Searching for hotels can be a pain, usually the first stop is at a search engine like Bing or Google. Now Bing has partnered with TripAdvisor to bring hotel searching and pricing easier than ever. In addition to hotel searches, Bing has improved its mobile experience by adding more details to search results, these details consist of: ratings, deep site links, timestamp, and file types for non-HTML results. All of these changes make Bing easier to use, and it makes sifting through search results faster.
When planning trips a web search engine is everyone’s best friend, because it is easy to look up everything from flights, to maps, to pictures, to costs, to hotels, to cars. Now Bing is making trip planning one bit easier by releasing their hotel search partnership globally. Results about hotels’ prices and availability will come from TripAdvisor but end up next to the search results at Bing.com. This feature is much more widely available now;
Hotel booking is available for people in the United States (in English and Spanish), Great Britain, Canada (in French and English), Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, India, Russia, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Hong Kong.
This is another example of where Microsoft has chosen to partner with an existing site, TripAdvisor, and integrate their results into Bing, instead of spending the engineering resources to build their own tool. It seems like more and more Microsoft has been choosing to make partnerships with existing industry leaders instead of competing with them. This may be due to Microsoft trying to get these companies to use Azure and other Microsoft products, or it could be a shift in understanding what consumers want and what Microsoft should focus their engineering resources on.
Bing’s mobile search results have also received a slew of new updates and features. Searching via a mobile phone could mean using mobile data, so anything Bing can do to reduce the number of wrong page loads on the user’s end the better. Microsoft is trying to help their users understand their results better before tapping on any result. This is accomplished by showing relevant information such as deep links which can shorten a fact finding search, or a timestamp can steer users to more recent news.
It is common for mobile searches to be restaurant or store searches, and Microsoft is trying to make their results more helpful when assessing different businesses. One way to judge quality is reviews displayed next to the link before it is opened, and another way to give users to tools to make good decisions is to give them a heads up if a result is actually a file other than a web page like a PDF of a menu. These are small and simple ways that Microsoft is trying to give their users a more reliable and pleasant mobile search experience.