As part of Microsoft’s continuing efforts to increase market share for newly created Bing, the company will be rolling out a new “look” for the search engine this week. This new look will consist of a series of tabs above the regular search results indicating different result types based on images, videos, news, and more pertaining to the user’s search query. 5% of searchers should begin to see this tabbed view on April 1st, and the rest of us will notice it during the next several weeks.
The changes we will be seeing shortly were originally part of last year’s potential design ideas for how the soon-to-be-revealed Bing would look like. Due to testing, opinions, and other factors, the tabbed look at the top was ultimately rejected, but now Microsoft believes implementing some of these discarded designs will actually help searchers find what they are looking for faster, and will better categorize the different types of search results that are available to make user interaction easier and more convenient.
In addition to the “tabbed” look, Bing has other changes afoot, including making their engine more social with the addition of Twitter feeds. They will also attempt to make their category labels more prominent and structured. These changes, which will possibly replace the “Quick Tabs” pane on the left-hand side of the results, are an attempt to reduce the 42% of Bing search queries that require refinements, according to Microsoft. As Google’s algorithm still takes the cake on search result relevancy, Bing knows it falls short in providing its users with the most relevant results. In spite of this deficiency, or probably because of it, Bing is making great strides to try to fill in the gaps where Google is weakest (see Titan Growth®‘s article on Google’s Dominance).
As Titan Growth® mentioned in their March 18th article on Bing market share, February 2010 showed a 15% increase in market share attributed to Microsoft since January 2010. This significant increase is another healthy boost to the steady growth Bing has sustained since its creation last summer. It should be noted, however, that this growth has not really been at Google’s expense; instead, it appears Yahoo! has seen a decline in market share during the same period.
As Bing and Yahoo! will be soon joining forces and strengths in the upcoming Search Alliance, changes, improvements, and the accompanying publicity will be a necessary factor to the Alliance’s success. SEO agencies will need to remain on their toes for shifts in market share, as well as opportunities for business advancement as the search engines continually try to edge out their competition, and ultimately, it is the user who will benefit.
Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations