As we talked about in a recent WPN article, it's time to start taking your Bing optimization seriously if you haven't been already. For one, Bing will soon power Yahoo search. For two, Bing deliver's Facebook's web search results, while Facebook is giving people more reasons to search with them.
Bing is making changes of its own. It's been a very big week for the search engine (or "decision engine") if you will. It's up to you to decide if any of these changes will have a direct effect on you, but some of them may attract more users in general, and if nothing else, that gives you even more of a reason to give Bing a fair amount of your focus.
Do you intend to increase the effort you put into Bing optimization? Let us know.
Bing has made some design changes and added a bunch of new features. For starters, the quick tabs have moved from the left pane to the just below the search box.
"Secondly, you will see a new design aesthetic applied to Bing," says Bing Corporate VP Brian MacDonald. "We have tried to bring you an experience grounded in clear readable typography that helps you find your way and organize information. With the new design the rich content in Bing really stands out from pages that are clean, light, open and fast. Result pages are not presented in a one-size-fits-all-layout – instead, Bing results pages are richly and visually organized, making the whole search experience feel dynamic and alive."
What do you think of this new Bing? Is it a step in the right direction? Share your thoughts here.
Bing has launched some new entertainment features for music, games, TV, and movies. In addition to an entertainment hub at bing.com/entertainment, users can now find richer search results in these categories.
"76 percent of people use search to help find and navigate their entertainment options online, but only 10 percent say they have a trusted place to go," says Bing Senior VP Yusuf Mehdi. "So we see a great opportunity to help customers make important entertainment decisions -- from deciding what movie to buy or see, which TV shows to watch online or on your TV, what music to listen to, how to find and safely play your favorite casual games - Bing is making a first step today to help make entertainment on the web easy and fun, so you spend less time searching for entertainment and more time doing the stuff you love."
Bing is now putting lyrics to songs on the search results page, as well as full length streaming of over 5 million songs (in partnership with Microsoft's Zune branch). Users can stream any of these songs once at their full length. After that, the song will allow for a 30-second preview. Of course users are given the option to buy songs from Zune, iTunes, or Amazon.
Bing is now providing info on over 35,000 games, including reviews, cheats, and walkthroughs. In addition to that, Bing is offering about 100 games that can be played right from Bing.
"Just Search, Click. Play . So you can now search for your favorite casual game, and with one click, be playing the game," says Mehdi. "This is cool for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy. Second, hosting the games inline means you can be sure they are actually games and not malware. Finally, the Microsoft Games team included some fun social features that allow you to actually invite friends from your social network to play with you right from the game."
Bing is now offering thousands of episodes from over 1,500 shows (including some HD). They also provide guide information.
Bing has posted a closer look at some more new features including Bing News, Bing Finance, Combined Flight Answers, Auto Suggest, and Visual Search here, and here's even more specifically on Finance. Here's a closer look at new Shopping features.
Bing is also available as a default search option on the new iPhone, and Microsoft has been heavily encouraging users to switch to it. That could be another factor in increased Bing usage. Here are some more reasons the future looks bright for Bing.
Are Bing's changes an improvement? Tell us what you think.