Bing blogs

This is a place devoted to giving you deeper insight
into the news, trends, people and technology behind Bing.

Search Blog — Jun 2009

  • June
    30

    Deal or no deal?

    If you don’t spend all day staring at airfares and hotel rates, you might not know how much they fluctuate. The same trip can vary by hundreds of dollars from day to day. That can make it hard to know whether you’re getting a good deal or not. Luckily, you’ve got Bing Travel ’s deal-finding tools to help you out. We can help you find great deals on airfare and tell you when’s the right time to buy. We can help you find great deals on hotels and figure out which hotel to book. We can even help you decide where to go! Now, some people think we have so many deal-finding tools that it can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why I’m here to point you in the right direction. In the coming weeks, I’ll walk you through how to use our super-powerful Flexible Travel tools and our Price Predictor and Hotel Rate Indicator tools that help you make better decisions about when to book your airfare or hotel room. But right now, let’s talk deals. Air deals If you’re looking for a cheap flight, a good place to start is our airline ticket deals page. This page shows you the top flight deals, record... Read More If you don’t spend all day staring at airfares and hotel rates, you might not know how much they fluctuate. The same trip can vary by hundreds of dollars from day to day. That can make it hard to know whether you’re getting a good deal or not. Luckily, you’ve got Bing Travel ’s deal-finding tools to help you out. We can help you find great deals on airfare and tell you when’s the right time to buy. We can help you find great deals on hotels and figure out which hotel to book. We can even help you decide where to go! Now, some people think we have so many deal-finding tools that it can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why I’m here to point you in the right direction. In the coming weeks, I’ll walk you through how to use our super-powerful Flexible Travel tools and our Price Predictor and Hotel Rate Indicator tools that help you make better decisions about when to book your airfare or hotel room. But right now, let’s talk deals. Air deals If you’re looking for a cheap flight, a good place to start is our airline ticket deals page. This page shows you the top flight deals, record... Read More
  • June
    29

    Bing & Careerbuilder.com deliver Applicant...

    Back at MIX09 in March, we talked about our work with Careerbuilder.com , and today we are pleased to report that at the annual Society for Human Resource Management Conference , Careerbuilder.com announced the availability of Applicant Explorer, a new application built on the Bing API that helps recruiters find qualified candidates in the fraction of the time it once took. Rather than manually sorting through applicant resumes and then searching the web for additional information to fill out a candidate profile, Applicant Explorer uses the Bing API to supplement CareerBuilder’s resume database with online results from public sites including social networking sites, blogs, corporate websites and forums. CareerBuilder selected the Bing API because it enabled the company to help recruiters customize their search criteria and dynamically sift through large amounts of data quickly, providing a more complete picture of an applicant. The end result is great news for recruiters: hundreds of data sources at their fingertips and the ability to do thorough comparisons more quickly and easily. Click here for a video overview of Applicant Explorer or to read the press release... Read More Back at MIX09 in March, we talked about our work with Careerbuilder.com , and today we are pleased to report that at the annual Society for Human Resource Management Conference , Careerbuilder.com announced the availability of Applicant Explorer, a new application built on the Bing API that helps recruiters find qualified candidates in the fraction of the time it once took. Rather than manually sorting through applicant resumes and then searching the web for additional information to fill out a candidate profile, Applicant Explorer uses the Bing API to supplement CareerBuilder’s resume database with online results from public sites including social networking sites, blogs, corporate websites and forums. CareerBuilder selected the Bing API because it enabled the company to help recruiters customize their search criteria and dynamically sift through large amounts of data quickly, providing a more complete picture of an applicant. The end result is great news for recruiters: hundreds of data sources at their fingertips and the ability to do thorough comparisons more quickly and easily. Click here for a video overview of Applicant Explorer or to read the press release... Read More
  • June
    26

