You’ve lost the search war so far in dramatic fashion. Not only were you not able to make a dent in Google’s domination of search, you did so without much of a fight. Sure, you put out some television ads in a nice blitz around launch, you integrated Facebook into the mix, and you improved your search results to the point that many would argue that Bing is better than Google. However, you didn’t truly “blitz” the airwaves like you said you would, Google added G+ into the mix and made it search-functionally better than your integration with Facebook, and they continued to improve their own search results as fast if not faster than you did.
Here’s an idea that I would love to see. It would be very useful if you could pull it off. It could change the game a bit; someday you could get to 30% of searches which is still a huge amount. Most importantly, it would help you with mobile, an area that Google is still dominating and one where they’re showing no signs of slowing.
Put phone numbers and all contact information on your search results by request. I’m serious.
Some people don’t believe in business cards. I haven’t carried them in a long time and I rarely keep them when given to me. I simply Google it. I’m able to find people fairly easily online when I want to contact them. If I want to get and keep their phone number, I ask them to send me an email or I email them on the spot while talking to them. My signature and the signature of many includes all of the relevant contact information.
What if you allowed individuals to create virtual business cards within search. In a search for “JD Rucker”, there is currently a Related Searches area to the right and a ton of wasted space below that. What if you allowed us to put our contact information into search? What if you gave us the option of attaching a unique 4-digit number so I could tell people to “Bing JD Rucker 2468″ or something like that. Real world business cards could simply include that information. Email signatures could link to it for a more in-depth profile, perhaps linked to LinkedIn.
Most people carry the internet with them in their pockets. Why not take advantage of that?
There are definitely holes in the idea, but at this point I’d rather see Microsoft addressing holes in a unique idea instead of continuing to try to compete in a tough arena against a company that is clearly better than them in search. Make “Bing me” a thing. You may be surprised by the results.