June 17, 2009

Slinging Bing

Microsoft's Bing

Microsoft's Bing

Microsoft has launched its answer to Google in Bing, its replacement for Live Search. This latest go at a search platform has some interesting quirks, including instances of single results on the SERP (search engine results page) for keywords it’s certain have a single destination site.

On the homepage, Bing layers a pleasing image behind the search box, with your standard Images, News and other options down the left-hand column. The image has discoverable hotspots, which both fits the theme of searching and could be a very interesting way to integrate ads onto the most visited page at Bing.

Bing brings two unique features to the SERP: its Related Searches field and, above it, a useful info–type field that lists topics commonly associated with your search term. This pops up when your search item has easily identifiable subsections.

For example, search for “Subaru Legacy” and the field offers Reviews, Recalls, Dealers, Reference (a page scraped from Wikipedia), Videos and other options. It’s an interesting approach, and seems useful for generic searches. Not sure how many people perform short-string searches (when your search term has one or two words), though.

But, when you do a more natural long-string search, like “Subaru Legacy reviews,” the field doesn’t appear. Microsoft is Bing-ing big, though, investing around US$100MM in an ad campaign which includes, not surprisingly, a strong showing in Google AdWords.

Interested? Just Google “Bing” to try it yourself.

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