Update 2: Asked for additional comment or further clarification on Stefan's comments, the spokesperson says, "We have nothing further to share."
Update: The initial headline to this article was "Bing Abandons Hope Of Competing With Google (In 'Pure' Search)". Bing apparently takes issue with this. A spokesperson says it's a "misrepresentation of Bing’s position, as well as Stefan Weitz’s statement. Bing is not giving up on search."
Well, the headline didn't exactly say "Bing is Giving Up On Search," but clearly they're defensive about it. I've reached out to Bing for a more official statement.
It's unclear if they were okay with Search Engine Land's version: "Bing: It’s Unlikely That We’ll Take Search Share Away From Google". It's also unclear if the Register's quotes were inaccurate. So far, I don't see any updates on either of these articles. Take from that what you will.
Original article: It's been a while since we've heard much about the "Bing it On" challenge, which was Bing's attempt to convince people it provided a better search experience than Google, even though the challenge stripped out key features of both search engines. It did little to advance Bing's market share.
The holidays are just around the corner, and we haven't seen any new "Scroogled" campaigns (because it's a play on Scrooge, not "Screw Google," remember?) emerge yet. That could still happen. These ads didn't always focus on search, but stretched into other areas like email and computers.
It appears that Bing is basically abandoning hope that it will actually take a significant amount of market share away from Google when it comes to pure search. Bing's Stefan Weitz spoke at the Web Summit this week. The Register (via Search Engine Land) shares some quotes from him:
“The question is, where is search really going?” he said at the Web Summit conference in Dublin today. “It’s unlikely we’re going to take share in [the pure search] space, but in machine learning, natural language search… and how we can make search more part of living. For us, it’s less about Bing.com, though that’s still important. It’s really about how we can instead weave the tech into things you’re already doing.”
“For pure keyword search, we’re around 30 per cent in the US, not so much in Europe,” he said. “But search in different areas of life? That mix is to be determined. I’m committed to making sure we have our fair share of search in the future.”
In terms of advertising, the Yahoo Bing "search alliance" saw its biggest paid search market share increase in five years in Q3, according to research released by IgnitionOne. This followed Yahoo's search market share hitting its lowest point ever in the summer, though things are looking up for Yahoo on the search front based on the company's latest earnings report.
Image via Bing.com (Yes, you can just type in a "W" and get a suggestion to go to www.Google.com).