At Bing we believe that search should be more than a collection of blue links pointing to pages around the web. We believe search should also be a reflection of the actual world which is why last June, we introduced a feature called Snapshot, which enables answers at a glance in the center column of the search results page. The result is a richer set of search results to help you better understand and explore the real world. We started with movies, restaurants and hotels.

The underlying technology for Snapshot is designed to develop deep understanding of the world around us not only as a collection of entities (people, places and things) but also the relationships between those entities. Inside the Bing engineering team, we call this technology Satori, which means understanding in Japanese. Over time, Satori will continue growing to encompass billions of entities and relationships, providing searchers with a more useful model of the digital and physical world.

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Today, we are inviting people to check out Snapshot to experience our expansion of Satori. Since its introduction in June, we have expanded Satori to include a significantly larger number of entities from more domains with a deeper level of understanding about them. They include people, places, and things which are among the most common searches on Bing. So, whether you’re searching for answers about a celebrity, co-worker, animal, geographic location, or man-made structure, Bing helps you understand the world around you by providing at-a-glance answers about the people, places and things you care about.

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People Search – Professionals, Famous People and Celebrities

Of these entities, people are the most popular, with searches for celebrities, professionals and friends representing about 10 percent of all searches on Bing. Whether you’re looking to keep tabs on your favorite celebrity or learn more about a colleague’s professional background, Bing now provides quick facts based on publicly available information from LinkedIn and Wikipedia.

  • Professionals: Now, when you're looking for information on a new colleague, you’ll see things such as where they went to school, where they have worked as well as related searches for people. 

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  • Famous People and Celebrities: We’re adding social information from Facebook, Twitter and Klout for celebrities – making it easier to find their official social media pages in one place. Similar to professionals, we’re also showing what else people searched for related to that celebrity. For example, when searching for John Kerry, you will see summary information, alongside photos of Hilary Clinton, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. When you hover over the "People also search for" photos, you'll see an explanation of how each is related to that celebrity, and for certain celebrities you can even see current and former flames. 

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Places Search: Landmarks, Lakes, Rivers and Mountains

Another popularly searched category is places, such as landmarks, lakes, rivers and mountains. So, when searching for Mt. Everest you’ll see things like: a short description, elevation, date of first ascent, and geographic location. Bing will also show related people and searches, climbers in this case.

  • Location, Location, Location:When searching for specific locations, such as Copenhagen Bing provides you with an overview of the city, including population, nearby airports, attractions and other cities people searched for. All of these different attributes reflect Bing’s understanding of peoples’ intent when conducting queries about this specific type of entity versus another.
  • Questions & Answers:For searches about movies, celebrities or places, Bing now lets you ask a question the way you would ask a friend and gives you the answer right away. So, by incorporating conversational understanding, Bing quickly shows the answer to your question along with additional facts.  For example, “what is the highest mountain in the world,” or “the tallest building in the world", or "who played Morpheus in The Matrix", Bing will show the most pertinent information about the Mt. Everest, Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Lawrence Fishburne.

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Together, these updates provide you with a greater level of understanding about the world we all live in, which we hope will make Bing more useful to your everyday life. This is a long journey, and we expect to deliver a number of additional improvements in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you.

- Dr. Richard Qian, Bing Index Team