Bing Beefs Up for Tax Time, Boosts Search Quality, Security
Microsoft rolls out new resources to help taxpayers get squared away with Uncle Sam and avoid scams.As the April 15 deadline to file tax returns approaches, taxpayers flock to the Web for help according to Simone Berkower and Turker Keskinpala of Microsoft's Bing Relevance Team. "When we looked at the spiking searches related to taxes, we realized that the vast majority of people were looking for one type of thing: tax forms. This makes sense given almost two-thirds of U.S. citizens file their own taxes," they wrote in a Bing Blogs post. Noticing this, the Bing team set off to add features that bring up tax-related resources when users of the company's search engine go looking for information on filing their 1040 forms. "When you search for tax forms or IRS forms (the most common tax-related searches), you'll see an optimized user experience providing you with instant access to tax forms and related documents," stated Berkower and Keskinpala. A new panel shows up on the right hand side of a results page, in the area typically reserved for the company's quick reference Snapshot feature and social-enabled Sidebar. Taking a cue from Snapshot, a search for "1040" will return a Wikipedia summary and links to PDF downloads, e-filing instructions, related forms and the IRS Website.
"We've also upped our game on the Web relevance side, providing you with authoritative and relevant Web results on filing your taxes," added Berkower and Keskinpala.