Microsoft's deal with the publishers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica
means that, for certain terms, entries from the famed reference work will appear as web-links on Bing. The BBC
notes that this is part of a strategy to counter-match Google's 'knowledge graph'.
Microsoft made the announcement via its Bing blog
, which ran " we’re excited to announce a partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica to include Britannica Online answers directly in the Bing results page."
Evidently very 'excited', the blog post goes onto say:
"We’re very excited to collaborate with Encyclopedia Britannica as it continues to strengthen its online presence, and hope you find these new answers valuable and helpful in your search for information. Give it a try and let us know what you think."
In March it was announced,as the DJ reported
, that the Encyclopaedia Britannica will cease offering a print edition, due to costs and due to the time to prepare a print edition set against the acceleration of knowledge. Despite the move to an e-book form, the Britannica remains the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still being produced. It was first published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The recent launch of Google' knowledge base, in May 2012, may offer something slightly different. Search Engine Land
describes this new functionality as "The new technology is being used to provide popular facts about people, places and things alongside Google’s traditional results. It also allows Google to move toward a new way of searching not for pages that match query terms but for “entities” or concepts that the words describe."
It will be interesting to see if the Britannica deal changes the balance between the two rival search engines, at present Google stands high as the world's most used
Internet search engine with 900,000,000 monthly users compared with Bing's 165,000,000 (for May 2012).