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Bing Gets a Bunch of New Search Features

Bing Says New Features are 100% Live Now

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Update: According to Bing, all of the features that were announced are now live. However, they do not appear to be live yet for me. I am guessing they will be soon at least.

Original Article: Microsoft has announced the addition of a number of new features to its Bing search engine. The company says it has been examining the trends in search and in feedback, and is working to accommodate these. Microsoft is referring to trends like the demand for faster access to knowledge, offering different user interfaces for different kinds of results, and an increased focus on "getting things done" with search.

Would you use Bing more if it added the right features? Tell us what it’s missing.

Bing is rolling out a new "task-focused" version of its home page. It looks relatively the same as before, but when you mouse over different categories, you will get more search options. For example, if you mouse over "Travel," you will get links like "find flights" and "find hotels," and you can conduct your search from there.

New Bing home page

"There is also an interactive Instant Answer that allows you to enter your origin, destination, travel dates and…click…you are in Bing travel," says Bing Product Manager Henry Hall. "Within Bing travel you have fast access to flight purchase recommendations via the price predictor that tells you the least expensive times to fly. In addition to money, you’ll save time as well with Bing travel’s comprehensive flight listing results and links to top travel sites and airlines."

Bing Flights Search

Bing is also enhancing local information for hundreds of cities looking for things like local attractions, points of interest, neighborhoods and other local information sources like newspaper web sites. Bing has developed enhanced city results, which include links to key information and high-resolution slide shows.

Bing Travel Search

Bing is making it easier to find the preview feature. "We’re doing a better job mining things like contact phone numbers and email addresses from web pages and displaying them clearly under a Contact banner, and generally cleaning up the interface to make it easier to decide if this a site you want to visit," says Hall. "Last, we’re also integrating images in some preview results. We believe that all these features will allow for a faster decision about whether a site is right for your needs, which means less clicking on your browser’s back button."

Bing has also added a new Event Search feature, which gives users a summary of events for major cities, which can be filtered by things like performances, food & dining, fairs & festivals, music, etc.

Bing Events Search

Bing has also made it easy to share results for shopping searches on Facebook, a feature Hall deems ideal for passing on holiday gift ideas. There are also better results for health-related searches, including, conditions, medications, and hospitals. Each type of query will return more info and a more organized set of results.

Perhaps the biggest addition to Bing is that of Wolfram Alpha’s algorithms and "expertly curated data". Wolfram Alpha will help power Bing’s results for nutritional information and math searches.

When users search Bing for specific food items, they will get a nutrition quick tab that shows more information about it and a nutrition facts label at the bottom of the results page.

Wolfram Alpha Nutrition Info

"Another helpful tool is the body mass index that tracks your workout progress," the Bing Team says. "We have introduced Wolfram|Alpha’s body mass index interactive form on our results page. If you search for ‘bmi’ you’ll get the option to enter your height and weight. Click ‘Calculate’ and you’ll get a detailed Body Mass Index analysis directly on Bing."

Bing will also rely on Wolfraph Alpha’s ability to solve complex math functions.

Wolfram Alpha Math Info

Bing says there will be more new features highlighted on the Bing Search Blog over the next few days. The features are just starting to roll out in the US, so it could be a while before you actually see them.

More on the newly announced features, read this post. For more on Bing’s integration with Wolfram Alpha specifically, read here.

Will the addition of new search capabilities increase Bing’s market share? Share your thoughts.


Related Articles:

> Bing Maps Gets an Upgrade

> Wolfram Alpha Hasn’t Exactly Set the World on Fire

> How Does Bing Rank Tweets?

Bing Gets a Bunch of New Search Features
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://ismagazine.com Steve

    xRank is so much better than Google trends. Sorry Big G.

  • Tim Dutcher

    Would love to have “word proximity” search capabilities. I use dtSearch for searching local files and can find a words that are a specified number of words apart.

    Also, I use Copernic Agent when I want pages that are valid, accessible, and contain all of my search words. It takes longer to get results but it’s much easier after the search is complete to browser through the results. If Bing engineers could find better ways to validate links and content that would be outstanding.

  • Guest

    Very nice done, Bing.

  • http://blognetworking.net Yohay

    These new features continue the direction in which Microsoft began when they first launched Bing. It looks more oriented to the American users than to the global audience.

