In another effort to up the semantics and usability of their site (see our coverage of Adaptive Search) Bing has launched “action buttons.” According to the article, “Bing has been trying to leverage the semantic Web to deliver more than just 10 simple blue links in their results. Bing director Stefan Weitz refers to this as ‘the web of objects versus the web of just pages.’ The idea behind action buttons is to allow people to complete targeted tasks based around their search query. Bing uses its algorithm to help predict what tasks a user is using search to try to accomplish."
Weitz added, “Initially, these buttons will surface for major sites in seven popular search categories, which include: airlines, couriers (e.g. Federal Express), restaurants, banks, rental cars, software downloads and hotels. Based on internal data of searches and the actions taken on those searches, we determine the most popular actions people take within those sites and surface them in the SERP.”
The article continues, “Action buttons will attempt to go beyond simple site links to drill into a site's deeper content. In some cases, the action buttons are the same. However in other cases, they are all new links. For example, checking in to or viewing the status of your flight are both site links and action buttons, yet Book a flight is an action button that does not exist in extended site links.”
Image: Courtesy Bing