Satori Expansion Brings Growth to Bing Snapshot Feature
Log on to Google.com any given day and enter a search query for a random person, place, or landmark and you are no doubt going to be bombarded with page links, suggestions, and image previews related to your term. Bing.com recently added a new expansion to its Snapshot feature that allows the search engine to make better associations between places, people, and things.
Bing’s Snapshot feature is found on the right hand side of the page when users use the search engine and provides images of relevant people, places, or “things” that correlate to the query term. Using a new technology it calls “Satori,” Bing is seeking to provide better image results that draw a clear correlation between subjects.
Bing posted the following statement on its official blog on 21 March:
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.
The Satori technology and Bing’s Snapshot feature are nothing new for the search engine. The Snapshot feature launched last May on Bing.com and was released on a broader basis in June. Throughout 2012 Bing had talked about the Satori technology that powered Snapshots, but by December Bing had received criticism from onlookers that its Snapshot feature appeared to be little more than a clone of Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Over the past year, Bing’s Satori technology has allowed the addition of people and landmarks in Snapshot results. However, in emphasizing the latest Satori expansion Bing has pointed out that the technology now allows Snapshot to understand the relationship between a search term, people, places, and things.
For example, a search for “Barack Obama” shouldn’t simply return a few relevant links and an image of the president. With the latest Satori expansion, Snapshots would understand that “Barack Obama” is an entity with a relation to other entities such as Michelle Obama (his wife), Hawaii (his home state), Illinois (state of residence), George W. Bush (former American president), and published works Mr. Obama has written.
So what has really changed with this latest Satori update? According to Bing, the following are some of the big improvements to Snapshot via Satori (courtesy of Bing and SearchEngineLand.com):
People & LinkedIn: With facts now being drawn from with LinkedIn, Bing will show additional people info such as education background, related people as well as have more “people results” appearing.
Famous People: Facebook, Twitter & Klout: In one of those “weren’t they already doing this” things, but apparently not, Bing will be showing icons leading to Twitter, Facebook and Klout accounts for famous people. Interestingly, despite Bing getting and using Google+ data, that service doesn’t get an icon. These icons also seem to inconsistently appear.
Places: Bing says it will be showing greater information about landmarks, rivers, lakes and mountains, including related info such as mountain climbers.
Things: “Who played Morpheus in the Matrix?” That’s one of many movie-related and other “thing” questions Bing says that its Snapshots can now handle.
The social media aspect of Satori is an interesting addition. As mentioned above, many would have assumed that prior to Satori Bing’s results would have shown social media connections through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Klout, but that was not the case. Additionally, Google+ data will be used when compiling Snapshot search results, however the Google+ icon will not be appearing alongside those of Facebook, Twitter, and Klout.
For what it’s worth, Google doesn’t always include Google+ information in its own Knowledge Graph search results. The tech giant was lambasted last year for pushing Google+ information too hard last year in search results, and since then has used more discretion when compiling search results.
Bing’s latest Satori expansions have been rolled out over the past week and it is hard to tell at this point if those changes will really result in a visual experience for users that is drastically different from Google’s Knowledge Graph. So far, the differences are not easy to see and might not have been noticed without Bing pointing out Satori’s changes.
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