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Bing has relaunched with a series of major changes, adding context and social elements to its new results page and a firm emphasis on "pure search." The roll-out will happen over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

A Three-Way Split for Search

Bing's new design has just been announced by Microsoft. Launching in the States in the next few days, it will show users results on a page split into three columns. The usual search results will appear on the left, a detailed information column runs down the middle with social media results, saving you going off the page to get more information. Finally, and the big new feature, is the social interaction pane down the right.

This split keeps the search results pure and relevant, distinguishing it from rival efforts, so Microsoft claims, with the focus on algorithmic relevance rather than social fluff. That is kept over on the right-hand side where you can ask your Facebook friends about search results and do other interactions, all within the one page. What with this and Facebook's App Center, it has been quite a day for big new products.

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An example of the new Bing search look

The update was announced in a Bing blog post entitled "Spend Less Time Searching, More Time Doing." Which doesn't seem like much of a message change, but can perhaps finally offer some major differentiation over Google, aside from the pretty backgrounds.

Pure Search

In testing, Microsoft claims that "When shown unbranded search results 43% prefer Bing results while only 28% prefer Google results." But this update still relies on people going to bing.com rather than automatically using Google as users have done for years.

If you need more information on a search results, then Bing will poll Facebook and can help you find people who are influential about the topic you’re searching on, based on what they’ve publically blogged or tweeted about.

 

The desktop design has also been optimized for mobiles and that will be rolling out in the coming weeks. A U.S. launch for the new site is first, with worldwide rollout following in the weeks to come. Claimed to be the biggest redesign of Bing yet, this will certainly generate a lot of buzz about the service and, if it works as advertised, could put a dent in Google's numbers.