Industry News

SEO News: Bing Releases AI-driven Features to Improve Search Experience and More

  • September 29, 2020
  • Steven van Vessum

Bing Releases AI-driven Features to Improve Search Experience

Using Bing has become much more intuitive with the release of several advanced features. Microsoft’s search engine has four additions to Bing’s search functionality to provide better answers to its users.

From now on, users can expect Bing to offer:

  • Better autosuggest predictions
  • More “people also ask” recommendations
  • Intelligent answers in more regions
  • Semantic highlighting in search snippets

Microsoft has recently made progress in the development of Turing Natural Language Representation (opens in a new tab) and Natural Language Generation.

Moreover, Bing has expanded its intelligent answers to over 100 languages and 200 regions.

Autosuggest Improved Using Turing-NLG Next Phrase Prediction

To save time users would otherwise spend on writing long queries, Bing has implemented Next Phrase Prediction, a feature that provides full phrase suggestions in real time.

Before this technology was in place, the suggestion was limited to completing the current word being typed by the user. With “Next Phrase Prediction”, full phrase suggestions can be presented.

In addition, as these suggestions are generated in real time, they are not limited to previously seen data or just the current word being typed.

Bing improves autosuggest with Turing-NLG Next Phrase Prediction

Generative Questions in People Also Ask enable Better SERP Exploration

Bing’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature has proven extremely useful, as it allows users to expand the scope of their search by exploring answers to questions related to their original query.

And with the new release, Bing can now generate question-answer pairs in the PAA block for queries that haven’t been entered before.

Bing explains: “We use a high-quality generative model on billions of documents to generate question-answer pairs that are present within those documents.

Later, when the same documents appear on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), we use the previously generated question-answer pairs to help populate the PAA block, in addition to existing similar questions that have previously been asked.”

Google Supports Shipping Details Schema for Retailers

With the holiday season drawing nearer, eCommerce sales will soon be peaking again. And now Google has enabled retailers to display more details than ever about their products in SERPs.

The search engine has enabled them to implement shippingDetails product page Schema markup that lets retailers show the details of shipping for each item.

Retailers can now include shopping details with their snippet in Google Search

“Shipping details, including cost and expected delivery times, are often a key consideration for users making purchase decisions,” Google says in their official announcement (opens in a new tab).

“In our own studies, we’ve heard that users abandon shopping checkouts because of unforeseen or uncertain shipping costs. This is why we will often show shipping cost information in certain result types, including on free listings on Google Search (currently in the US, in English only).”

Google now offers two ways to set the shipping details for certain products. Besides the shippingDetails Schema markup, retailers can also use the Google Merchant Center.

Possible Google Update Causes Canonicalization Issues

Rumors about a possible new Google update or a major bug have been circulating around as many SEO’s have noticed strange behavior regarding the canonicalization of their websites.

On Thursday, Mayank Parmar posted on Twitter that Google had selected unrelated URLs as canonicals. This resulted in the disappearance of a few websites.

On Saturday, Glenn Gabe raised a similar issue on Twitter. He noted that a news publisher had seen 1,300 articles get canonicalized to completely different articles over the previous week.

For some reason, Google had considered the URLs with completely different content as duplicates and therefore chosen to canonicalize these URLs (opens in a new tab) with Google-selected canonical URLs.

A lot of great-performing articles of the news publisher were thus completely nuked, causing a significant loss.

And reports about these same issues kept on emerging.

What could have caused this?

Ignoring canonicalized URLs (opens in a new tab) isn’t anything rare for Google, but such large quantities indicate there really could have been a huge bug on the side of Google – or potentially an update.

Many SEOs were saying that an update was happening (opens in a new tab) on Wednesday, September 23, when they started seeing issues with indexing new content and older URLs.

But there’s always another possible explanation: misconfigured canonical URLs. If you’re experiencing canonicalization issues, be sure to check your Index Coverage Report in Google Search Console (opens in a new tab) and look for any canonicalization issues on your website using ContentKing.

Are your canonical URLs set correctly?

Check if your canonical URLs are set up correctly, and receive early warning alerts in the future when canonicalization issues crop up!

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Steven is ContentKing's VP of Community. This means he's involved in everything community and content marketing related. Right where he wants to be. He gets a huge kick out of letting websites rank and loves to talk SEO, content marketing and growth.