Bing introduces curated results
Microsoft search engine Bing has created a feature named Editors' Picks, which highlights websites that the company deems useful.
The idea represents a move in the opposite direction to Google, which shut down its Directory tool earlier this year.
Yahoo, powered by Bing, has persisted to some extent with its own Directory, which recalls its roots as a hierarchical guide to the web.
Bing's new section presents categories such as Family, Finance, Food And Drink and Health, which each include subcategories. Within the latter are websites which Bing's workers think searchers will genuinely appreciate, regardless of their SEO value. There are also seasonal categories, such as Christmas.
Vetted by a team of people
Kristen Kennedy, managing editor of the Bing Editorial Team, explained via Bing's official blog: "With so many websites out there, knowing which ones are worth your time can be challenging.
"Editors' Picks were designed to enhance Bing results by bringing editorially selected sites to your search experience. Our goal, whether delivered by algorithm or by editors, is to help you find what you're looking for faster and to get stuff done."
Google's view is that its search algorithm is far more efficient in locating useful websites than curated web content, rendering the latter pointless - hence the scrapping of Google Directory.
Daniel Nolan, general manager of theEword, said: "This may be good news for those who get frustrated with poor-quality content appearing in results, as they have the choice to visit sites vetted by professionals, which may feature better content but don't always rank as highly.
"However, directory facilities have been available from other companies for some time without massive success - so the question is whether this service offers something that searchers will genuinely rely on. It may come down to the quality of the checking process."