Microsoft is overhauling its search portal in an attempt to encourage more advertisers to use the site. It will launch a new range of functions on its Live Search from May 1.
The revamp of the site will include an improved search tool that integrates Multimap so that maps and detailed aerial photographs can be offered in search results. It will also allow users to book hotels directly through location searches.
Microsoft says it has improved its image search and added a new location-based mobile search. This allows users to establish where they are and receive directions to local businesses.
Microsoft will offer advertisers the chance to partner with Live Search to offer competitions and promotions.
Paramount Pictures is the first advertiser to sign up to promote the release of Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It has created a branded page – indysearch.com – that will enter users into a prize draw when they submit a query. The prize is a private screening of the film for 50 friends.
Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions commercial director Chris Ward says: “We are making some big changes. It’s a step forward for our overall strategy to improve user experience and the evolution of functionality.”