Brafton has reported that Bing wants to reinvent the search experience, doing away with the traditional 10 linked results. Now, Microsoft is taking another step toward creating a visual search experience with its new “tiles” feature, offering visual indicators to help searchers find relevant results.
Bing Director Stefan Weitz told SEOmoz, “In the long term, we're looking at how we think of the web really as a physical representation of the world itself.” He says Microsoft is approaching results as more than just links with pages and static text, favoring an entirely new way to think about ranking.
Weitz says the company is rolling out “tiles.” Organic results are accompanied by visual tiles from authoritative sites. “If you add visual cues from high-quality sites, it provides a way for people to find what they're looking for much faster,” he told SEOmoz.
For instance, a Bing search for the latest Natalie Portman film, No Strings Attached, reveals results accompanied by tiles from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – deemed “high-authority” film sites.
At the moment, the tiles are displayed for select partners Bing is working with during the trial stage of the feature. However, down the road, marketers who have “trusted websites” may have the opportunity to submit their sites to Bing to get featured tiles in results.
For now, Weitz encourages marketers to focus on SEO for good Bing rankings.
Notably, search engine optimization is something many brands will be prioritizing in 2011. As Brafton recently reported, 85 percent of marketers say they are investing in SEO this year.