Enabling the Bing Knowledge Widget

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.

Bing continues to expand the ways to surface these entities, too, and last week they introduced something they promised back at Build 2013, the Bing Knowledge Widget. Basically, by setting up a few parameters and then generating a bit of JavaScript, webmasters can add entity linking to their sites. Since we’ve been using and following Bing since back in the Live Search days, we’re trying out the Knowledge Widget here on LiveSide.

(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:

Then it was easy to copy/ paste the JavaScript into our WordPress code. We put the code on our single posts only (using Single.php in WordPress), and that was it. So far, we haven’t seen anything too far amiss – the Knowledge Widget doesn’t seem to be messing with the layout too much, or adding much overhead, and while we’re not a huge fan of these kinds of intrusions into posts, we’re happy to give the Bing Knowledge Widget a shot, on a trial basis. Let us know what you think, and especially if you have any problems loading our pages.

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.