    I didn’t expect Wolfarm to be integrated so fast into a major search engine…

  • jr

    personally, after a couple of tries, I can say with confidence that no matter how much advertising space you (ie. “the media”) give over to bing, for the purpsoses of a quick search and a clean listing of results, you cannot beat a certain market leader.

    micosoft, as usual, bury much (most?) of the useful stuff under heaps of gaudy irrelevance; maybe that works for children and in the American market…

    • Guest

      You need to grow up!

  • ObiWan

    That would be a cool feature (even google hasn’t it)

    The idea is to be able to either upload a file (image,
    document…) or select a file from a previous search
    and have the search engine finding all the similar
    documents

    For example, uploading or selecting the image of a
    cat, the engine should then show all the images
    containing cats

  • http://www.eurox10.com Homer Automation

    All this features will defenetly help improve their market share over Google, but they still miss the fast and accurate keywords Google search.

    For example, if you search micrsoft within Bing it will only look for this keyword, Google will suggest a new word and show you results also of the complete word.

    • Guest

      You are drinking. Bing handles misspelled words with grace
      http://www.bing.com/search?q=micrsoft&form=OSDSRC

  • http://www.calliarc.com CalliArc

    Nice features.

  • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

    These features are only available to select users. Any idea when they will be rolled out in India?

  • http://www.ooltra.net Guest

    The biggest problem with Bing is simply the number of web pages indexed.

    Type ‘site:youtube.com’ into Google and you get 665,000,000 results. The same search on Bing US yields only 36,100,000.

    ‘site:bing.com’ on Google finds 11,700,000 pages v 605,000 on Bing.

    On my own humble site, OOltra.net, the figures are 1970 v 21.

    If you want to be sure of finding something, don’t use Bing!

    • Guest

      Yes, you are right. the figures are 1970 vs 21 because Bing is a decision engine. It will give you accurate results. It won’t give you bulger results in the search.

      Finding million of results will not help. It will help how much accurate we are. Nobody is going to find the items in millions of pages.

      • Guest

        I agree, Google gives you a ton of results most are useless such as “your preferences indicate English only and you still get foreign results” or you get pages which don’t exist, and the most iritating of all, results which are a reference to a blog’s kick back entry which is anthother kick back from somewhere else.

        If you really look at the number of valuable results both services return, I think it is pretty much even.

      • http://www.ooltra.net Guest

        I didn’t make my point clearly. It is not the number of results I was highlighting but the number of pages indexed.

        Type the search ‘arjona minutos english translation’ into Google and you get three relevant results on the first page out of about 3,800.
        Bing produces no relevant results out of about 600 which, mathematically, makes Google infinitely better!
        Bing simply does not have these three pages indexed so for someone searching for rare material it is useless.

    • Guest

      Do you really will see all those results? I prefer a single page but with most relevant results, google finds all words and then every single work you typed, hence the mayor number of results, Bing searches by default all words and does not a per word search to impress you with more results

  • AbbydonKrafts

    It’s good to see that Bing is incorporating intelligent features such as math and nutrition information. I like being able to see what I want right there on the results page. It is one of the big reasons I use Google. As much as people joke the Google Labs, the incorporation of many of the projects into search makes it a plus for me.

    Unfortunately, Bing is still geared too much towards the “common user”. I first used Google around 1998, and I made them my *only* search engine after 2000 when Yahoo went to pot. In comparison, Bing has too much fluff, large text ads, and all of those “category” searches. I do not travel, etc. Most of my searches are technical or hobby in nature. I just want stellar results for my query, and I want them fast. Even their HUGE photo background is distracting and screams “I’m better for being your online travel agent than a data miner!”. Also, the Bing MSIE toolbar (pre-installed on my new laptop) is horribly distracting.

    So, they still have a ways to go. Mine some more data of all types, make the searches intelligent and fast, let me provide complex search queries in the search box, shrink the size of the text ads, etc etc. Once all of that is done, make a customizable home page like iGoogle. Windows Live ID can be the login for storing the Bing home page.

  • http://oscarvalles.com Oscar V

    I didn’t care too much for bing when it first came out. I thought it was flashy and nice w/ a little too much clutter though (on the home page). I also didn’t think much about its searching capabilities. Although I am a huge Google fan, recent searches in Bing have me thinking different about it. My opinion of the large image on the home page still remains, but I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to it.

  • sofakingdabest

    I will not use it and the name has no brand recognition. How about another name with an actual logo.

    • Dom

      And could I also just say, Google doesn’t have a logo aswell! :D

  • http://Ublooper.com Ublooper

    Its nice to see that BING is actually starting to dominate and give google competition as well as offer its clients more options in search.

    • Chris Crum

      I think “dominate” is a little strong.

