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Now that the world has had a bit of time to get used to Bing in all its glory, we've been giving some thought to what new opportunities it could present to brands.

As somebody who spends a lot of time talking with organisations about how they can make the best of Social Media opportunities (but who also has a long history in the world of search) it's very exciting to see a brand new search engine. And not just a search engine; this appears to be a major shake-up in the world of search results.

Okay, perhaps I'm over-hyping it a little here (after all, that seems to be the trend at the moment!) Whatever way you look at it though, Bing is radically different to MSN/Live and it presents brands with some great new opportunities for getting themselves seen. Here's a couple of examples:

"Oooh, pretty pictures..."

The search experts at Bing appear to have taken a leaf out of Google's book with their new homepage, minimalism is clearly the way forward. But rather than just a page of white-space, Bing has opted for a daily-changing image background. Plus, and forgive me for a little geekiness here, it's a background that resizes pretty well even when using small browser windows!

Anyway, today's image for instance is of Alaska (you can find out by hovering over the copyright symbol in the bottom-right corner) and last week saw Greece.

Presumably this screen real-estate could be up for sale to the highest bidder at some point? In can see it now: a sprawling landscape of rolling hills, with a small "Visit Yorkshire" logo in the corner. And let's face it, does it even need to be just a landscape to look pretty? Here's a few ideas I mocked up (hopefully the guys at Bing won't mind!):

Image copyright Henry Elliss

Image copyright Henry Elliss

"Oooh, *moving* pictures..."

Lots of people have been praising Bing for its (admittedly very impressive) video search functionality. Obviously this isn't necessarily a revolutionary new function, as all the engines have been offering video search for ages,  but the in-page preview videos that you get are attracting a lot of attention from searchers.

Presumably Microsoft are going to start offering the opportunity to sponsor video results fairly quickly, but making sure you optimise your videos for these results should be a starting point for any brand at this point. 

"Let's go shopping!"

With Bing's much-publicised link-up with their recent acquisition 'Ciao!', the opportunity to get your products in front of users is again increased. It's not just about paid results anymore, if Bing is going to try to persuade users that buying things is better done with Ciao than just a regular search, you (as a brand) need to make sure you are well represented in this area. Very interesting to see that Ciao's sponsored results are provided by none other than Google too...!

I won't go in to all the other new additions here, not least of all because a lot of them aren't fully working here in the UK yet. Maps for instance still takes you to Multimap, yet visiting bing.com/maps gives a completely different set-up. Once Bing is fully "bedded in" we'll be able to fully explore the new opportunities it presents.

Either way though, it's definitely worth having a play around with Bing for yourself and looking at how well your brand is presented in it's various different results. 

Henry Elliss

Published 3 June, 2009 by Henry Elliss

Henry Elliss is a senior strategist at Good Relations and contributor at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or via his own parenting blog.

18 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

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Rax Lakhani

Hi Henry

Great post. I'm still playing around with Bing and have found some interesting little features which have a lot of potential but none of which would currently force me away from Google or Ask.co.uk.

For me - the best thing about Bing? It's NOT MSN/Live Search...

over 7 years ago

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UB

NICE!

over 7 years ago

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Naomi Jeffers

But what do you think of the Bing brand? For me the brand doesn't work because the name is weak. Here's the best piece I've seen so far on the curiously named, Bing: http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/naming_bing/

over 7 years ago

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Sadie

great post!!!

over 7 years ago

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Alex McCaffrey

Firstly the name is rubbish. Sure a name you can use as an adjective is a good idea but are people really going to say "have you binged it?", it's a little to close to "have you binned it?" for my likiing.

Bings Maps is still easily better than Google Maps, Bing Image Search beats Google Image Search but Bing News isn't a patch on Google News and Bing Videos is pretty much the same.

Bing Shopping is awful, what a mess, taking you to another site! Google Shopping is much, much better.

I only use Google Maps for a quick check of something but use Bing Maps when I want a proper look, it's integration with Virtual Earth is so useful. Come on Google, do the same!

Lastly, I wish Microsoft would changde Bing Image Search so clicking on the Direct Link doesn't open a New Window. It's so annoying, annoying enough that I still use Google Image Search. Before I know it I have loads of tabs opening up. That's messy!


Change this simple thing and I'll switch to Bing Image Search. Until then I'll continue to use Google except when it comes to Maps.

Which incentially Multimap is hideous, it always has been. I've bookmarked bing.com/maps. As I did before with Windows Live Maps.

over 7 years ago

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