Microsoft has been testing a few different designs for its Bing decision search engine over the past few months with some elements of the Metro UI incorporated in to the new design.
However, it now appears that Bing has released a new design of local search results within their main search results to a wider group of people in the US.
"Bing's new local search results no longer consistently show a "pack" of businesses listings and map at the top of the page, above all of the regular organic links -- instead, with the new display, Bing now shows a mix of local results, reports BrightLocal.
- The "pack" of listings may appear anywhere in the search results, not just at the top of the page. The map appears with the pack in this display.
- The "pack" may be replaced by blended listings -- organic listings with local data blended in as part of the search snippet. The map appears in the upper right of this display, but floats as the user scrolls down the page.
Here is what's changed:
Current - Simple box result at top of page with 3 or 8 results as standard:
New - box results inserted into middle of SERP
New - expanded search results with interactive pins and scrolling right-hand map:
It's not blended results but it gives a lot more page real-estate to local and offers users more interaction.
Scrolling map: bing now showing the local map on the right hand column, the map scrolls with the user and obscures the PPC results.
Reviews & Ratings: bing now displaying review count & star rating on these results which offers excellent prominence for businesses with positive reviews. bing aggregates it's reviews from multiple local directories and vertical/niche directories, so those hard earned reviews can now benefit local businesses on bing as well as Google.
Website & meta description - If a website registered a local profile -- it is then, bing then displays the meta description with (more space to website-linked listings so they standout more) from the website and a direct link to the site.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated in their statement about search result tests:
"We're constantly updating and refining the Bing search experience, and before any changes are implemented they undergo intensive testing and experimentation to ensure the best possible user experience. We have nothing further to share at this time."
Also, in the new design, bing moved the sidebar to the right; suggested searches also been moved, now sit below the search box; and the navigational elements on the page reduced in size therefore giving more prominence to the search results.
Also, the user account controls now shows a user's profile picture that's being pulled from Facebook if they have signed in.
Finally, when clicked the settings icon, there is now a new UI for all the settings: