Microsoft Bing updates search results interface to make it more visually immersive

Microsoft announced several updates to Microsoft Bing Search that make the search experience more “visually immersive,” the company said. This update goes across many different search features including recipe results, image search’s similar looking items, expandable search result carousels, infographic knowledge panels and the local answers design.

Let’s go through each update briefly below.

Infographic-like search panel experience

Microsoft launched these new knowledge panel designs that have very visually appealing. Microsoft said it’s goal is to “provide both style and substance” with this new look. Here is a screen shot of what it looks like, notice how the right panel, as well as other parts of the page, are very visually immersive.

Local answers show more information

Now when you search in Microsoft Bing for local answer you will get more information from Bing Maps, top images, visitor reviews, and more. It is not just a “single carousel of images, or just a text summary of one aspect of what you’ve searched for,” Microsoft said. Here is a GIF of that in action:

Expandable search carousels

Microsoft also added these expandable carousels where you will a carousel of answers that showcases just the results’ high-level information to avoid crowding the page. If you decide you want to learn more about a specific result, hover over it, and Microsoft Bing will then expand the result with more detailed information. 

Similar looking items image search feature

Within Microsoft Bing Image Search you can now click on an image and use the similar looking item feature to highlight a part of that image to see more images that look similar to that portion of the image. Microsoft said “for example, in the “DIY coffee table” result, you may see wicker baskets that fit the table’s look and feel. With just a click, you’ll get image results of similar-looking items, and can directly click off to retailer sites to purchase a particular basket if you’re sold on it. “

Recipe results with more information

When you search for recipes, Microsoft will show you a list of recipes and let you expand to see more. In addition the recipes experience will now let you see what it extracts from the page and then aggregates the most relevant recipes content and presents it in a single view on the search results page. This can show calories per serving and user reviews, plus expand to show you an ingredient list and possible substitutions for when you don’t have everything on hand, a drop-down menu for you to scale the recipe to a certain number of servings, and nutritional information.

Why we care. With any upgrade or change to search, this may impact how much traffic you get from that search engine for some queries. If your site ranked well and then a search engine changed how it shows those results, that may impact your traffic from the search engine to your site in a positive or negative way. It’s also important to remember to use structured data where it makes sense to potentially increase the likelihood of showing up in these new visual search results.

Plus, how cool are some of these new features in Microsoft Bing?


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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