goes into what pops up into your search. For this reason, if you’re searching for something – or even trying to elevate your site through the rankings – keeping the above information in mind will give you a pretty hefty head start!

[Source: This article was published in hometownstation.com By KHTS - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson] 

Categorized in Search Engine

With Google dominating the search engine space, you may be wondering why we need another search engine. However, giving the well-known privacy issues with Google and a couple of other major search engines like Bing and Yahoo, people are beginning to look for alternative search engines especially the ones that support their causes.

Ekoru.org is a new search engine that aims to help save our oceans by addressing two key problems, plastic pollution and CO2 levels. The promise is simple. 60% of revenue goes to partners involved with ocean cleanup and ocean reforestation. That’s right, you read correctly. Reforestation. In the ocean.

The health of our oceans is at a tipping point with unprecedented plastic pollution and damage to marine life and eco-systems. Covering 71% of our planet and containing 96% of all of our water, the health of our oceans is intrinsically linked to our future.

This search engine for the oceans was started by Australian expatriate Ati Bakush and Alison Lee a husband and wife team living in Malaysia. Bakush has 20 years of experience developing software for mobile operator networks and internet service providers, and Lee a former country marketing manager for Nike. Their combined expertise in technology and marketing in addition for their love for the environment resulted in the Ekoru.org search engine.

Like any search engine, as users submit their queries, related sponsored links may appear. If a user clicks on a sponsored link the website makes money which is then shared with it’s non-profit partners. Ekoru.org is partnering with Big Blue Ocean Cleanup to remove plastic and Operation Posidonia to reforest our oceans.

Operation Posidonia led by the University of New South Wales Australia, is working on reforesting the ocean by replanting seagrass. These hidden meadows of green under our oceans can trap carbon up to 40 times faster than tropical rainforests and produce oxygen concurrently. They are the unsung heroes in the fight against climate change. A blue carbon sink which is actually green!

Big Blue Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit with volunteer teams around the world that clean waters and coastlines of waste and plastic. When a whale dies of starvation with a belly full of plastic, we lose an important ally in the fight against climate change.

Whales are vital to the growth of phytoplankton which thrive when they relieve themselves and release a “poonami” in the ocean. Phytoplankton absorb the same amount of carbon as 4 Amazon forests and produce 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere.

Ekoru’s commitment to the environment also extends to infrastructure with servers powered entirely by hydro-electricity. Each server is water-cooled eliminating the need for onboard fans, and natural airflows in the building mean no power-hungry air conditioning is required. Every search is as environmentally friendly as possible.

A strict privacy policy ensures that users concerned about their privacy have peace of mind. Every search is encrypted and private, and no data is stored on servers about user search activity.

Ekoru.org is already available as an option in some desktop and mobile browsers, such as Pale Moon and Monument. An easily installed browser extension is available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Brave desktop to make it your default search engine. An Android application is available with an iOS version available soon.

Since launch, Ekoru.org has received a fantastic response from users around the world. Ocean lovers now have the opportunity to help their oceans through the simple act of searching. Every Ekoru search leaves a minimal carbon footprint while helping to clean and reforest our oceans. Give it a try and change your search engine to help save our oceans.

[Source: This article was published in techstartups.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jeremy Frink]

Categorized in Search Engine

While there doesn’t seem to be an end yet to the US-Huawei story, the latter has gone full force in preparing for a life without Google. They have been working on something called AppGallery, the alternative to Google Play Store and Huawei Mobile Services, their replacement for Google Play Services. One important thing that seems to be missing is the all-important search, but Huawei hasn’t forgotten it. They are now testing out the Huawei Search app, which can be both good news and bad news for the rest of the world.

XDA Developers says that the testing is currently going on in the UAE but they were able to load it on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro to see what the deal is. It seems to be just a basic search app where you put in a query and it will give you search results. You get webpages, videos, news, or images. The app also gives you shortcuts to weather, sports, unit conversion, and calculator. You are also able to see your search history, give feedback, change app settings, and even supports the dark theme of EMUI 10 (their version of Android 10).