    Bing cashback 101

    It’s been just over a year since we introduced cashback and a lot has happened in that time. We’ve added offers, merchants, and even changed our name to Bing cashback (although some suggested “Bing Bling”). With all the activity this year, we thought it was a good time to revisit how Bing cashback works and provide an update on how the program is going. Bing cashback is easy as 1, 2, 3: Search, Shop and Save. Within Bing’s product search results or sponsored listings, click on any product or ad with the Bing cashback gleam, shown here, purchase the product through the merchant’s site, and get cashback. In most cases, you will have to wait 60 days to get your cashback, but after that period, you can get your cashback via PayPal, direct deposit to your bank account or via check mailed to you. Bing cashback always has hot deals on popular products such as laptops and electronics prominently displayed on the homepage, and we’re also regularly Tweeting out great deals to our followers of @bingcashback . Come follow us to make sure you don’t miss a deal! For those loyal shoppers keeping track of how we’ve been doing, here’s... Read More It’s been just over a year since we introduced cashback and a lot has happened in that time. We’ve added offers, merchants, and even changed our name to Bing cashback (although some suggested “Bing Bling”). With all the activity this year, we thought it was a good time to revisit how Bing cashback works and provide an update on how the program is going. Bing cashback is easy as 1, 2, 3: Search, Shop and Save. Within Bing’s product search results or sponsored listings, click on any product or ad with the Bing cashback gleam, shown here, purchase the product through the merchant’s site, and get cashback. In most cases, you will have to wait 60 days to get your cashback, but after that period, you can get your cashback via PayPal, direct deposit to your bank account or via check mailed to you. Bing cashback always has hot deals on popular products such as laptops and electronics prominently displayed on the homepage, and we’re also regularly Tweeting out great deals to our followers of @bingcashback . Come follow us to make sure you don’t miss a deal! For those loyal shoppers keeping track of how we’ve been doing, here’s... Read More
  • June
    23

    Bringing the Ideal Result Front and Center...

    A key goal for Bing is to deliver the very best search results. One of the ways Bing does this is through a new feature called “Best match”, which sets up the best result in a distinct, easily accessible space at the top of the page. You may ask yourself: Why did we bother to do this? Don’t search engines deliver the best result at the top of the page anyway? Today, while search engines do a pretty good job at finding the best result for a simple query, they generally won’t tell you if the top result is the official one, nor will they help you navigate within that site. Nearly a third of queries fall into this “navigational” category – where you’re really only looking for one particular site. But today people often can’t immediately find what they are looking for on a results page – only 1 in 4 queries return a completely successful result. Best match helps you to identify which result might be most useful, particularly when one link clearly provides the official or authoritative source of information. It displays the result in a clearly marked area at the top of... Read More A key goal for Bing is to deliver the very best search results. One of the ways Bing does this is through a new feature called “Best match”, which sets up the best result in a distinct, easily accessible space at the top of the page. You may ask yourself: Why did we bother to do this? Don’t search engines deliver the best result at the top of the page anyway? Today, while search engines do a pretty good job at finding the best result for a simple query, they generally won’t tell you if the top result is the official one, nor will they help you navigate within that site. Nearly a third of queries fall into this “navigational” category – where you’re really only looking for one particular site. But today people often can’t immediately find what they are looking for on a results page – only 1 in 4 queries return a completely successful result. Best match helps you to identify which result might be most useful, particularly when one link clearly provides the official or authoritative source of information. It displays the result in a clearly marked area at the top of... Read More
  • June
    19

    Bing and your browser help get the job...

    In our last post , we showed you a few ways to add Bing to your browser whether you are using the latest version of IE, Firefox or Chrome. Today, we want to demonstrate how Bing’s integration with both IE8 and Firefox provides quick access to information, to make your search easier. I nternet E xplorer 8 When typing certain queries in the IE8 Search Box, Bing will return rich auto-suggestions, including Instant Answers, which provide you the information you’re looking for right from the search box. These suggestions are available in English only in the markets designated below: weather (e.g. Boston weather) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India stock quotes (e.g. msft), available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom show times (e.g. Angels and Demons) available for the United States flight status (e.g. ua 820) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India definitions (e.g. define renaissance) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa conversions (e.g. 71 degrees... Read More In our last post , we showed you a few ways to add Bing to your browser whether you are using the latest version of IE, Firefox or Chrome. Today, we want to demonstrate how Bing’s integration with both IE8 and Firefox provides quick access to information, to make your search easier. I nternet E xplorer 8 When typing certain queries in the IE8 Search Box, Bing will return rich auto-suggestions, including Instant Answers, which provide you the information you’re looking for right from the search box. These suggestions are available in English only in the markets designated below: weather (e.g. Boston weather) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India stock quotes (e.g. msft), available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom show times (e.g. Angels and Demons) available for the United States flight status (e.g. ua 820) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India definitions (e.g. define renaissance) available for the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa conversions (e.g. 71 degrees... Read More
  • June
    17