  • http://www.lowcountrytoday.com Bill Starr

    I tried bing and I need a search engine not a decision engine. I can make the decisions my self not what microsoft wants us to see.

  • http://www.hacienda-heights.net/ Carl

    I have used Bing on multiple occasions since it has been rolled out. Since most of my use of Searches is for research, I do not need Microsoft telling me what I should view, and in fact vastly prefer the old MSN searches or Yahoo (better research results).
    Believe me I would love to see Google brought down a few notches since they have allowed so much plagiarism of my research to be displayed with Adsense (as well as other areas of corporate corruption), however IMHO Microsoft nor its recently acquired Yahoo need to find their own niche; this is simple business 101.

    Although I think poorly of the corporate morals of Google, they are very smart in that they provide so many useful services and continue to build on this (such as Google Apps, Blogger, etc.), while Bing and Yahoo continue to attempt to go head to head with Google for searches rather than draw potential users via unique services as Google does
    (Sorry Yahoo Answers does not count as this is a well known joke in my industry)

  • Guest

    There are a number of new vertical semantics that Bing should look at, sich as Yebol(http://www.yebol.com). This is the onlty way Bing can compete in the long-run.

  • Guest

    “Bing will also rely on Wolfraph Alpha’s ability to solve complex math functions.”

    Should be Wolfram.

    But Wolfram Alpha is one of my favorite online applications, I’m am slightly sad that it has come to Bing, though. Maybe they will work things out (and maybe their new improvements will alleviate the problem), but I have found their results to be too commonly irrelevant.

  • http://www.jefferywright.com JWWright

    Guess what Google never does? This:

    Pardon the interruption
    We ask that you view the characters in the following picture and enter them in the box below.
    View this picture:

    Enter the characters that you see:
    Why do I need to do that?
    Typing the characters in the picture above helps us ensure that a person, not a program, is performing a search.
    Why is that important? Some programs perform repeated searches for malicious purposes. Preventing those automated searches ensures that everyone else has faster, more reliable search results. Your computer, or another one in your network, has done so much searching lately that we’re concerned an automated program might be at work.

  • http://www.marketsitepro.blogspot.com Nick

    We need Bing to succeed. The only way for this technology to evolve is through competition. It is good to see Microsoft still pushing hard to innovate. I try using Bing when I can, but it seems I always find myself checking with google. In doing so, I am always amazed how the two have different results. What I am also amazed by is the fact that our of millions of results, usually only the first few pages have relevant information. They still both have a long ways to go.

    • matt

      best reply yet, spot on.

  • Kate

    There’s nothing I’d like to see more than Google getting a bit of healthy competition, but it certainly isn’t going to come from Bing. It’s USELESS.

    Look, three of the websites I manage have been on page 1 of Google more or less since they were created 5 to 10 years ago. The same search terms that put them on page 1 for Google put them NOWHERE on Bing, except for one of them, which appears on page 6 or 7 of Bing results.

    That would be bad enough, but some of the sites which appear on page 1, 2 and 3 of these search results are sites with NO CONTENT AT ALL! They are “under construction” – and they haven’t even got titles or meta tags, so how can they be ranking higher than established sites that have thousands of inward links?

    Other sites that appear on page 1 of Bing are tacky new sites that look as if they have been thrown together in a hurry, and have neither content or back links.

    I don’t know what kind of algorithms Bing is using for its search results, but they suck.

    It really annoys me that Google has such a monopoly on the web, but let’s be honest, it’s a thousand times better than Bing.

    • http://www.janibadistributors.com Guest

      I fully agree, i have also just made use of tools that show no results on seo Bing and in some instances Google has up to 3 on their fist page.If you want to see something on Bing you have to
      submit your url to make sure you have nt made a mistake , not submitting your Website.

    • http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/ Carl

      I agree too. This is exactly the results I have found with Bing with the several websites I administer and with research searches.
      Often Bing will bring up archived pages rather than the correct page (Yahoo and Google do not have this issue).
      However on a positive note, these poor results seem to be getting less frequent, so maybe MS is fixing these issues and looking for the correct content and titles.