Huawei Search is operated by Aspiegel Limited, their subsidiary that is based out of Ireland. But as to what search engine powers this app, that is less certain. It doesn’t seem to match results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, Ask, or AOL. They may not be using a third-party search engine, and so that’s where the bad news may lie. China has been known to control the information that comes out of their Internet, and despite disassociating themselves from the supposed close ties with the government, Huawei is still a Chinese company subject to Chinese laws.

Forbes reports that this is a “potential filter” that will still be serving content to hundreds of millions of users worldwide from a company that is based “in the most highly censored country on the planet”. This is a potential concern as the Search app is a big part of the whole Huawei operating ecosystem that will be serving both Chinese and non-Chinese customers. This is one of the unintended consequences of the U.S. blacklisting the Chinese company – the potential for Huawei to “carve itself a dominant position” in this new alternative to the currently still-dominant Android/Google eco-system.

In any case, it’s still early days for the Huawei Search app and the whole Huawei Mobile Services. We might even see the U.S. backtracking on their blacklist. The question would be if Huawei would go back to Google’s loving arms or if they will continue to pursue their own platform, which will eventually result in the issues mentioned above.

[Source: This article was published in androidcommunity.com By Ida Torres - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Search Engine

Bing on Monday will begin accessing important information related to COVID-19 from government, business, and travel websites through a special Schema markup language that will allow people to search and find information on the search engine.

SEOs and website developers can use the SpecialAnnouncement schema markups to serve up in search results disease statistics, testing facilities and testing guidelines, school closures, travel restrictions including public transit closures, and special announcements from businesses related to hours or changes in service.

“We’re still developing all of the various scenarios for how the markup may appear,” Christi Olson, Microsoft evangelist, wrote in an email to Search Marketing Daily. “As more websites start marking up their sites with the specialannoucement code, we’ll extend and develop additional scenarios for how the data will surface in the search results.”

SpecialAnnoucement for businesses might show updates for business hours. Business services can appear in the local listings and in map, for example. The markup for COVID-19 testing facilities may be used to help locate a nearby facility within the search results page or within maps. The markup for public transportation closures can appear for related searches in queries.

The markup for DiseaseSpreadStatistics and for testing and guidelines may be integrated into Bing’s COVID tracker.

The markup for government health agencies will assist Bing in accessing statistics via country, state or province, administrative area, and city, but they must use the schema.org markup for diseaseSpreadStatistics.

Only official government site reporting case statistics for a specific region can use this tag. Information in the markup must be up-to-date and consistent with statistics displayed from the site to the general public. Special announcements must include the date and time posted, as well as the time the statistics were first reported.

There is also a SpecialAnnouncement schema markup for local businesses, hospitals, schools, and government offices. Again, the data must be posted on an official website and refer only to changes related to COVID-19. The name of the special announcement must be easily identified within the body copy on the website page. It must include the posting date and the time the announcement expires.

A label detailing the special announcements related to COVID-19 with a link to the site for more details may be used on web results and in local listings shown on the search engine results page or map. This provides an easy link for customers and community members to find the latest information.

The SpecialAnnouncement schema markup gettingTestedInfo and CovidTestingFacility should be used to direct those searching for risk assessment and testing centers. It can lead those searching to specific locations to well-known healthcare facilities or government health agencies. The schema.org markup must be used to add URLs and facility locations already associated with a provider or an agency. Listing other providers’ facilities is not supported at this time.

Each has its own markup language for website pages. More information can be found here. There, marketers and webmasters will find guidance to specify locations using “about” as a variable to identify the location. For SpecialAnnouncement schema markup this variable has been updated and changed to “spatialCoverage.”

[Source: This article was published in mediapost.com By Laurie Sullivan - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jennifer Levin]

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in digitalcommerce360.com written by Kelli Kemery - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jeremy Frink]

Early in the shopping journey, consumers tend to use search terms like “how” and “best.” As they narrow down their choices, they often use terms like “compare” and “advantage.” When their searches include words like “apply” and “buy” they are ready to purchase.

