Microsoft has revealed a number of updates to its search engine as it attempts to claw back some market share from Google, including the planned introduction of a version of Google’s Universal Search.

The planned changes, will will be introduced over the next few weeks, were unveiled at the company’s Searchification event yesterday.

The major changes to Live Search will be:

  • Improved indexing

    Microsoft says that the Live Search index is now four times bigger, and the search engine now indexes somewhere around 20-30bn documents.
  • Universal search

    Both Google and have introduced changes this year to allow searches to return news articles, videos, images and other forms of information.

    Microsoft plans to do the same with its own search results, while rival Yahoo! is also rumoured to be planning a similar move.

  • Focus on verticals
    Microsoft will focus on improving results in four verticals in its search results. These are entertainment, health, shopping and local.

    According to Coporate VP Satya Nadella:

    “We know what kinds of things consumers are searching for, and we have invested in those key high-interest verticals, including entertainment, shopping, health and local search”.

In addition, Microsoft will be updating its search engine on a more regular basis in future, and the company is also considering giving its search engine a catchier name to help it compete with Google.  

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