We’ve been talking for a while about the need to rethink the search experience to better reflect both the changing web and advancing user habits.
One of the biggest challenges and opportunities we see is to literally create a high-definition proxy of the physical world inside of Bing. In other words, we want to be able to model the world in which we all live to the level that search can actually help you make decisions and get things done in real life by understanding all the options the world presents.
We’ve made great progress on the technical front to begin to model the real world from the messy bits of data scattered across the web. Things like movies have benefitted from this work. We’re now able to understand “Casablanca” is a movie and literally mine the web to re-assemble information about that movie from millions of sites.
But we think we can do better. We want to enable publishers to give us hints about what things they are describing on their sites. Rather than rely solely on machine learning and other AI techniques, we asked “what if we could enable publishers to have a single schema they could use to describe their sites that all search engines could understand?”
Well today, we’re pleased to announce Bing is joining forces with Google and Yahoo! to deliver schema.org, a new initiative, to create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages. With schema.org, site owners and developers can learn about structured data and improve how their sites appear in search results on Bing, Google, and Yahoo!. We’re making the work available on schema.org, which aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages to help search engines better understand their websites.
At Bing we understand the significant investment required to implement markup, and feel strongly that by partnering with Google and Yahoo! on standard schemas webmasters can be more efficient with the time they invest.
Consumers benefit from this effort by experiencing much richer search experiences (see example below) across a much broader set of publishers.
Bing accepts a wide variety of markup formats today (Open Graph, microformat, etc.) for features like Tiles and will continue to do so, but by standardizing on schema.org we are looking to simplify the markup choices for webmasters and amplify the value the receive in return.
Example of Tiles
The schema.org site is a comprehensive resource for webmasters to learn about this new initiative. One of the key benefits to schema.org is its simplicity; it includes schemas for over 100 categories, such as movies, music, TV shows, places, products, and organizations. Bing will work jointly with the larger web community and our search partners to extend the categories as appropriate.
We at Bing see this as a major step forward for the web, simplification for webmasters and richer more informative search results for consumers. As search continues to evolve from finding links to taking action, we’re excited about the potential this new system provides.
Partner Program Manager, Bing