Bing Tiles update and clarification: they’re not “sponsored”

By Kip Kniskern | In Bing, Featured | Posted February 21, 2011 18 comments

Just received some new information about Bing Tiles, coming from a Microsoft spokesperson, and they were kind enough to send over some screenshots.  As you can see, the Tiles appear on the right, as Stefan Weitz whiteboarded, and not on the left, as our earlier screenshot showed:

bing-tiles-zuni

The Tiles include a logo of the “authoritative” site, some dynamic information, and links back to the site.  We checked, and we’re not seeing Tiles show up in these (or any other that we’ve noticed) results.  Here’s another shot:

bing-tiles-zuni

When we first heard about Bing Tiles, we assumed that these “partnerships” with “authoritative sites” were “sponsored”, or paid inclusions, and said so in our post.  However, that apparently is not the case.  From the Microsoft spokesperson:

Tiles are actually not part of a “paid” or “sponsored” program, but rather they’re created in partnership with recognized brands to help people easily identify trusted sites and make faster, more informed decisions. And Tiles do not have an impact on organic search results.

We can’t help but think that most people viewing these Tiles, especially with full color logos and links back to the “partnered” sites, will assume, as we did, that they are paid inclusions.  They certainly look like ads. 

Stefan Weitz and our Microsoft spokesperson strongly hinted that the initial partnerships with 45 authoritative sites would be expanded, but again, shouldn’t we know how Microsoft grants authority?  Hopefully there will be a “More information about Bing Tiles” link somewhere, we understand that we found these a bit on the early side and that there’s still more information to come.

What about you, would you assume that these links are paid for?  Would it be more helpful to you to know that they aren’t?  Does it make a difference?  And, most importantly, do you think they will be helpful?

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Category: Bing, Featured
Tags: Bing
  • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

    I have been seeing them on my search results. Wikipedia and Answers seem to have a tile also.

  • http://about.me/mackenziepricee mackenziepricee

    I have been seeing them on my search results. Wikipedia and Answers seem to have a tile also.

  • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

    So, they avoid giving the partners higher ranking in search result for paying, but simply made those partners more visible among the result even if they’re ranked lower ?

    Looks fine so far, but also imagining the clutter when majority of the first page results all happen to have partnership :D

    • Revolutions

      I don’t think it’d be cluttered, really. I actually think it’d make the results cleaner, and easier to understand. There’s enough text in search results pages; let’s have some easier to understand images.

  • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

    So, they avoid giving the partners higher ranking in search result for paying, but simply made those partners more visible among the result even if they’re ranked lower ?

    Looks fine so far, but also imagining the clutter when majority of the first page results all happen to have partnership :D

    • Revolutions

      I don’t think it’d be cluttered, really. I actually think it’d make the results cleaner, and easier to understand. There’s enough text in search results pages; let’s have some easier to understand images.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    When is the HTML5 Bing going to come out? Will it ever come out?

    They demo-ed it in September. It is now February 22nd – over 5 months later. Please bring it out to the public who use IE9!

    By the way, the tiles look great. Only problem is, they’ll never end up coming to the UK. Like:

    1. The new Bing Maps sidebar
    2. Clicking the search box brings up popular searches
    3. And much more.

  • Anonymous

    When is the HTML5 Bing going to come out? Will it ever come out?

    They demo-ed it in September. It is now February 22nd – over 5 months later. Please bring it out to the public who use IE9!

    By the way, the tiles look great. Only problem is, they’ll never end up coming to the UK. Like:

    1. The new Bing Maps sidebar
    2. Clicking the search box brings up popular searches
    3. And much more.

  • http://www.twitter.com/delibird444 Delibird444

    Very nice, but this doesn’t look like it “adds” very much, and they certainly look like paid advertisements.
    I just wish that they would move the smaller “daily picture” back behind the Bing logo, and put the “Quick Tabs” back on the left, like the original Bing layout had it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/delibird444 Delibird444

    Very nice, but this doesn’t look like it “adds” very much, and they certainly look like paid advertisements.
    I just wish that they would move the smaller “daily picture” back behind the Bing logo, and put the “Quick Tabs” back on the left, like the original Bing layout had it.

  • intelmarksetting

    They demo-ed it in September. It’s now February 22nd – over 5 months later. bring it out to the public who use IE9!

    appointment setting

  • Anonymous

    They demo-ed it in September. It’s now February 22nd – over 5 months later. bring it out to the public who use IE9!

    appointment setting