Bing, the third most popular search engine in America, has been drastically redesigned. Even more striking than the Microsoft-owned site's fresh new look is the new social media integration on the Bing search results page.
Bing will soon begin pulling information from users' social networks -- from Quora, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and more. The social media results will ultimately provide more relevant information to search queries.
In an announcement on the Bing blog, Microsoft points out that search engines of the future need to present the most recent and relevant information on search results pages. Life-changing events can take place in the blink of an eye -- those are the moments that fuel social media -- and getting those moments to users faster will be Bing's new objective. In addition to featuring more social media updates, users will be able to perform actions on the search page. The idea is to have them clicking fewer times to do the things most important to them.
The search industry was built on keywords, links and labels -- static nouns pointing to pages. This approach is great for finding sites, but search is about more than simply finding information, it's also about taking action, said the Bing team on its blog. Whether it's booking a flight, reading an article or buying a new pair of shoes, 68 percent of people tell us they expect to get something done when they type into a search box.
Bing will try to one-up Google by using three columns to organize search results in a better fashion. Emphasis will still be placed on the main stream, where relevant sites will be shown. The results page, from what we can tell, will remain largely the same.
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Beside the main column of search results will be widgets that relate to certain search results. For instance, OpenTable and Yelp widgets will pop up if a restaurant search is conducted. Other browser-friendly widgets will be placed within the page.
In the column furthest to the right on the new layout, social results will correspond with the search. That means updates from Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Foursquare and more will be integrated into your search if you give Microsoft permission. The search results will place emphasis on experts in given categories in order to provide the best possible search results. You'll also be able to update certain social networks such as Facebook using the right-hand column.
Bing's new search results address features we recently criticized Google for overlooking. While Google continues to provide integration with its own social network Google Plus, Microsoft has found a way to provide more relevant results by integrating social networks from outside of the company. Microsoft doesn't have a catch-all social media experiment it's trying to drive users to, and that may be best for the company in the long run.
For more about the updates, watch the video below: