We don’t hear a lot about Bing – or indeed, about any search engine really that doesn’t begin with the letter G, but Microsoft aren’t giving up yet! Hot on the heels of the bestseller book update released in January, Bing image search has now been updated in beta to include retail results!
There’s a lot of competition out there to capture shopper attention using image based product results – not least from Pinterest, Google and even Instagram, but this latest feature enables users to click an image, and instantly see a list of retailers who sell the product (where possible, of course). Pinterest will also be featured as well as the same image but in a variety of sizes.
The reason this update is still in beta is because the Bing team still need to work on how to detect images of products available to buy versus images where no product is available – as you can imagine, the scope of this is a huge task! As an example, a user typing in a query such as “Snowdon National Park” isn’t looking for a product in the same way a user looking for “oak dining room table” may be, but there will still be places online where images of Snowdonia can be purchased, as posters, prints and photographs.
Bing has confirmed, however, that using the schema tags they support is definitely one way to ensure your products are included – these include Schema.org, OpenGraph and RDFa. For a full list – read their April 9th post on the subject here.
No information yet has been released that might give webmasters more of a clue as to how Bing will rank these product results but no doubt more will emerge over the coming weeks as they refine their processes and more users are able to access the new and updated image search. Stay tuned…
Having started out in this industry with about as much marketing knowledge as a gnat, I have worked my way up from tea-making trainee to Head of Search thanks largely to the staunch support of our director, Stuart, and a lot of late nights, strategy sessions and training. At work I am extroverted, creative and always on the Internet, but behind closed doors I’m happiest with my family, my dogs and a good book (usually accompanied with a good cup of tea!).