Researching major literary figures using a typical search engine like Google or Yahoo has always been a challenge. Many students quickly discover that the results are invariably a jumbled mix of encyclopedia entries (often of questionable authority), author interviews, random images, book and author pages, and fan Web sites. Unless you actively refine your search terms, the hits are rarely grouped into meaningful categories that can provide a coherent “portrait of the artist” and their works. Suddenly, with Bing, there is a glimmer or hope!
The Bing results page groups results nicely into categories such as Images, Quotes, Books, Blog, Interviews, Videos.
You can browse the top results in any one of these categories by scrolling down the page or focus on all of the results in a specific category by simply clicking on the left hand menu.
Clearly, we are still many years away from Web search engines being able to present students with a coherent and deep set of primary and secondary materials for researching a literary figure, period or genre. Bing is a surprisingly thoughtful step in the right direction.