    Explore Pane – A Ribbon for Search

    One of our goals for Bing was to improve the way search results pages are organized. We wanted to help people get away from the “search overload” they often feel– that sinking feeling when confronted by millions of non-descript results. The Explore Pane is one of the ways we are bringing more order to the page. It allows us to provide a set of helpful tools in a consistent location across the Bing experience that enable you to more easily navigate various categories of results relevant to your query, including web, video, image, news, local, shopping, and more. We conducted extensive research in planning Bing. One of the things people told us was that search results pages could be organized more effectively. We found that 66% of people are using search more frequently to help them make decisions. However, they are spending much more time on those decision-oriented sessions – averaging around 9 minutes per session. With that insight, we realized improving page organization to help get users to what they are looking for faster could have a big impact. What’s in the Explore Pane? The Explore Pane can contain three sets... Read More One of our goals for Bing was to improve the way search results pages are organized. We wanted to help people get away from the “search overload” they often feel– that sinking feeling when confronted by millions of non-descript results. The Explore Pane is one of the ways we are bringing more order to the page. It allows us to provide a set of helpful tools in a consistent location across the Bing experience that enable you to more easily navigate various categories of results relevant to your query, including web, video, image, news, local, shopping, and more. We conducted extensive research in planning Bing. One of the things people told us was that search results pages could be organized more effectively. We found that 66% of people are using search more frequently to help them make decisions. However, they are spending much more time on those decision-oriented sessions – averaging around 9 minutes per session. With that insight, we realized improving page organization to help get users to what they are looking for faster could have a big impact. What’s in the Explore Pane? The Explore Pane can contain three sets... Read More
  • June
    12

    Safe Search Update

    You may have read our post last week where we talked about how Smart Motion Preview and SafeSearch work together. As we mentioned, Microsoft is never done when it comes to providing tools to help customers, whether they are large enterprises, local school districts or parents make sure they can provide a safe searching experience when using Bing. We made two changes that we think will help. First, potentially explicit images and video content will now be coming from a separate single domain, explicit.bing.net. This is invisible to the end customer, but allows for filtering of that content by domain which makes it much easier for customers at all levels to block this content regardless of what the SafeSearch settings might be. This makes it much easier for filtering software to block unwanted content if SafeSearch has been turned off. In addition, we will begin returning source url information in the query string for images and video content so that companies who already use this method of filtering will be able to catch explicit content on Bing along with everything else they are already blocking for their customers. An example of such a query string is: http://ts2.explicit... Read More You may have read our post last week where we talked about how Smart Motion Preview and SafeSearch work together. As we mentioned, Microsoft is never done when it comes to providing tools to help customers, whether they are large enterprises, local school districts or parents make sure they can provide a safe searching experience when using Bing. We made two changes that we think will help. First, potentially explicit images and video content will now be coming from a separate single domain, explicit.bing.net. This is invisible to the end customer, but allows for filtering of that content by domain which makes it much easier for customers at all levels to block this content regardless of what the SafeSearch settings might be. This makes it much easier for filtering software to block unwanted content if SafeSearch has been turned off. In addition, we will begin returning source url information in the query string for images and video content so that companies who already use this method of filtering will be able to catch explicit content on Bing along with everything else they are already blocking for their customers. An example of such a query string is: http://ts2.explicit... Read More
  • June
    11

