Monday, June 22, 2009

Up Close and Personal with Bing Team - WebProNews Video

The buzz around the announcement of Microsoft’s new search brand Bing is still going strong. Users are commenting on everything from Bing’s interface to the quality of the results. WebProNews caught up with Bing team members Nathan Buggia and Ramez Naam to get some first-hand information on the engine.

The three main areas of focus for the new search product were:

1. Best possible results
2. Organized experience
3. Key tools to help users decide

Ramez says the quality of the search results have changed and the speed of the engine is better. Bing is continuing to work to cut down on the user’s time searching by simplifying tasks. To organize the search experience, Bing has a 3-column layout and a “table of contents” in the upper left-hand corner.

With the table of contents, Bing looked at how searchers view results and refine their queries and created categories accordingly. For example, if you search for a Honda Accord, the categories could be reviews, recalls, repair, videos, and images. Bing also provides key tools to help users make decisions regarding specific tasks such as travel and product purchases.

One of Nathan’s favorite features about Bing is the Best Match capability. With this feature, if it’s positive that a query is a navigational query, Bing will hide the regular algorithm results and showcase the “best match.” For example, for a query for, Bing will highlight the UPS site and even include a search box directly on the results page to track packages. Bing is also doing Entity Extraction on pages to pull out user reviews and obtain a deeper knowledge of the content on the page. The purpose of this is to include more valuable content in the search result captions to better serve the users.

What about Bing’s impact on SEO? Nathan says because the content publisher’s goals and Bing’s goals are the same, it leads to more targeted traffic. The categorized results show up to 20 results per page, which means everyone isn’t fighting over the top 10 blue links and the small businesses have a better chance of being seen.

Bing is doing some pretty cool things, and it has already been given some good reviews. But as users continue to test Bing out and see all that it can do, the big question remains: “Does Bing pose a threat to Google?”

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