Live Search 2.0, the new search engine from Microsoft, have been announced a couple of days ago; but apparently the roll-out of the release has taken a few days as only today have I been able to put my hands on it… Beyond the improvements in search algorithms, what is interesting in this release is the inclusion of shopping-oriented result pages right into the search engine.
With a generic search on “Apple Ipod“, you get a box with shopping results – not really innovative as Yahoo! Search has a similar feature. But when doing a more precise search, you can have a pretty interesting result page, with price range, average user rating, description and user reviews on this product.
The user reviews seem to be extracted from a static list of sites – among them: Yahoo! shopping, PriceGrabber, Ciao – which makes it easy to display reviews using rating criteria (“price”, “sound quality”, “video”… for Ipod search), not only relevancy.
As a search engine user, it’s really a good improvement as you don’t have to leave the search engine to get relevant information on products. How, I wonder why the Live Search team only considered displaying reviews at this point: i.e. why not displaying offers from merchant in the search result page itself, rather than being redirected to MSN Shopping when clicking on price range?