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Shop anytime – we’re open late

Around this time of year, we see a big jump in the number of shopping related searches.  More and more people are using a web search engine to kick off the shopping process, and we are always trying to improve the experience.  To help you find what you’re looking for faster, we recently introduced v1 of our Shopping Instant Answer.  This is perfect for those of you that shop in your undies (you know who you are). 

We worked closely with MSN Shopping to display the few most popular products for common shopping queries.  The links in the answer give you a lot more product information to help your research.  In this version of the answer, we trigger on category (e.g. computer keyboards) and brand + category (e.g. canon digital cameras) queries.  The MSN Shopping blog has additional info.  We’re going to add support for more types of shopping queries over time and tweak ones we show based on your feedback.

Please check it out and send any comments you have.  If you have specific ideas on how to make it easier to research, compare or buy online products starting from MSN Search, let us know.  We read every piece of Instant Answer feedback that comes into our system and your input is very important to help us improve.


Jamie Buckley and the Instant Answers team


  • It is interesting thing, indeed but as far as I see you are not able to extract and normalize data from arbitrary html page. You relay on feeds... well if your engineers would be able to figure about how to turn p="Google world into the Oracle world" <!— try on any major search engine --> you would be just great.
  • This is awesome and very helpful. Thanks!!
  • Glad to see Instant Answers Team working closely with MSN Shopping team. I can see it becoming a popular feature, especially if you add some more information.

    I would recommend adding product photographs in addition to product names, brand and price. Also, consider displaying the name of the merchant and possibly the URL from where the product is available. If the space is limited, I would recommend adding a "roll-over pop-up" effect using AJAX.


  • sorry, offtopic, but can we except more localized versions of desktop search?
    I'm looking for a hungarian one. :-)
  • I'm not sure how well it will do, but the effort is definitely being noticed.
  • Congats on your upcoming partnership with AOL
    Good luck with the New Online Ads - can't wait to read your blog on the matter.