Bing News: Including Subject Photos Instead of Author Photos in Search Results

Once again Bing is trying to follow in the footsteps of Google and offer more personalized search results by including a picture next to various entries. As we know, this is called “authorship” when working with a Google SERP. With a little bit of coding and Google+ interaction, author’s can let Google know who wrote the article, and then Google can relay that information to its users. People are more likely to click on a search result if it has a photo as well as Google+ information associated with it. It gives the user control when determining if he/she personally finds that results relevant.

Bing, on the other hand, seems to be doing something similar with a twist. Search Engine Land coined the phrase “subjectship” because instead of photos of the author of the post, the photos seem to illustrate the subject of the post.

What “Subjectship” Means for Bing

As of now, search results on Bing appear to be most often showing pictures of the person who is the subject of the article; however there are a few instances where another type of picture is used.

Because this is all so new, not many results have caught up, so I did try and type in search queries that might lean toward showing these types of results. Either way, it’s clear that Bing is testing out something new and hopefully we will see more evidence of this in the future. It seems like a great way (at least at first glance) to help link back to people and company subjects if they are mentioned, and we all know backlinks are only becoming more important.

What Subject Photos on a Bing SERP Means for Your Company 

There is nothing that you as a company or as an author can do at this point to change what picture is shown on a Bing result. Bing is certainly considering creating some sort of authorship and/or subjectship, but it has not yet been confirmed. It seems as though the search engine is just in testing right now, so when they have things under control it will be time to react. Until then, just hang tight and watch the news unfold.

What are your thoughts about subjectship? Do you think Bing is on to something, or do you think this was just a series of mistakes as Bing tries to implement something similar to Google’s authorship?

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