New from Bing: sponsored tiles, and what’s “Azure on the Go?”

We just got done watching a “Whiteboard Friday” video segment from SEO software maker SEOmoz, with CEO Rand Fishkin in a lighthearted half hour with Bing Director Stefan Weitz, who start off talking about the paid links problems surrounding JC Penney’s that surfaced due to a New York Times article this week, and then spend some time diving into what really happened with the “Bing is copying Google” accusations that surfaced last week, which Weitz referred to as “CopyGate”.  All very interesting stuff, you can check it out in the embedded video:

Director of Bing Discusses Holistic Search and Clickstream Data – Whiteboard Friday

After the “CopyGate” segment ends, Fishkin and Weitz talk a little bit about the Bing Webmaster tools, which Weitz admits has a lot of work to do. Mentioning that they have just brought on Duane Forrester as Sr. Product Manager – Webmaster Outreach (Forrester was previously Sr. Program Manager of SEO at Microsoft, and a well known SEO guy), and have “staffed the team even more than we had before”, so we should be seeing more from Webmaster Tools soon.

What we found most interesting, though, were some comments Weitz makes right at the end of the video, in answer to a Fishkin’s question about “What’s some new stuff that’s coming out at Bing?” 

Weitz describes a new feature that Bing is “rolling out this week”, called Tiles.  Basically, Bing will present, for certain queries and certain “authoritative sites” that have an agreement with Bing, a “visual cue” next to the search result, with meta-data for the result.  Weitz used the example of a movie search and an IMDb “Tile” appearing next to its result.  Weitz summed up Tiles as “how do you ingest 3rd party content more successfully, make it more discoverable”, and that it’s in test now.  We’ll be keeping our eye out for Tiles, let us know if you spot any.

And then right at the end, in talking about how interesting “a lot of the mobile stuff that’s come out”, he mentions “this whole idea of ‘Azure on the Go’”, and then says “no  I can’t, unfortunately it’s not out yet, so ummm….” and quickly backtracks.  Of course now we’re all ears.  What’s Azure on the Go?  And how does it fit in with Bing?   Hmmm, very interesting!