Will chatbots become part of the consumer search experience?
Recently, Bing has been experimenting with a chatbot feature directly in search results. Columnist David Freeman discusses how this shift could impact marketers.
When thinking about the future of organic search, common considerations include the impending mobile-first index, machine learning, AI, natural language processing, voice search, site speed, HTTP 2, personalization and consumer behavior changes led by the Internet of Things and digital assistants.
However, during an inspirational Future of Search meeting with the Bing team and Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president for Microsoft advertising worldwide, discussion focused on a different topic — how chatbots could form a much greater part of the consumer search experience. Van der Kooi explained that since May in the US (Seattle area), Bing has been testing chatbots directly in paid and organic search results, as shown below.
While chatbot integrations have been in the news over recent months, most people outside of the Seattle area won’t have seen them in action or truly considered how such integrations could be used.