Imagine a scenario where you can use the search text to help identify a consumer’s mindset and use this knowledge to meet the consumer where they are in their decision journey. Visualize the complicated and fluid decision journey and know that with this prediction you can offer consumers exactly what they need.

To understand the consumer intent by looking at the psychological motivations behind search query language and help advertisers tailor their messages to meet their consumers in their journey, Microsoft partnered with Performics and Northwestern University, the creators of the Intent Scoring Algorithm. Their Intent Scoring Algorithm is designed to identify key consumer mindsets associated with a searcher’s phase in the journey by coding every search keyword in an advertiser’s account and using this to identify the consumer’s place in the journey.

Recent studies that show 74% of consumers frustrated with site content that is not relevant to them.

Search is personal

Today as the search continues to become increasingly pervasive, it is also becoming increasingly personal. In 2012, Pew Research conducted a study to understand people’s views on privacy. At that time, only 28% of the people said they would be OK with targeted ads or search engines keeping track of their searches to deliver better results. Five years later, a similar study was conducted to see how the perspectives have changed. The result—78% of people now say they are OK with personalized ads or search results. That is verified by comparing with other recent studies that show 74% of consumers frustrated with site content that is not relevant to them.

Bing Network research shows that 56% of consumers will purchase a brand again if that brand provides them with a personalized experience. And that number grows among younger consumers: About 66% of 25-34-year-olds will repurchase if they are provided with a personalized experience. As technology changes the manner consumers think about their purchases, it also changes the expectations of their experiences. Almost 65% of consumers report that they seek out brands that bring them joy and 51% are more engaged with brands that they have an emotional connection with.

Search is predictive

At the center of these predictive services are personal digital assistants like Cortana. Today, these digital assistants leverage the data they collect and aggregate through search, mail, maps, calendars and more. They try to predict what consumers want based on their behavioral patterns. They can tell you when to leave for an appointment given traffic conditions or remind you that you made a commitment to a colleague—without you set a reminder. They might even suggest to you gift ideas for an upcoming anniversary.

This predictive nature of search confirms that search is a behavioral insights machine that uncovers hidden consumer intent. Consumers are constantly signaling their intentions, and only those who know how to listen can pick up on those cues. Brands that uncover consumer intentions and motivations behind digital interactions can unlock the code of relevancy and personalization.

Uncovering intent through the language

The Intent Scoring Algorithm by Performics and Northwestern University uncovered that consumers’ mindsets shift as they approach or move away from goals like buying. Early in the journey, the consumers have an abstract, more exploratory mindset. As consumers move closer to a goal, their thinking becomes more concrete. They look for the price or location of purchase.  The algorithm found that advertisers could use language—the text in the search itself—to reveal and match the consumer mindset and intent, meeting the consumers where they are instead of where we want them to be.

When the consumer mindset is matched to the advertising text, consumers are more likely to click on the ad to explore the content. Consumers who used search terms like “how” and “best”—which are abstract—are more likely to click on an ad written using abstract language, than they are to click on an ad with concrete language. In addition to conducting abstract searches, consumers were more likely to click on educational content offered by third-party sites than brand or retail content.

Once shoppers have more clarity on what they are looking for, their search terms get slightly more concrete, like “best” or “top”, but they are still exploring.  When they use cues like “compare”, “pros”, “cons”, advantage”, they actually start comparing and evaluating themselves between different options and brands. This is the moment when they want to see specific benefits, reviews, and ratings.

Finally, when they are closest to action their thinking becomes more concrete. They turn to issues like price or location for purchase and use terms like “apply” and “buy”. This is when they need ease and efficiency the most.

Search at every stage of the journey

Today, search ads are still very focused on consumers that are ready to transact. Advertisers focus money and attention on the end of the journey, just before a consumer is ready to purchase. However, consumers turn to search at every point in their journey. And It takes both – search engine and the advertisers—working together to create a strong search experience for consumers.

Bing is the search engine owned and operated by Microsoft Corp.

Categorized in Search Engine
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AOFIRS

World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

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