Badda Boom Badda Bing

Posted On August 01st, 2014 by admin

Late last month Microsoft made a big boom on the WWW with the release of its new search engine called Bing.  Bing was begat by Kumo which was begat by Live which was begat by MSN Search.  However Bing is not just your ordinary, everyday search engine, its called a "Decision Engine" by the folks at Redmond. Lets take a closer look at what the differences are between a decision engine and a search engine. 

Microsoft will be spending an estimated $100 million on promotion.  That in and of itself may help many of us to make a "decision" to use Bing as our primary search engine or at least to get the word out.  Remember the marketing blitz by Ask.com.  Hopefully we will see a really cool Superbowl commercial for Bing. The concept behind a decision engine is that search engines bring back results whereas decision engines bring back answers to questions.  So if I am looking for pizza in Los Angeles, it does not just consider the word pizza but other information relevant to helping you find the pizza shop you are looking for.  A decision engine is programmed to use and display important related information to the search term so that you don't have to sort through results not pertinent to your query, such as Pittsburgh pizza shops or pizza recipes.  Sounds good in theory, but does Bing pull it off?

The questions from our point of view to answer that are:  Has Bing changed its search algorithm in a way to make it more decision friendly?  And does Bing display information that improve our changes of making the best decision? One of the big additions is that if you hover over the link in Bing search results a small orange dot appears to the right and when you hover over that it provide a rolodex type card with a snapshot of information about the site without having to actually click on the search result link.  This is a nice innovation, however the information contained in the rolodex card can be somewhat inconsistent, for example many people want to a quick way to find phone numbers.  In our search testing, some cards had the phone number while others did not so some work is needed on the extract phone part of the algorithm.  Also for some reason some keyword searches do not have the orange dot information available next to the listing.

In terms of changes to the Bing algorithm, according to Microsoft spokesperson Carolyn Miller:  " We have made numerous improvements to our algorithm, focusing on spelling, freshness of results, and core ranking. Our algorithm is changing continuously to provide the best results. Although we have a six month release cycle for major updates, our algorithm is refined everyday to improve the relevance of our results and to better address our users' intent."  From the most recent results, it does look like Bing is gaining significant number of new users, so watch out Yahoo and Google.  Stay tuned for our next newsletter on how to tune your site for Bing organic and Bing local listings.