Google may be incorporating restaurant reviews from its Zagat acquisition into its search results, but Bing is looking to one-up its search engine rival by signing Encyclopedia Britannica to the content mix.
Microsoft just announced a deal with the venerable encyclopedia brand that will add entries from its references to the body of Bing. Britannica Online answers will show up directly on the Bing search results page.
"The answer provides a quick overview of the subject, a thumbnail image, and useful facts and figures making it easier than ever to get trusted content in search," said Franco Salvetti, principal development lead for Bing, on Microsoft's Search Blog. "We also pull in direct links to other trusted sources."
We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the Bing-Britannica Online tie up and how it could affect search. He told us that in the quest to provide better "answers" -- and not links -- this is another structured and trusted data provider for Bing.
"There's an analogy to what Google is doing with its 'Knowledge Graph' results in the right column. However, Google's module is compiled from, often, multiple sources and generate additional search results," Sterling said.
"Britannica as a brand may still have some value to certain groups of people. But its brand has been substantially diluted over the past decade as the Internet has grown to almost entirely replace traditional encyclopedias as a source of information. It's unlikely that these new results will have any significant impact on usage of Bing. However, it's a nice addition of a useful data partner."
According to comScore's latest numbers, Google still leads the search market charge with 66.2 percent market share. Google is followed by Microsoft Sites, which tally a 15.2 percent market share. Yahoo Sites garnered a 14.1 percent market share.
Bing has been scraping along since its launch to steal searchers from Google and has had some success. Microsoft hopes initiatives like the Encyclopedia Britannica partnership and the June redesign will help.
Just days ago, Bing offered a new design that is more social. The redesign came in the wake of a Bing and Impulse Research survey that saw 90 percent of respondents report they are likely to seek the opinions and advice of friends and family as part of their decision-making process around events, purchases, travel and more, and more than 90 percent will even delay a decision to first get input from family and friends.
To that end, Bing added new social elements aimed at making it easy to exchange ideas, share opinions and take action, giving searchers the same confidence they get from bouncing an idea off a friend. Social results are found in the right column, called a sidebar, and work to complement the standard search results without compromising them.
Posted: 2012-06-08 @ 11:46pm PT
Many public libraries pay for their members to have access Britannica Online. Will all that content now be available free to Bing users or will the subscribers receive enhanced content?