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29

September

2011

Bing Decides to Get Some Action :

Bing (and Decide), the latest major search engine that has slowly been chipping away at market share for search, can now do more than recommend restaurants, shopping sites and daily deals. Now Bing is offering Action Buttons for seven of its popular search categories, including airlines, couriers (like UPS, FedEx, etc.), restaurants, banks, rental cars, software downloads and hotels. The action button allows a search customer to take action directly from the search page. For example, if you search for an airline, you will be presented with the options to Check In, check Flight Status or Book a Flight. The top three choices will be presented based on Bing’s algorithms and what people find most helpful.

Bing still indexes sites, showing a small “table of contents” below the page title in the search results. So why is this different? In short Bing’s Action Buttons are more organic in nature and pull from actual search data to determine which three choices to show. Whereas indexes just mirror most of what’s on the site, the Action Buttons get to heart of what’s most useful about that website.

As this service grows, Bing says it will consider which other “verbs” (or Actions) can be added. It seems that both Action Buttons and indexing websites is really about digging deeper into what a website has to offer, and it could help those who are searching realize that one site is better than another for their purposes without ever actually visiting those sites first. Perhaps Bing will also look into broadening the categories for which Action Buttons are offered.

So this suggests the question, “Can you boil down what top three links on your website you would want Bing to link to as Action Buttons?”