New features from Bing and Google

Bing have rolled out more features as part of “Bing Wave 2”. These include:

Integration with Wolfram|Alpha in the diet and fitness category allowing you to work out your BMI and other useful things.

Improved “hover preview” (where you hover your mouse over an icon and see a preview of a website without actually clicking through to the site) which adds customer service phone numbers, search within this site, a Google Site Links style list of deep links, a screenshot of the webpage and for Facebook accounts you’ll see a picture of the account owner, who is in their Facebook network and send them a message or friend request.

Weather / Event results which brings together news, events, xRank results, Twitter feeds, images, Best Match results and content from trusted sites for the Weather / Events results.

Share Search Results on Facebook and Twitter, email to a friend or print results.

The Travel tools have a makeover as well. If you hover over Travel on the homepage you’ll see options to search airfares and hotels. Going into the travel category will bring up an Instant Answers box where you can enter your travel dates, starting point and destination and narrow your search to sites that can match this data. City results now include events listings.

Health has received a makeover to make it more organized.

Of course all these options are on the US version of Bing, looks like the UK users will have to wait.

Google’s new features include:

World Bank public data such as GDP of Indonesia, internet users in the united kingdom and more. This data is available on Google US and UK (and probably worldwide).

Locking Safe Search in Google Images. Stop your young ones from seeing things they shouldn’t by locking Safe Search on which includes a handy graphical clue so you can see from across the room is Safe Search is on. See the video below for more info.

More images Universal search. For example search for digital cameras in Google.com and you’ll see a range of images of digital cameras so you can see the variety of makes and models on offer.

“On broader queries, this helps you get a sense of the range of products available to you for the query.”

says the Official Google Blog. This feature is not currently active on Google UK.

Google Music Search. Again not available in the UK but I’m sure we’ll get it soon. It’s probably due to copyright and licensing issues. This feature lets you enter an artist’s name, lyrics or song title into Google and you’ll be able to preview the song from selected media partners of Google.

There’s also a whole host of updates to the Movies search feature, see the Official Google Blog for more information. Again this doesn’t work in the UK.

Google have also updated the keywords tool in the Webmaster control panel.

“We’ll now be updating the data daily, providing details on how often we found a specific keyword, and displaying a handful of URLs that contain a specific keyword. The significance column compares the frequency of a keyword to the frequency of the most popular keyword on your site. When you click on a keyword to view more details, you will get a list of up to 10 URLs which contain that keyword.”

The World Bank data looks to me like Google missed out on a deal with Wolfram|Alpha to Bing so went for the next best thing. Safe Search locking seems like an excellent idea to me and will be very useful in schools and to parents. Personally I can’t wait for Google music search to be available in the UK but I imagine the amount of paperwork and feet-dragging by the major labels may delay this for a long time until they can work out how to make a quick buck from it. The improvements to Bing show they’re finally serious about search but until UK users get similar features then Google will remain number one in the UK.

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