Microsoft has announced the latest changes to its new search platform, Bing, in its latest attempt to improve its search results and gain market share on Google.
Microsoft has been listening to its customers’ feedback and assessing user trends and has therefore implemented new features to make Bing easier to use and more convenient by adding previews of sites, putting more emphasis on its localised results and much more.
The new alterations affect the way in which Bing now uses the content from the pages found in its results and therefore means that previews of the pages can be found within the list of results. This means that when a search is performed on the search engine, Bing can now extract the relevant information from various sites and present them on the SERP’s, which means that the user can see the relevant data without having to visit the page.
Alterations have also been made to the search engine’s homepage, which is intended to be more “target-focused”. The page appears almost identical to the previous version, however they have now added new search options that can be found by placing the mouse over the categories, ie. if you were to hover over the “Travel” link you could see “find flights” and “find hotels”.
The “Bing Travel” link is a new feature that allows users searching for holiday destinations or cities around the world, to see results such as the local tourist attractions, accommodation, points of interest and activities. The “Bing flights” option provides a price predictor and even advises users of the cheapest time of year to travel.
Microsoft has also integrated with the answer-engine “Wolfram Alpha”, which means that if a question is entered into Bing, such as a mathematical calculation for instance, then the result will be provided by Wolfram Alpha.
They have also added a new event search feature, which allows users to search and filter events happening in major cities across the world, by performance, music, food and dining, fairs and festivals, etc.
Microsoft has also improved the quality of results on searches for health related issues, such as conditions and symptoms etc, but also specific food-related phrases and the results will now include nutritional information.
These changes are currently being rolled out across the US, so it may be some time before we see the changes in the UK, and they will be announcing even more new features on the Bing Search Blog over the next few days. However it will be more interesting to see if all these alterations and additions to the platform make any difference to the search engines market share…