Visual elements are becoming more and more important for search. These days, it even extends beyond image snippets on the SERP. As one recent example, Bing is delving deeper into what it calls “visual search.”
Bing’s Visual Search Projects
Bing currently has 88 “visual searches.” Those searches range from the top books to dog breeds to yoga poses and well beyond. Each of these searches comes with an advanced left navigation that lets you see only the images and info that interests you. The Yoga Poses visual search, for example, lets you choose the level of difficulty, the therapeutic purpose, the targeted anatomical area, and more.
Bing is also focusing on current events, making a stab at integrating visual search with entertainment news. The two recent pushes in this category have been for Glee and So You Think You Can Dance.
You can sort by episode, star, and category for both. Once you click through to the image, you’ll be given a load of information that includes: an episode summary, the biography for the main performer or performers, where you can listen to the song or watch the dance performance, and an image gallery from the song or dance.
A New Wave of Image Optimization(?)
Bing is attempting to be a “decision engine” that brings people to data directly on the Bing search site. In many ways it combines search with web portals, but that doesn’t mean optimization isn’t important. What it does mean is that optimization happens very differently.
Bing links selectively to external sites, and often works through major third party groups to choose what sources are optimal and what data is worth citing. This means that focusing on third party presence is going to be vital for these “portal searches.”
For now, Bing is constructing these image searches on their own, but there may be a time when they’re opened up for public creation, curation, and commenting – adding a social element to this sector of Bing search.
[Sources include: The Bing Blog]