Microsoft has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to provide searchers with instant answers to their questions on the company’s Bing search engine.
Answers from the Britannica Online Encyclopedia will be displayed directly in the Bing results page, meaning users will have less clicking to do to find the answer to their query.
“A core focus for us here at Bing has been about delivering relevant information in a more organized way to help you find what you need more quickly and get stuff done,” said Franco Salvetti, Principal Development Lead, Bing. “An example of this approach has been seen in our answers feature -- a snippet of information designed to give you a quick look at what you’re searching for while also giving you the option to dig deeper into the results.”
The Britannica results on Bing will provide a quick overview of the searched-for subject -- including important facts and figures -- alongside a thumbnail image.
Leading search engines have started to move away from providing long lists of blue links to other sites. Instead, they are trying to find ways to display relevant answers and information directly on the results page.
In 2009 Google introduced instant answer features as part of its Autocomplete algorithm. Google provides instant answers for many search queries including answers to maths problems, unit conversions, flight status, local time zones, area codes, package tracking, definitions, and currency conversions.
Apple is collaborating with computational search engine Wolfram|Alpha to provide its users with instant answers to (selected) searches conducted via its intelligent voice recognition service Siri.