Lately there’s been a lot of discussion about how to find what you’re looking for locally. It’s a very large percentage of queries, but providing great results for these searches is a bit different from more general queries. The initial results need to be more specific and take location into account, while still offering quick ways to narrow your search and make your decision about where to go. For example, a search for Chinese food shouldn’t immediately return recipes and Wikipedia links; a more common user intent with this class of queries indicates we should take you to Chinese restaurants locally. Understanding intent is the first step and a critical area of focus for Bing. The more we understand intent, the more we can deliver a fast and powerful way to complete your task or make a decision such as where to go for delicious Chinese food.
The real magic comes with the ability to filter and further refine local search results by relevant factors such as price, neighborhood and atmosphere, for example. In Bing we bring you these filtering tools on the left hand rail of the local results page. Further, these refinements are different depending on the type of search. A local search for bike shops, for example, will offer the ability to refine by payment type and neighborhood. Hotel search is another example, where Bing gives you the ability to quickly make a decision refining your search by amenities such as fitness center, kitchenette and Internet access, in addition well as price and neighborhood.
All of these tools, presented easily along the left hand rail of the page are designed to help you make decisions faster about the places you are looking for locally.
Lori Stock – Bing Maps