Bing likes Britannica, Bruno burns

June 11, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Microsoft has announced a deal with Encyclopaedia Britannica to add entries from the prestigious reference work to Bing search results.

The deal appears related to Britannica’s decision in March to stop producing a print edition and Google’s “knowledge graph,” which consolidates search information about specific subjects.

Et tu, Bruno?

For example, a Bing search for Giordano Bruno would provide a quick overview of the subject, a thumbnail image, and useful facts and figures, “making it easier than ever to get trusted content in search,” said the Bing search blog.

“We also pull in direct links to other trusted sources.”

Bing blog booboo?

Giordano Bruno, heretic cosmologist

But it’s not clear why the Bing blog would use this particular example as “easy.” A Bing search for Giordano Bruno brings up the Britannica hit in fourth place (a Google search returned the same hit in fifth place).

Search Engine Land blogger Matt McGee also points out that ”Bing is currently showing these Britannica-powered listings far less often than Google shows Knowledge Graph boxes.”

According to the Britannica, Bruno’s radical theories, which offended the Roman Catholic church, led to his burning alive at the stake. Is there a message for the unorthodox user here?

By the way, it was a pleasure reading something I felt confidence in and without “citation needed” links. “Bruno’s theories influenced 17th-century scientific and philosophical thought and, since the 18th century, have been absorbed by many modern philosophers,” explains the Britannica. “Bruno’s cosmological vision certainly anticipates some fundamental aspects of the modern conception of the universe.”