One of the ways Bing is seeking to differentiate itself, and make the service more useful in more types of scenarios, is by the use of “entities” and their relationships, driven by what Microsoft calls “Sartori” (a Japanese word for “understanding”). Bing started surfacing entities in its Snapshot and Sidebar features back in May of 2012, and continues to add new types of entities and expand on their relationships, most recently adding an additional 150 million entities in the “doctors, dentists, lawyers, and individual real estate properties” categories.
(Of course this post only includes one entity, “Microsoft”, so here are a few more to show how it works: Bill Gates, Seattle Seahawks)
Setting up the widget was straightforward. Just go to Bing.com/widget/knowledge, and go through the settings to choose how you want the entities to appear on your site. We set up the detection strength to be “conservative”, showing “fewer entities” with “more relevance”, and chose a dashed grey line, but left pretty much everything else as default:
Bing also released a companion feature last week, called “App Linking“. Using Bing Webmaster Tools, App Linking “lets you connect your app to your web site so that search results for the top level of your web site include a link to your app. If you implement deep linking, search results for pages within your web site will include deep links to targets inside your app”.
While the big Bing news of last week was all centered on Cortana, the Bing Knowledge Widget and App Linking are two more ways that Bing is trying to extend the concept of entities, and to build Bing as a service into more places around the web.