What is Bing Snapshot and Satori: A Review

Posted on 17/01/2014 by Team Hallam

The Bing search engine not only displays links to relevant web pages, it also provides direct information that answers your search query.

This additional information about people, landmarks, movies and places is known as a “Snapshot” and is powered by Bing Satori. Satori is a knowledge repository that understands relationships between things, also known as “entities.”

For example, a search for Richard Branson triggers a Snapshot that shows his relationship with other entities:  the movies he has appeared in, his Ted talks, and other related business people:

Bing Satori search results


So What Exactly is Bing Snapshot?

Snapshot is part of what Bing calls its Satori technology. Like a digital assistant, Satori catalogues information about millions of items. “Satori” is a Japanese term for “enlightenment”. Currently, only searchers in the United States have been enlightened, but you can access Bing’s US search engine by following this link.

Following in the footsteps of the search engine giant Google, Bing no longer simply displays links to websites, but uses its own knowledge repository to provide information.

Google updated its search engine last year, incorporating a similar technology based on mapping entities. Like Google Hummingbird and the Knowledge Graph, Bing Snapshot works by using natural language processing. This means that more than just individual words are taken into account. Now, the relationships between millions of entities are analysed and mapped together.

Let’s take a look at the way Bing Snapshot looks in the search results. It appears to the right of the search results, containing a picture and a summary of information, often taken from Wikipedia. It appears for searches about a range of entities, including:

• Famous figures, events, places, and scientific concepts.
• Famous speeches
• National anthems
• People related to places
• TED Talks
• University rankings
• Links to online university courses
• Explanations of scientific concepts
• Animal information
• People results

People results is one of Snapshot’s most recent features, integrating LinkedIn information with snapshots about people.  In this search for my colleague Jonathan Ellins, Snapshot provides data drawn from his LinkedIn profile.


Bing Snapshot people search



How might Snapshot results affect your business?

Managing Your Brand

You should investigate the appearance of your members of staff, your company name, your brands and see whether they trigger Snapshot.  You should then ensure the appropriate information is up to date, and where necessary create new entries.

Sales Potential:  User Interaction

Bing is more than just an encyclopaedia. Going even further than Google Knowledge Graphs, it allows searchers to act on some of its data. When searching for things that have associated online actions, such as a restaurant you can book a table for, or a course you can apply for, the relevant links can be shown. When searching for the Zizzi restaurant in Nottingham, for example, you are offered the option of booking online:


Bing Satori restaurant booking


So, if your business takes bookings online,  searchers performing a branded search might be able to take actions that lead directly to a sale without even visiting your site.

For tourism businesses, a search like “bed and breakfast Nottingham” triggers a Snapshot that leads to the major booking engines.

More than keywords

Bing’s ability to recognise related entities means that it no longer serves results based exclusively on keywords. Keyword optimisation is still important, but it is now more crucial than ever to make content topically relevant within the context of the page, and even the whole site.

This means including synonyms and referring to related concepts in your content, as well as linking to other relevant content on your site.

External links are also an important signal of topical relevance. Inbound links from influential websites that focus on a similar concept indicate that your site is also related to that concept. While receiving links can have a positive effect on your rankings in general, linking to other relevant sites is also a good way of demonstrating the subject of your content.

If you would like to find out more about getting your site ready for the latest search engine developments, please give us a ring on 115 948 0123.

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What is Bing Snapshot and Satori: A Review

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