    • Dominic

      To the honest, your website probably is probably shit anyway.
      I mean, Bing, for everybody who just likes to search.. It’s fine! It works. And it’s actually helpful too! A lot better than Google in some areas. Get over your self :)

  • http://www.citigadgets.com Richard

    There those of us out there who need to be told what to look at, personally I am not of big fan of bing. Thought it did start of with some pretty neat adverts, not enough to get people searching an browsing using this engine. I advertise my business with Bing Cash Back and i do say my turn around is far greater than that of the Google product search, Yahoo Shopping, & all those other guys. I personally can’t get into using Bing as a search engine- (Hooked) on Google, far greater results with Google than with Bing. ” But the Proof Is the Pudding” I do look forward to Bing Getting a grasp on offering a more sociable approach to the user, than that of a robot.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com Collection agencies

    I love Bing to death. Its the best thing since sliced bread. What I like about Bing is that they dont play the games like Google does with rank placing. Its about time someone came along and gave them some competition.

  • http://www.makwin.com DLM

    I hate Bing!.!.!

    • slax

      i hate microsoft also

      they always copying others idea…

      • Dominic

        When you can explain that Bing is a Copy of Google, please tell me. As any search engine has the same concept. To help you find things on the internet!
        And you have to remember, if your talking about Copying, Google was out after Ask Jeeves! HA
        Stop being such an ignorant hater, and actually look at Bing, it may benefit you more than using Google :D

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I get lots of visitors from Bing to my safety and security web site so it looks like these enhancements are helping people find me. Thanks, Chris, for this great information.

  • http://www.sharonstiles.co.uk Sharon

    It’s a shame there still isn’t a way to add a UK listing in the local search section. I don’t appear at all on the local listings and there’s no way to add my listing. The website has been around for a long time, ranks highly and appears in Google local listings so it’s not because it’s a new site.

  • http://www.get-business-online.com/ Get Business Online

    I searched for “brisbane events” and got a simple list of websites. As usual, everything focuses on the US, like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

    • Guest

      Try brisbane australia in bing and see the results. They are implementing each new feature gradually. You will see events as well. Wait for few more days.

  • http://www.easytourchina.com china tours

    I am still new to these features. It will take me some time to study all of them. It is good to see Microsoft began to put more efforts in search field to compete with Google.

  • http://no-teletrack-paydayloans.blogspot.com/ teletrack

    What for I like Bing is for the most beautiful pictures on the first page.
    THere are really incredable.

    • rb

      My kid gets all his book report ideas just from the Bing homepage alone!!

    • http://threads.ecrater.com Threads

      I agree! The first time I saw it, I thought “what the heck?!”… it was so beautiful it didn’t “look” like a search page! lol :D

  • slax

    microsoft is always sucks

    • u81

      u write like there is something in ur mouth right now

      • Guest

        And you write like you are being charged per character for this comment.

    • Guest

      I can see how people reacts just by name “Microsoft”. Don’t know why.
      I’m a long term google user but the way bing is adding features to search, i’m ready to switch to bing now. The new features are quite apealing. I tried few and results are awsome.
      Try searching for any city or country or company.
      You will be amazed by results. I’m waiting to see missing features. I think they are rolling out each feature gradually. So may be few more days.

    • J4rrod

      We can tell by your use of grammar that you are intelligent enough to make a valid opinion about a company as good as Microsoft.

  • http://www.5000Watches.com SQLBingDude

    Just wanted to drop a quick posting about my progress in making my Shopping Cart perhaps the FIRST Shopping Cart in the world to be both “Bingified and Googlized” ™ 2009 21st Century Systems, Inc. I have just about completed the final stages of implementing both Bing Cash Back Gleam Tracking and Processing, Bing Cash Back Shopping Product Data Feeds and Bing Cash Back Transactional Reporting plus full Google Base Feeds, Google Checkout Round-Trip Transactional Processing and subsequent API based Response-Request Updates as a SOAP service, supporting Full Database Referential Integrity. There are some service firms who offer to help you Bingify ™ or Googlize ™ your shopping cart but NONE that I know of who support FULL “Bingification” ™ 21st Century eCommerce Systmes and “Googlization” ™ 21st Century eCommerce Systems. Check it out at: http://www.5000Watches.com which is still a development site and a work in progress.

    I also want to formally stake my claim to the term “Bingified & Googlized” as a Registered Trademark of 21st Century eCommerce Systems, Inc. by making this claim in a web based time-stamped posting.

    Does anyone else know of another Shopping Cart Vendor offering to both “Bingify” and “Googlize” your entire web based shopping cart system? Well, we can implement ours for you by the holiday season for under $5,000 depending on the number of products.

