Search Engines have been slowly moving away from the classic ten blue links when they started integrating data from structured knowledge sources. Google uses its Knowledge Graph; whereas Bing uses Satori to enrich search results. However, both in research and industry, such knowledge bases are often built using Wikipedia as its foundation and consist of information related to popular things — people, places, organizations, books, movies, and so on. Companies like Google and Microsoft have expanded scope of their knowledge bases by extracting additional information from documents on the web, adding information about local places — restaurants, grocery stores, shops etc.
But famous personalities and places are not the only things people search for. People often search for real people — friends, professional colleagues, some one you want to know more about ! Such information did not exists in knowledge bases; not until the Bing + LinkedIn integration. Bing has integrated publicly available profiles from LinkedIn into its knowledge base “Satori”, making you an entity too ! Similar to popular persons, searching for my name, now, presents a “knowledge box” at the right hand side highlighting information from my LinkedIn profile. Using data from LinkedIn, it can also suggest other you can search for.
Bing has also enabled “Entity Disambiguation” for its LinkedIn integration. For example, searching for my friend’s name “Sayantan Dey”, Bing disambiguates and suggests possible entities to select from, based on their LinkedIn information. Google also supports entity disambiguation, which works only for popular people. When I first noticed this integration, I found it to be an interesting and useful feature. It was nice to know that I am also an “entity” in some knowledge base ! With LinkedIn integration, Bing has definitely enhanced people search. Going further, Bing can enhance it, if it can link my LinkedIn node to my social networking accounts such as Twitter and Klout. There are already on going research projects like “Finding Nemo” that focus on integrating one’s identity across multiple social networks, which search engines like Bing and Google can leverage to enhance the “LinkedIn node” with information from other social networks.