The New Bing: How Microsoft Is Redesigning Search With AI
Welcome to the new Bing. Yes, you heard me right. Bing. The search engine that has been around for over a decade but never quite managed to catch up with Google’s dominance. The search engine that has been mocked as a verb (“Bing it” just doesn’t sound right) and as a source of irrelevant results (remember “Bing it on”?). For the search engine that you regularly forget about, things are about to change. Microsoft has truly started to make Bing a game changer for it’s users and search marketers with it’s latest developments; in partnership with OpenAI. The age of AI has truly begun, and Bing is working on redesigning how we search.
But before you close this tab and go back to Google something else, hear me out. With the new Bing’s latest advancements, it was able to create the featured image for this blog post. I asked it to “draw an image of someone redesigning the search engine results page”. Mind blown.
Now that I have your attention, we’ll walk you through what we have learned so far from the new Bing, what’s coming up, and what this means for search marketers. As always, we’ll leave you with the steps you need to take, and insight you may not have heard yet.
What is the new Bing?
Bing has recently undergone a major overhaul that promises to reinvent search with a new AI-powered experience that combines search, browsing and chat into one unified interface. And trust me, it’s worth checking out.
Here’s all the recent Microsoft AI announcements you make have missed recently:
Mid March 2023, Google announced that they will start integrating Bard into it’s tools such as Google Docs and Sheets. Today, Google have released Bard to those lucky enough to get through the waitlist to it’s ‘early experiment’.
Initial updates from those who have access haven’t been overly positive about Google Bard, but it’s early days yet. What we know is that the competition between the two is reaching boiling point. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited about how this will play out in the next few months.
The new Bing is not just a regular search engine anymore. It’s an AI-powered copilot that can help you with anything you need on the web: from finding answers to complex questions, to creating images from natural language prompts, to writing drafts for your emails or blog posts (like this one). And it does all this while respecting your privacy and giving you control over your data.
Bing calls this new experience the ‘AI-powered copilot for the web’. It’s a copilot because it’s a partner by your side, helping you to steer through your search journey and get to your destination.
The new Bing experience does this in 3 ways:
- Delivers a more useful Search experience
- Helps you discover
- Get inspiration with creativity
How does the new Bing deliver a better search experience?
Search engines haven’t changed much in the past 20 years. Let’s look at this search results page for ‘Pizza’ back in 2014…
The experience today is still relatively similar, although a lot more visual. Still, this is often leaving users clicking on a result and then clicking back when they don’t find the desired information. According to Bing, 41% of users who click on a link end up going back to the search results to find their answers.
The search experience today is tailored for a certain way of searching. According to Bing, 75% of us use 3 words or fewer in the current search experience. But the new Bing seeks to change that by offering users a more engaging and interactive experience. Let’s use this example again for Pizza in the new Bing experience (mmmmm Pizza)…
Here you can see how much more useful the chat experience was for me when searching for how to make pizza at home. It gave me the specific steps and listed where I could even buy a Pizza Stone from. When hovering over the sources and links, you could see how the Organic and Paid Search Ads would come into play here. In some results, you will also see the Shopping Ads.
The new Bing can help you discover
Microsoft acknowledges that traditional search won’t be completely replaced by chat. However, chat-based search can be incredibly useful when users are in discovery mode, allowing for new conversation styles that balance creativity and accuracy.
Again in the below example, you can see how the new Bing tried to give me multiple answers to help me make a more informed choice.
For these kind of search queries, you can clearly see the benefits of interacting with one interface rather than having to jump between multiple sites to find my answer. I went from not knowing, to being well informed. For the user, it provides a much more natural & human experience.
The new Bing can inspire your creativity
Beyond refining searches, the new Bing can also act as a creative partner, providing inspiration and support for presentations, emails, and other tasks. The AI can co-create content, helping to improve your work and make you a more effective creative person.
In this example, you can see how my prompt was to try and find some inspiration and when it was found, Bing was able to create an email template. This is beyond any traditional search experience we have today.
