Bing's stepping up its search game today by adding some heavy artillery thanks to Yelp. The two companies have announced an agreement in which Yelp's archives of reviews, photos, and other details will be used to surface content to Bing Local search users in the United States.
The Bing Local search page will soon be displaying a "Powered by Yelp" tag on a page replete with details about a restaurant culled from Yelp's website. Users will see recently submitted (truncated) reviews by customers, the general description of the business, the business' overall rating, a map of the location provided by Bing Maps and other assorted information.
Bing General Manager Mike Nichols said he expects that the inclusion of Yelp's trove of information will help bring up-to-date, reliable reviews to users. "Enabling people to do more with search involves building a spectrum of features and data that people trust, and teaming up with Yelp is another important step in helping Bing deliver great value to customers," he said.
Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman concurred, "We're thrilled that established brands like Bing recognize the value that Yelp communities bring to the local search experience."
The new "Powered by Yelp" feature is said to go live today, but I haven't been able to spot it in the wild with any of the Bing searches I've done (even by searching for the example used in Yelp's example on its official blog). However, Yelp was nice enough to provide an example of what we can expect the new layout to look like:
If you don't see the new Yelp-infused Bing Local search content today or even tomorrow, don't worry: full U.S. availability is said to be coming within the next few weeks.
Bing's made some significant in-roads lately into making aspects of its search more social with the search engine's recent three-column redesign that includes related content pulled from Facebook and Twitter familiars. The addition of Yelp to its Local search service should provide users with an even more relevant source information when looking for something more than the average generic blue link.
Yelp's having quite the prominent week this week. Today's announcement of the Bing partnership follows Monday's reveal that Yelp will be more deeply integrated into Apple's iOS 6. With one more day left in the week, Yelp still has time to make another game-changing business arrangement before the weekend. Given the high-profile companies the website is rubbing elbows with these days, who knows what Friday could yield.