Google has overhauled a couple of key areas of search results, but this past week it was Bing making all the headlines. From experimenting with chat bots to a significant announcement regarding Bing Ads, it was a busy week for the world’s second largest search engine.
More details about these top stories are included in this week’s SEO & SEM news roundup.
Google Image Search Filters
Now when you search for images on Google using a mobile browser you’ll see a new set of filters which can help you narrow down your search down in a few different ways.
Google’s image search filters on mobile will let you filter results by images that have been recently uploaded, clip art images, GIFs, and images by color.
These new filters are live in Google’s image search for Chrome and Safari on mobile. The filters have not been added to the Google Search app or desktop search.
Google has been on a tear lately when it comes to implementing changes to image search. To see what else is new, check out our recent recap of changes to Google organic search.
Google Search For Events Gets a Makeover
In addition to revamping image search this past week, Google has introduced a significant overhaul to its search results for events. Google’s new event search results can help you learn more about events you already know about, and discover interesting events you may have otherwise missed.
Google will tap into the information contained in sites like Eventbrite and Meetup to deliver detailed snippets about events in search results. To trigger the new events search results just type in a command like “metal concerts in New Jersey.”
When Google returns the results you will be able to filter them by date. So you can find events happening today, next week, or next month.
Warning: Can’t Change Default Search Engine on Windows 10 S
Windows will be releasing a new operating system later this year called Windows 10 S. Before installing or upgrading to a device which uses Windows 10 S you should be advised that it’s not possible to change your default search engine to anything other than Microsoft’s Bing.
This is because Windows 10 S will only be able to install apps from the Windows Store, and at this point there are no plans to release alternative web browsers on the Windows Store. That also means you will be limited to using the Microsoft Edge browser. Windows users who are unhappy with the restrictions can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49.
Bing is Integrating Chat Bots into Search Results
Bing is currently experimenting with integrating chat bots into its search results. When searching for information about a particular topic you may be met by “InfoBot”, which taps into Wikipedia to answer searcher’s questions. The company says other domains may be added in the future, such as webmd.com, stackoverflow.com, allrecipes.com and more.
Microsoft has also recently released the Microsoft Bot Framework which developers can use to design their own bots. So it’s certainly likely we will see more chat bots in Bing search in the near future.
Design a Search Engine with Bing Custom Search
Bing released an interesting new product this past week called Bing Custom Search. People can essentially use this tool to create their own custom search engine powered by Bing. You simply select a topic and the tool will identify relevant sites to crawl. When searching using a custom search engine, results will be ranked using Bing’s algorithms.
Why would anyone want to do this? Building a custom search engine for personal or work-related research could be one reason. Since you can add custom search engines to websites, helping out other people could be another reason.
Let’s say, for example, you run a non-profit that assists children with autism. You could create a search engine specifically centered around autism and include it on your site for other people to use.
If you would prefer not to send people off-site, you can program the search engine to only pull content from specific sites. There’s nothing to stop you from creating a search engine that only pulls content from your own site. Something to think about if you’re looking for new ways for users to discover your content.
Bing to No Longer Support Standard Text Ads After July 31
Bing will officially stop supporting standard text ads (STAs) as of July 31. That means new STAs cannot be created, and existing STAs cannot be edited. However, Bing will continue to display STAs along with expanded text ads.
Any STAs created before July 31 will be eligible to be displayed in rotation along with expanded text ads. The company has not decided when it will stop displaying STAs, but says it will notify customers well in advance.
Bing Introduces Carousel for Hotel Searches
Bing continued its updates this past week with a new user interface for hotel searches. Now, when searching for hotels, there will immediately be a carousel presented at the top of the page with results to scroll through.
Using the carousel search results can be filtered by rating, price, and amenities. While Bing appears to be getting its hotel information from TripAdvisor, clicking on a search result does not bring you to the TripAdvisor page. Instead, it will prompt Bing to conduct a new search for that hotel name. The new hotel carousel appears to only be available on desktop search at the moment.
Wrapping it Up
Google has made some changes to search results for events and images, but it was Bing making most of the headlines this week. If you advertise using Bing Ads, take note of the July 31 deadline for standard text ads. If you need any assistance transitioning from standard text ads to expanded text ads, please inquire about our Bing Ads service.
Now that you’re caught up with what’s new from this past week, don’t forget to see our recent recap of changes to Google organic search.
- How to Optimize Your WordPress Site to Boost Core Web Vitals - February 15, 2021
- Create a Custom Report in Google Analytics - January 19, 2021
- The Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses - January 11, 2021