Bing signs Encyclopaedia Britannica for search results

Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Microsoft has signed a deal with Encyclopaedia Britannica to add entries from the reference work to Bing.

The tie-up means summaries of topics using data from the Encyclopaedia will be added to some search results.

The deal builds on Britannica's decision in March to stop producing a print edition.

It is also seen as a response to Google's "knowledge graph" that consolidates search information about specific subjects.

Microsoft announced the deal via a blogpost and said when information from Britannica was relevant to a search, Bing users would see a small box summarising salient facts about a topic or subject.

At the same time it would also provide links to other sources of reference information such as Wikipedia, Qwiki and Freebase.

In a test drive of Bing with added Britannica, Search Engine Land blogger Matt McGee said the encyclopaedia results were not popping up on every search.

Instead, he said, a Britannica summary box turned up only when a link to the encyclopaedia would ordinarily appear in a list of results.

By contrast, he said, Google was adding information gathered by its knowledge graph project to many more results.

Announced in mid-May, the knowledge graph is work Google has done behind-the-scenes on its vast index of web data to cluster together relevant information about a topic or subject.

The most visible result of the work is a summary box that sits alongside lists of results and gives basic information plus suggestions of places to find out more in-depth data.

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