    Instant Translation in Bing

    One of the things we’re focused on with Bing is bringing the answer you’re looking for to the top of your search result to save you the time of wading through a sea of blue links. Whether it’s getting the answer to a conversion or checking on your flight status , instant answers get you the information you want, quickly. Today, we’re excited to announce the newest instant answer in Bing, the translation instant answer. If you’re looking to impress your friends around the globe, you can now buff up on some common phrases in various languages using the translator instant answer in Bing.   Here is a brief look at how it works. Type in the phrase you’d like to translate and to what language. For example: “happy birthday in French.” And voila!   Visit the Microsoft Translator team blog to see more great examples, including the translation instant answer for Spanish speaking markets. Let us know what other search tasks you’d like to see simplified by Bing.     Theo Vachovsky   Instant Answers Product Manager, Bing One of the things we’re focused on with Bing is bringing the answer you’re looking for to the top of your search result to save you the time of wading through a sea of blue links. Whether it’s getting the answer to a conversion or checking on your flight status , instant answers get you the information you want, quickly. Today, we’re excited to announce the newest instant answer in Bing, the translation instant answer. If you’re looking to impress your friends around the globe, you can now buff up on some common phrases in various languages using the translator instant answer in Bing.   Here is a brief look at how it works. Type in the phrase you’d like to translate and to what language. For example: “happy birthday in French.” And voila!   Visit the Microsoft Translator team blog to see more great examples, including the translation instant answer for Spanish speaking markets. Let us know what other search tasks you’d like to see simplified by Bing.     Theo Vachovsky   Instant Answers Product Manager, Bing
  • June
    10

    Bing and your browser

    Hey folks! Last week we brought you Bing , the world’s first decision engine, to help you make important decisions faster. To that end, we’d like to show you how to set Bing as your search default on Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, and to highlight how Bing can be tightly integrated into these browsers. Internet Explorer 8 If you have already installed IE8, you can add Bing from the add-ons Gallery by clicking here . When you click the button Add to Internet Explorer , you will get the following pop-up: Select Make this my default search provider to set Bing as your IE search default, then click Add and you are all set to use Bing as your default search engine! If you are installing IE8 for the first time, you have a couple of options: (a) If Live Search is already your default search engine, you will be upgraded automatically to Bing. (b) If Live Search wasn’t your default setting, click Choose custom settings , then select Bing as your default search engine. Bing integrates with IE8’s latest features, including accelerators, web slices, and visual suggestions. For example, start typing a query in the... Read More Hey folks! Last week we brought you Bing , the world’s first decision engine, to help you make important decisions faster. To that end, we’d like to show you how to set Bing as your search default on Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, and to highlight how Bing can be tightly integrated into these browsers. Internet Explorer 8 If you have already installed IE8, you can add Bing from the add-ons Gallery by clicking here . When you click the button Add to Internet Explorer , you will get the following pop-up: Select Make this my default search provider to set Bing as your IE search default, then click Add and you are all set to use Bing as your default search engine! If you are installing IE8 for the first time, you have a couple of options: (a) If Live Search is already your default search engine, you will be upgraded automatically to Bing. (b) If Live Search wasn’t your default setting, click Choose custom settings , then select Bing as your default search engine. Bing integrates with IE8’s latest features, including accelerators, web slices, and visual suggestions. For example, start typing a query in the... Read More
  • June
    05

