Bing - a new service or just a new set of clothes ?
Successfully representing "the moment of discovery and decision making”
With so many search engines vying for supremacy on the net, you will no doubt have come across Bing, the new search engine from Microsoft, formerly known as and replacing, Live Search, Windows Live Search or MSN Search. Bing was introduced to the Internet community on 28th May 2009 at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego and went live on 3rd June 2009. As expected with this new member of such a well know family, Bing was successful in gaining a good share of the market within its first few weeks.
Where on earth did they get that name? I hear you ask. This is exactly what Microsoft was hoping for when they employed focus groups to determine that the name Bing would be memorable, easy to spell, short and would work well as an easily recognizable URL throughout the world. The word "Bing" is an onomatopoeia, a word, which imitates the sound it represents. As a name it is designed to remind people of the sound made during "the moment of discovery and decision making” and what a clever medium of discovery it offers!!
You are greeted with an interactive, full image home screen offering a combination of history, regional information and relevant links and advertising. Central, on what is a very clean, unfussy page is the main search bar. Search suggestions are listed in real time as you start to type your query, making browsing quick and simple. Rather than a simple search engine, Bing offers a much more competitive product, with ongoing improvements and functions promised for the future. One thing for sure is that it is an impressive advancement for Microsoft’s search efforts.
Bing’s services and functions offer a wealth of easily accessible information and navigation through the web.
These services include:
• Bing Images - quickly search and display relevant photos and images of interest. The infinite scroll feature allows you to browse large numbers of images quickly and easily. Refined searching accesses results with categories including image size, aspect ratio, colour or black and white, photo or illustration, and facial features recognition.
• Bing Maps - search for businesses, street names, addresses and landmarks around the world and choose from road map, satellite or hybrid view of the two. Bird's-eye images of cities and 3D maps with virtual 3D navigation offer a fun and interactive angle on this widely used facility. Bing Maps For Enterprise has been developed specifically for business users. As an Accelerator, this service can also be access directly from selected text in a web page.
• Bing Health - searching medical concepts for relevant health information allowing users to access complex medical topics with article results from experts.
• Bing Shopping - search from a vast range of online suppliers for all types of products and goods. This service also features Bing cash back offering money back for certain purchases made through the site. As an Accelerator, this service can also be access directly from selected text in a web page.
• Bing Local - local business listings with details and reviews.
• Bing News - provides news results relevant to search queries from a wide range of online news and information services.
• Bing Translator - translate texts or entire web pages into different languages. As an Accelerator, this service can also be access directly from selected text in a web page.
• Bing Travel - search for flights and hotels worldwide. Make reservations online. The service also predicts the best time to book and reserve flights and hotels.
• Bing Video - search and view videos online. The Smart Preview feature allows you to watch short previews of video. Related services include; Soapbox on MSN Video, xRank Bing and xRank, allowing you to search for celebrities, musicians, politicians and bloggers, read short biographies and news and track popularity rankings or trends.
Bing also offers Web Slices, which can be used to monitor live information; these include; Weather, Finance and Traffic.
Proving its ability to move with the times and work well as part of a team. Bing also offers a partnership service with the very popular Twitter, enabling users to see real-time information about the hottest topics on Twitter. Bing is the first search engine to index Twitter to include new user messages or Tweets in search results. Microsoft and Facebook have both promised initiatives in response to pressure from Twitter to provide real-time updates online.
If you don’t choose to set Bing as your default search facility, it will certainly be worthwhile keeping an eye on the exciting new developments set to appear in the near future.
R8 Top Tip
Bing offers one of the very latest, user-friendly search facilities available but works on an established process when deciding which sites to include in the results list for each query. There are several secrets you can use to make sure you are visible to Bing and other search engines. One of which is choosing a strong domain or website address. Try to include the search terms that you want to be listed under. E.g. if you offer bathrooms in London, try www.bathroomslondon.co.uk. If you’d prefer a website address that matches your business name, then purchase two addresses, which both point to your website. One, such as the above, for the search engines and one that matches your business address which you can circulate to clients and put on your business card.
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