If you have to Bing recently you may have noticed the new minimalistic design of the search engine when compared to before. This move was apparently only the first step in the redesign of the Bing search engine. The Bing team has just announced that they will be rolling out the second part of the planned redesign of the search engine in the coming days for users from the United States.
Users from other countries can switch to the U.S. engine on Bing to use the features. It is not clear if and when this redesign will launch for localized versions of Bing as well. On a side note: If you as me, Bing's U.S. centric policy is one of the things that is keeping the search engine from gaining any sort of visible traction in other countries, and especially in countries where English is not the native language.
The new Bing introduces a three column layout, that feels shifted to the right, by a bit. The main column remains the same, and the new columns that get introduced are the center column which Bing calls Snapshot, and the sidebar.
Snapshot, according to the announcement, "brings relevant information and services related to your search to you right on the main results page". This may include maps and reviews, or options to make reservations at a hotel from the results page. These services and information can be first party, or third party, as Bing is cooperating with businesses for that.
The sidebar on the other hand, that is the dark area that you see on the screenshot above, is reserved for social. Good news is, Bing has removed the majority of social information in the main search results. It is however not really clear if the sidebar will be displayed to all Bing search engine users, or only to users who are logged into their Facebook account, and have linked that account to Bing.
With the sidebar, logged in users can "post a question to get help from [...] Facebook friends", friend suggestions that you may want to ask, people you may know, and also see their activity feed right in the sidebar.
Here is a video that demonstrates the new Bing in action.
What's your take on the redesign of Bing? I personally could care less about the social integration, and hope that it is only displayed to logged in users.
One interesting take away is that test users seem to find Bing's search results more relevant than that of Google. Google beat Bing by 4% in a first study conducted in January, while 43% of users preferred Bing in a more recent study, while only 28% favored Google results. This study has to be taken with a grain of salt, as we do not know anything about methodology for instance.
Still, this goes in line with my own observations that the quality on Google is deteriorating. Your take? Lets discuss it in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.