Bing recently introduced its updated people search feature and today, Microsoft is adding a few improvements to its people search that will make it even easier to find information about celebrities, politicians, athletes and many people with public LinkedIn profiles. Bing’s search box now auto-suggests names as you type. Because many people share the same name, this also means that it’s now easier to tell Bing who exactly you are looking for before you even hit the return key.
According to the Bing team, about 10 percent of searches on Bing are currently about people. This makes it the second most important search category on the service, right after navigational queries.
Microsoft has invested heavily in improving its people search and other semantic search features on the site, which now compete directly with Google’s Knowledge Graph. Bing’s Satori Entity Engine powers all of these features, which are typically revealed in Bing’s Snapshots bar (that is, in between the regular web links on the left and the social sidebar on the right).
In many ways, Satori’s mission is akin to Google’s Knowledge Graph, as it aims to help Microsoft understand more about the world. As Microsoft’s director of online services Stefan Weitz told me when the company released its last update to Satori, Google’s Knowledge Graph is a “kick-ass encyclopedia,” but Bing wants to go a step further and make all of this information “actionable.”
This new update, Microsoft notes in today’s announcement, was co-developed by its Search Technological Center (STC-E) in London in close collaboration with the User Experience team in Bellevue, Wash.