Microsoft have also announced that they will be integrating their Bing Image Creator into the new Bing experience imminently. For me, this was something that blew my mind.
The new Bing was able to point me towards the Bing Image Creator for my prompt (this will now be integrated directly into the chat experience), and from here I was able to use AI to generate images. Bing leans on the OpenAI DALL-E model and creates images for prompts I used such as:
- Draw a search marketer confused about the future of AI
- Draw an image of the future of search
- Draw an image of a search marketer
& more. Amazing!
What does this mean for search marketers?
The new Bing experience is spreading through Bing Mobile, Microsoft Edge, Skype, and the Windows 11 toolbar, reaching an ever-growing user base.
With 100 million daily active users on Bing, usage is growing, and a third of these users are new to the platform. The combination of search and chat is becoming increasingly popular, with mobile adoption seeing a 6x increase in daily active users since the preview launch from those using chat with voice prompts.
So what do you need to do to be able to capitalize?
- No action for advertisers recommended today. You cannot create a specific campaign type for this and ads for the new Bing experience will be generated from your existing campaigns.
- Text Ads are currently just on the ‘roll-overs’ for highlighted text in the chat answers. Only P1 seem to be showing in the results so far.
- Image creation could be used for generating assets for your campaigns such as vertical ads, MSAN and more in the future. It’s not quite ready yet, but definitely have a play around.
- Multimedia, product ads and vertical ads are coming to the new Bing. Just wait a little longer. For now, make sure you have these in place where possible.
- Adopt campaign best practices for enhancing AI’s abilities such as Broad Match, Responsive Search Ads, Dynamic Search Ads etc. Broad Match in particular will help you expand your reach as user search queries grow and get more specific with chat.
- Try different types of prompts to help with your workflow. What about better competitor analysis? The new Bing can help you spy on your competitors by providing insights into their strategies and performance. For example, if you ask “How much traffic does searchenginehubbub.com get from organic search?”, Bing will give you an estimate & analysis based on various data sources.
- Always remain healthily skeptical. There is a lot of bad information out there, and despite the obvious appeal from these new experiences, you can’t blindly trust the answers. Continue to challenge what you are seeing.
If you haven’t already, get access to the new Bing and play around with different prompts. You can also Keep up to date with the latest developments on the Microsoft blog. More ad innovations will come.
How has Microsoft addressed the concerns of Search Marketers?
Fears tend to center around the impact of traffic to sites if answers are being surfaced, and if the new experience required a change in ranking factors or ad auctions. So let’s debunk some of the myths surrounding these questions from what we know so far.
Will the ad auction change?
No, it will stay the same. Think of chat as just another tab in the search results page; just like Images. When ads started to surface onto this tab, you didn’t do anything differently to your campaign targeting.
Do we need to do anything different in SEO?
The best thing you can do is write great content, annotated with a schema markup making it easier to crawl . This markup conveys information what is on those pages and to help AI understand what is useful.
Ultimately, you have to remember your objective; you are creating highly engaging and relevant content and ads for your customers. Continue to do this, and you will start appearing in the new Bing experience.
Do we need to rethink how we write ad copy?
Nope. Don’t write content for the search engine, write for the customer. The large language models behind OpenAI and the contextual understanding of Bing, means that it will continue to find the right combination for your objective.
Is this going to create a drop in traffic to sites?
From Bing’s perspective, no this is not their intention. Think about it; it needs the content from SEO as an input for it’s answers, and Bing is paid for by ads with a pay-per-click model. Less clicks means no content and no ad revenue for Bing. Bing says that it is incredibly conscious of this fact and is building the new Bing experience around this.
In conclusion, the new Bing experience is a game-changer for search marketers who want to get better results, more complete answers, and a new chat experience. The new Bing is powered by a next-generation OpenAI model that can generate content and help users with complex tasks. Search marketers can leverage this AI copilot to create engaging campaigns, optimize their websites, and reach more customers. The new Bing is more than just a search engine – it’s your copilot for the web.
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