    Better Voice Search + Phone = Bing 411

    Earlier this week we launched Bing , the new decision engine designed to help you make more informed decisions. Today, we’re excited to share that Bing 411 (1-800-BING-411 or 1-800-246-4411), with voice search powered by Tellme, has also arrived! More than simple local business search, Bing 411 makes it easier to get on-the-go information: driving directions, traffic reports, sports scores, stock quotes, weather reports, and even information the cheapest place near you to buy gas. Bing 411 now takes local business search a step further, helping you to complete tasks from your phone. Call Bing 411 to find a business, then connect to it or get an SMS with a link to a map (which you can also send to a friend). Bing 411 even includes star ratings of businesses based on reviews by other consumers. You can get traffic-influenced driving directions, and for movie theaters, you can get show times and even buy tickets. Get the right information to make decisions and complete tasks fast, with one easy phone call (1-800-BING-411). Yvonne Chou, Senior Program Lead, Bing 411 Earlier this week we launched Bing , the new decision engine designed to help you make more informed decisions. Today, we’re excited to share that Bing 411 (1-800-BING-411 or 1-800-246-4411), with voice search powered by Tellme, has also arrived! More than simple local business search, Bing 411 makes it easier to get on-the-go information: driving directions, traffic reports, sports scores, stock quotes, weather reports, and even information the cheapest place near you to buy gas. Bing 411 now takes local business search a step further, helping you to complete tasks from your phone. Call Bing 411 to find a business, then connect to it or get an SMS with a link to a map (which you can also send to a friend). Bing 411 even includes star ratings of businesses based on reviews by other consumers. You can get traffic-influenced driving directions, and for movie theaters, you can get show times and even buy tickets. Get the right information to make decisions and complete tasks fast, with one easy phone call (1-800-BING-411). Yvonne Chou, Senior Program Lead, Bing 411
  • June
    04

    Smart Motion Preview and SafeSearch

    One of the things we noticed in looking at how customers use search is the number of times people clicked the Back button in their browser soon after clicking on a search result. When we dug into this, we found that people who clicked on the Back button quickly often did so because they were disappointed with the page they went to. We call this ‘destination disappointment.’ We’ve been focused on this problem for a while. In fact this was the driving reason we introduced a feature named Smart Motion Previews to our video results well more than a year ago. There has been a bunch of conversation about this feature of late, and so we wanted to provide some context and hopefully answer some questions people have been asking. First, let’s explain what it is and how it works. The idea behind Smart Motion Previews is to give people the equivalent of a movie trailer for video results. When we crawl videos, we create short previews (never more than 30 seconds, made up of a few very short clips) that reflect what our video crawling technology thinks are the most relevant parts. We look at the audio levels for instance to see a big play... Read More One of the things we noticed in looking at how customers use search is the number of times people clicked the Back button in their browser soon after clicking on a search result. When we dug into this, we found that people who clicked on the Back button quickly often did so because they were disappointed with the page they went to. We call this ‘destination disappointment.’ We’ve been focused on this problem for a while. In fact this was the driving reason we introduced a feature named Smart Motion Previews to our video results well more than a year ago. There has been a bunch of conversation about this feature of late, and so we wanted to provide some context and hopefully answer some questions people have been asking. First, let’s explain what it is and how it works. The idea behind Smart Motion Previews is to give people the equivalent of a movie trailer for video results. When we crawl videos, we create short previews (never more than 30 seconds, made up of a few very short clips) that reflect what our video crawling technology thinks are the most relevant parts. We look at the audio levels for instance to see a big play... Read More
  • June
    03

    Bing Shines Bright from Seattle

    Some of you here in the Seattle area may have noticed the giant light beaming from the Pacific Science Center and the cool orange glow of the Space Needle . Whether you saw it or not, Bing is here to tell you all about it. Not only does Bing have the answer , but Bing IS the answer! In honor of today’s official unveiling of Bing, Microsoft’s first ever decision engine, we’re lighting up the city’s most well known monument to commemorate this special occasion. With Bing, we are focused on helping you complete tasks faster by presenting better organized and more relevant content, great tools to help you in your search experience, and services that can be found only on Bing that help people save time and money in four key areas: travel, shopping, local and health. Check the blog regularly as we take deep dives into some of the new Bing features such as Best Match, Preview, Search History and many more. In the meantime, go start exploring! We suggested a few queries to try here in a previous post if you’re seeking inspiration. Thanks so much for all your feedback, comments and... Read More Some of you here in the Seattle area may have noticed the giant light beaming from the Pacific Science Center and the cool orange glow of the Space Needle . Whether you saw it or not, Bing is here to tell you all about it. Not only does Bing have the answer , but Bing IS the answer! In honor of today’s official unveiling of Bing, Microsoft’s first ever decision engine, we’re lighting up the city’s most well known monument to commemorate this special occasion. With Bing, we are focused on helping you complete tasks faster by presenting better organized and more relevant content, great tools to help you in your search experience, and services that can be found only on Bing that help people save time and money in four key areas: travel, shopping, local and health. Check the blog regularly as we take deep dives into some of the new Bing features such as Best Match, Preview, Search History and many more. In the meantime, go start exploring! We suggested a few queries to try here in a previous post if you’re seeking inspiration. Thanks so much for all your feedback, comments and... Read More
  • June
    01

    User Needs, Features and the Science behind...

