Microsoft recently announced that its search engine Bing will soon go live with some major changes. A few of the more noteworthy updates for what Microsoft has dubbed “the New Bing” include a new sidebar, a snapshot of related information, and improved search results.
A collapsible right sidebar shows looping social results. From here you’re able to ask Facebook friends, as well as see information from experts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, Foursquare and even Google+. This all-inclusive approach is in stark contrast to Google’s attempt to socialise search engine results with Search Plus Your World. Much of this design’s inspiration apparently came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said “Don’t try to do social by building social on the side. Build it into the experience”.
In addition to its real-time activity feed, the sidebar has options such as asking friends, suggesting friends you might know, and referring people who know (the experts).
The snapshot feature is very similar to how Google currently returns previews of Google Maps listings. It shows information such as reviews, directions, contact info, trading hours and more.
Improved Search Results
According to Microsoft, the new Bing should be much faster, less cluttered, and more relevant. Though these latest updates to its algorithm have a social focus, Bing will continue to show its core web results instead of cluttering its SERP with social updates. This allows Bing users to focus on the web links they need to get the information they want. With Bing surpassing Yahoo in search market share early this year in U.S., it is slowly edging closer to Google – though the Big G remains the dominant player.
The changes to Bing are slated for an early June release in the United States, with the rest of the world to follow shortly afterward.