Microsoft's Bing Anchors On Localeze Business Data


Microsoft has become more aggressive in integrating data from other search engines that can offer expertise in a specific subject. Last year, Bing began pulling in health, mathematics and science data from WolframAlpha, and real-time status updates from Twitter, followed by recipes from and earlier this year. In 2007, Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook.

Expanding into the local market to capitalize on local search, Bing has inked a deeper relationship with Localeze. The two companies plan to announce Thursday that the deal pulls into Bing Local and Bing 411 about 14 million Localeze listings, including data on more than 500,000 businesses. All have been verified and managed by the local businesses.

The way Localeze organizes and groups keywords will benefit those searching on apps with small display screens on mobile browsers. The company organizes keywords into groups, so the groups can be presented in the initial results, providing the ability to drill down more easily.

For example, advance auto parts may group into products where consumers can click and drill down to tires, filters, and wiper blades. For services, they would have an option to click on inspections, tune up, or oil change.

Microsoft already pulls in local data from Localeze. The two became partners in 2005, offering information such as hours of operation, products and services, credit cards accepted, and languages spoken. Bing will now attribute local search results on Bing using Localeze content.

Reliable-SEO Founder David Harry thinks Bing needs to innovate, rather than grab from other sites. As the underdog, the search engine should learn how to play the media game as well as Google, he says, aside from the data pulled from other engines.

Regardless, Bing plans to eventually pull in other data supplied by Localeze. The business listings will become the "anchor" to tie in data from social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, according to David Dague, Localeze vice president of marketing. "With the surge in social media, the information becomes more important," he says. "Not just the Web site for the business, but other places the person searching could get information."

Despite Microsoft's access to hundreds of brilliant engineers, Bing will tap into innovations built by Localeze. The companies that provides data on businesses and focuses on local business results will add fields, such as Twitter handle, Facebook page information, and reviews from Yelp and other consumer-oriented sites.

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