    For those of you who do not know, Bing Cash Back and Bing Shopping Cash Back are new Pay Per Acquisition Services sponsored by the Microsoft Bing Knowledge based Search Engine and by the Bing Shopping System described at http://www.Bing.com/shopping. Google Checkout with its Special Discount Rebates and Coupons plus Vendor Fraud Indemnification is currently limited to domestic USA companies, and Bing might follow that same model, but I am not positive at this time.

    Of course, you will need a Microsoft SQL Server back-end to support all of these integrated features, especially the Referential Integrity and Transactional Processing piece which requires Stored Procedures, Triggers and other features of back-ends like Microsoft’s SQL Server.

    We will be offering the entire package in a hosted SaaS Model including a license for VP-ASP including our add-ons for $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 plus monthly hosting fees between $99 and $299 per month depending on the number of products and transactions to be supported.

    Contact me for more information: Sales@DesignerStyles.BIZ

    John, the SQL Dude

  • http://www.bigappledesigns.com Ardy

    Google.com has become far too complacent with their search lead. Yahoo is not really relevant anymore. Bing.com is a step in the right direction for Microsoft in creating competition for Google.com and forcing them to innovate.

  • http://poltergeistisland.blogspot.com Hank Hokamp

    I think Bing is GREAT the way it is. I use it more than Google.

    HANK

  • http://www.dataplus-svc.com Data Entry Service

    Just wondering how this affects the efforts that have gone into SEO. Looks like it’s all over the place depending on your choices.

  • http://www.virtualserverhostingplans.com Virtual Server Hosting

    You can say what you want about Bing, but these guys have come a long ways in a short amount of time. The math calculations ability alone is awesome. And having things like this available to the general masses is also an incredible thing.

    The long term effects of making information available to all through the Internet will have striking results on where this planet will be in the next century.

    First fire, then the light bulb.
    Now, the Internet.

  • http://www.plus-people-search.ws/ Guest

    BING still can’t compete with google…

    BING should more extra to compete google…

    Affiliate’s Member
    http://bit.ly/6BWXVW

  • http://www.tilakbisht.com Tilak

    I am still new to these features. I will spend more time to study all of them.

  • http://www.posoffer.com meegin

    Thanks.Usefull.

  • http://threads.ecrater.com Threads Romantic and Cool Vintage Clothing

    I am really starting to love Bing!

    Especially when you are signed in to gmail — and google wants to store all of your searches — Bing is way faster to search than Google! :D

    We all search for multitudes of different things, all of the time, so I see no point in google, ebay or any of the others that do this, gearing our searches towards data collected from previous searches. Silly and small-thinking!

    Sadly, I’m sure Bing will start doing the same (if they don’t already) — just because everyone else does — but just because everyone else does it, does not make it smart… lol :D

    All of these new additions to Bing are sure exciting though!

  • http://www.kkominc.com Cathy Dunham

    Come on, Boys and Girls,

    Although I’m a fan of Google, let’s give Bing a chance. It’s still early and growing quite fast. I welcome the competition because not everyone is a Google fan and will use other search engines to find information, products and services.

    While optimizing many web sites, I need to keep abreast of changes in the top search engines (which ever they may be). This helps to ensure they are receiving the most relevant traffic and for measuring how well I am promoting my clients’ sites online. Even AOL and Ask send sufficient leads to some sites, so I would not ignore them either. In fact, they deserve some credit for still existing near the top engines since the beginning of search. (Kudos to the underdogs!)

    Some of the initial searches I made in Bing were “interesting” – so I’m giving them a break and waiting for them to fix some of their glitches before I make any personal judgements. Search algorithms will always need tweaks to ensure that their customers (searchers) receive quality results. I must admit I was a bit disappointed reading Kate’s comments regarding here search results in Bing that favored sites with little or no content or “under construction”. That should be a big heads up for them to check into. The EXTRA features (Bing, Yahoo, etc) are fine, just long as they don’t interfere with the primary task (searching).

    All in all, change is good. Let’s all play nice, boys and girls!

  • http://www.exoticpythonbreeders.com Tom

    Can Bing list flash websites? Flash is so much better looking than 95% of HTML sites, and I’m not talking about those sites with welcome screens and other useless flash stuff, I’m talking about nicely made flash sites from wix.com that have great research content, etc.

    • Tom

      Another thing that ticks people off, is Microsoft’s almost total customer unfriendliness, their need to always collect information about you, and their confusing live this live that features and other nerve racking stuff. I love their Windows platform though.

  • http://www.paperdistribution.ro papetarie

    I think it will become one of the most used search engines in few years will replace Google

  • http://michaelsbrown.com/ Michael Brown

    nice i hope bing gets even better keep up the good work

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