Bing spotlights celebrities and landmarks at center of search

Microsoft’s Bing search engine hopes to help you find more about the personalities and places in your queries with an update that spits out relevant information at the center of your search.

Bing is now using the middle column of its search page, called “snapshot,” to surface fast factoids about the celebrities or landmarks you search for. The two new categories, alongside content additions, help to spice up snapshot’s existing purpose of spotlighting pertinent information, on the main search results page, directly related to your queries.

“Now when you search for a famous person, celebrity or place, we will present relevant facts about that person in the center part of the screen so you can quickly find what you’re looking for without having to click through to another site or page,” Bing principal program manager Alam Ali wrote in a blog post.

hotel del coronado - Bing

What does this entail, exactly? Well, a search for the Hotel Del Coronado, the famous beachside resort in San Diego, includes aggregated room rates, a mini map of the hotel’s location, an overview of reviews from third-party sties, and photos in the special snapshot column. Or search for singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman, and you’ll find bio details as well as links to songs and albums. Ads are, of course, also a part of the experience.

The end goal is to help you make quicker decisions. Bing has been billed as a “decision engine” all along, but the additional snapshot material, especially since its sandwiched between regular results and social findings, actually delivers on that promise.

Microsoft still has plenty of work to do if it wants to convince searchers to switch to Bing. Google holds 66.9 percent of the U.S. market, according to comScore.


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