This innovation means that if you search for an individual, company or organisation, rather than just returning links the engine will now give a small amount of information with your result.
Bing calls this a ‘snapshot’ and says that it is designed to provide useful ‘at a glance’ information. For example, if you’re looking for a particular doctor you will get a short profile detailing his or her background and areas of expertise. This will be sourced from his or her LinkedIn profile and from public data from Vitals.com and the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System.
The new results pages are also more visual, with photos of the person, as well as their contact details.
Bing revealed that it is working towards delivering more contextual information, providing results that are not asked for, but which may be useful and interesting when linked to what is searched for.
Richard Qian, of Bing’s index and knowledge team, stated: “While comprehensiveness is important, we are not only interested in the items themselves, but in the relationships between them.”
To achieve these aims, Bing is using information from online sources such as Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Netflix and IMDB, so if you’re searching for information about a certain actor, you’ll be given an online ‘card index’ of the actor’s movie history as well as other details.
There have been a few teething problems – sometimes the snapshots don’t appear – but it’s a step forward for Bing in its quest to rival big-shot Google.