Frederic Lardinois wrote a piece on Tech Crunch tonight about Microsoft and their plan for their entity engine. The entity engine is Microsoft’s answer to the Google Knowledge Graph. These products are not the most desirable from a web developer standpoint. Google and Bing would both like to give people using their search engine a direct answer, keep them on their site and lessen the need to click through to a website. This will certainly not affect all niches, but someone running something like a historical website may see their traffic affected.
Some have come out and blasted Google as nothing more than the very content scrapers they claim to despise. Google addressed this at Search Marketing Expo West a few weeks back. Google’s head of search Amit Singhal spoke with Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land.
From the interview:
Amit Singhal, brought up the tweet that went viral showing how Google is considered by many as a massive scraper site. Amit addressed the concern with an analogy.
Amit equated Google’s knowledge graph to a swiss army knife while equating the publishers content as specific tools, such as “corkscrews,” “screw drivers” and other specialty tools.
Amit explained that while Google’s goal is to give searchers a quick answer, there is no substitute for the searcher to do deeper research by clicking into the sources provided in the Google search results. He understood that many searchers would likely just want the quick answer but there is still a need for a deeper dive into the sites and publishers providing that content.
From the Tech Crunch article:
Both Microsoft and Google have long worked on getting users answers without having to click through a number of websites. At Google, the current result of this is the Knowledge Graph and at Bing, it’s the company’s entity engine (previously referred to internally as Satori). Both search engines currently offer very similar experiences related to these engines. Search for “Albert Einstein” in Google and Bing, for example, and the right sidebar will give you plenty of information about him. But both companies have a different approach to how they plan to push these entities forward.
Earlier this week, I sat down with the lead of Microsoft’s Bing Experiences group, Derrick Connell, to discuss the state of entities in Bing and the company’s vision for the future of entities in its search engines. Microsoft clearly has big plans for using entities in Bing and products that rely on it; the company plans to open up a part of this entity engine so more third-party sites will be able to highlight some of their features on Bing.