Bing is currently struggling up-hill against the (let’s face it) essential monopoly of Google. Microsoft, whose technology titan status gives them both industry access to today’s brightest minds and whose resources give them an ability to invest heavily, is one of the only companies who could stand on this tumultuous ground of “competition.” Nevertheless, they’ve done an excellent job and have been gaining in search share each month. This is largely due to an ability to focus in on important niches, such as sports, travel, and shopping.
New features have been added in all of these veins, with the catalog view released during the holiday season representing one of the biggest changes to the Bing shopping experience. More recently, however, they’ve added a lineup of revisions to the back-end functionality. This includes the refinement of “natural language” comprehension for shopping search queries.
Previously, when including phrasing that mentioned price (for example, “under $50”), the search engine would be unable to understand what the user wanted, returning results that ranged out of the indicated price range. Bing has now increased comprehension so specifying price in your query will narrow down your displayed results. Bing makes note of how useful this is on the mobile platform when you “don’t have time to browse around and click the right refinements.” Full details are given in this Bing video:
While this currently only covers price, Bing has made it clear that natural language is going to be a part of their future innovations. Given Bing’s need to capture niche markets such as shopping, the inclusion of such “intelligent searching” is essential; Google already narrowed down results appropriately, if not to the degree of specificity now seen on Bing. As we proceed into more intuitive searching, Bing may be able to get a better hold of this essential slice of the web searching pie.
[via the Bing Blog]