    This morning in the wee hours, we launched the Bing preview! I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some highlights and background on how Bing came to be. What got us here? Everything in Bing was driven by a focus on truly understanding searchers and their needs. When we looked at how people were using search today, we saw an opportunity to focus on three key trends: Information overload : With the explosion of digital content on the Web, it is harder than ever to find what you are looking for. Search failure : Search engines are pretty good at lots of things, but the "Back" button is one of the most popular clicks in search today. Complex tasks and decision making : People are spending more and more time in search trying to accomplish tasks and make decisions. Information Overload: To give you a sense of what we mean when we say "information overload": In 1997 there were around 26M pages (URLs) on the Web. Today we estimate there are more than 1 trillion pages of content. In 1997 the Web was mostly text. Today it combines video, images, music, with new data formats emerging every day. The amount of available data has grown exponentially. An average... Read More This morning in the wee hours, we launched the Bing preview! I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some highlights and background on how Bing came to be. What got us here? Everything in Bing was driven by a focus on truly understanding searchers and their needs. When we looked at how people were using search today, we saw an opportunity to focus on three key trends: Information overload : With the explosion of digital content on the Web, it is harder than ever to find what you are looking for. Search failure : Search engines are pretty good at lots of things, but the "Back" button is one of the most popular clicks in search today. Complex tasks and decision making : People are spending more and more time in search trying to accomplish tasks and make decisions. Information Overload: To give you a sense of what we mean when we say "information overload": In 1997 there were around 26M pages (URLs) on the Web. Today we estimate there are more than 1 trillion pages of content. In 1997 the Web was mostly text. Today it combines video, images, music, with new data formats emerging every day. The amount of available data has grown exponentially. An average... Read More
  • June
    01

    Bing is here!

    We announced the imminent arrival of Bing last week and the excitement has been building ever since. Beginning today, www.Bing.com opens its front door worldwide. Welcome! We hope you enjoy the new experience and can’t wait to hear your feedback. Want some sample queries to try? Check out “Nordstrom,” “Fedex,” “Seattle Mariners,” “Justin Timberlake,” “fitness,” “flights from SAN to JFK,” or “Canon cameras.” We think you’ll like what you find. If you’re trying to access Bing from other entry points, like toolbars, you may still get the old Live Search experience for a few days, but we expect to be fully deployed as Bing across all search entry points by June 3. We have another exciting announcement to make today which you’re experiencing as we speak – the unveiling of our new Bing Community site (bing.com/community). We’ve designed this new community site as a way to engage, educate and excite you – the community – on all things Bing. Through the new site, we’re aggregating all our relevant Bing blogs, forums, rich media and... Read More We announced the imminent arrival of Bing last week and the excitement has been building ever since. Beginning today, www.Bing.com opens its front door worldwide. Welcome! We hope you enjoy the new experience and can’t wait to hear your feedback. Want some sample queries to try? Check out “Nordstrom,” “Fedex,” “Seattle Mariners,” “Justin Timberlake,” “fitness,” “flights from SAN to JFK,” or “Canon cameras.” We think you’ll like what you find. If you’re trying to access Bing from other entry points, like toolbars, you may still get the old Live Search experience for a few days, but we expect to be fully deployed as Bing across all search entry points by June 3. We have another exciting announcement to make today which you’re experiencing as we speak – the unveiling of our new Bing Community site (bing.com/community). We’ve designed this new community site as a way to engage, educate and excite you – the community – on all things Bing. Through the new site, we’re aggregating all our relevant Bing blogs, forums, rich media and... Read More