Bing bulks up against Google with Encyclopedia Britannica

Microsoft adds Britannica Online info to search results

Microsoft is moving to bulk up its Bing search engine by partnering with the Encyclopedia Britannica to add more data to its search results.

The company announced on Thursday that Bing now will include Britannica Online answers directly in the Bing results page.

"The answer provides a quick overview of the subject, a thumbnail image, and useful facts and figures making it easier than ever to get trusted content in search," wrote Franco Salvetti, Microsoft's principal development lead for Bing, in a blog post. "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."

Microsoft has been focused on advancing Bing in recent weeks.

Last month, Microsoft made its search results more social by adding social search results, like friends' comments and likes, in a separate column to the right of the traditional search results. Search for Indian restaurants in a certain city and a user should see what friends have had to say about them, as well.

Making Bing more social is a way for the search engine to try to catch up with Google, which has a long-standing and dominant lead in the search market.

Since Microsoft first launched Bing in the summer of 2009, the company has faced a daunting task in taking on Google's dominant search engine. And so far, the company has failed to take much of any bite out of Google's lead.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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