How to use ranking to display Bing Web Search API results

Each search response includes a RankingResponse answer, that specifies how you must display the search results. The ranking response groups results by mainline content and sidebar content for a traditional search results page. If you do not display the results in a traditional mainline and sidebar format, you must provide the mainline content higher visibility than the sidebar content.

Within each group (mainline or sidebar), the Items array identifies the order that the content must appear in. Each item provides the following two ways to identify the result within an answer.

  • answerType and resultIndex — The answerType field identifies the answer (for example, Webpage or News) and resultIndex identifies a result within the answer (for example, a news article). The index is zero based.

  • value — The value field contains an ID that matches the ID of either an answer or a result within the answer. Either the answer or the results contain the ID but not both.

Using the ID is simpler to use because you only need to match the ranking ID with the ID of an answer or one of its results. If an answer object includes an id field, display all the answer's results together. For example, if the News object includes the id field, display all the news articles together. If the News object does not include the id field, then each news article contains an id field and the ranking response mixes the news articles with the results from other answers.

Using the answerType and resultIndex is a little more complicated. You use answerType to identify the answer that contains the results to display. Then, you use resultIndex to index through the answer's results to get the result to display. (The answerType value is the name of the field in the SearchResponse object.) If you're supposed to display all the answer's results together, the ranking response item doesn't include the resultIndex field.

Ranking response example

The following shows an example RankingResponse. Because the Web answer does not include an id field, you'd display all webpages individually based on the ranking (each webpage includes an id field). And because the images, videos, and related searches answers do include the id field, you'd display the results of each of those answers together based on the ranking.

{  
    "_type" : "SearchResponse",
    "webPages" : {
        "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214...",
        "totalEstimatedMatches" : 835000,
        "value" : [
            {
                "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.0",
                "name" : "Motor Sports - Live at the race track ...",
                "url" : "http:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214A0A43...",
                "displayUrl" : "www.contoso.com\/usa\/eventsandracing\/motorsport",
                "snippet" : "Here you will find detailed information about racing...",
                "deepLinks" : [{
                    "name" : "Customer Racing",
                    "url" : "http:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214A0A43...",
                    "snippet" : "Customer racing news; General news..."
            },
            . . .  
        ]  
    }],  
    "images" : {
        "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#Images",
        "readLink" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/images...",
        "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214A...",
        "isFamilyFriendly" : true,
        "value" : [
            {
                "name" : "2016 Supercar Wallpapers",
                "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4...",
                "thumbnailUrl" : "https:\/\/tse1.mm.bing.net\/th?id=OIP...",
                "datePublished" : "2017-03-25T11:14:00",
                "contentUrl" : "http:\/\/www.contoso.com\/wall...",
                "hostPageUrl" : "http:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214...",
                "contentSize" : "373283 B",
                "encodingFormat" : "jpeg",
                "hostPageDisplayUrl" : "http:\/\/www.contoso.com\/lmp-...",
                "width" : 1920,
                "height" : 1080,
                "thumbnail" : {
                    "width" : 300,
                    "height" : 168
                },
                "insightsSourcesSummary" : {
                    "shoppingSourcesCount" : 0,
                    "recipeSourcesCount" : 0
                }
            },
            . . .  
        ]  
    },  
    "relatedSearches" : {
        "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#RelatedSearches",
        "value" : [
            {
                "text" : "vintage racing teams",
                "displayText" : "vintage racing teams",
                "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF2..."
            },
            . . .  
        ]  
    },  
    "videos" : {
        "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#Videos",
        "readLink" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/videos...",
        "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214A...",
        "isFamilyFriendly" : true,
        "value" : [
            {
                "name" : "Why We Race",
                "description" : "A new era begins in motorsports this weekend...",
                "webSearchUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF2...",
                "thumbnailUrl" : "https:\/\/tse4.mm.bing.net\/th?id=OVP.Vo1...",
                "datePublished" : "2014-01-25T16:31:48",
                "publisher" : [
                    {
                        "name" : "Fabrikam"
                    }
                ],
                "contentUrl" : "https:\/\/www.fabrikam.com\/watch?v=oL...",
                "hostPageUrl" : "https:\/\/www.bing.com\/cr?IG=96C4CF214...",
                "encodingFormat" : "mp4",
                "hostPageDisplayUrl" : "https:\/\/www.fabrikam.com\/watch?v=oLAZgD...",
                "width" : 480,
                "height" : 360,
                "duration" : "PT2M42S",
                "motionThumbnailUrl" : "https:\/\/tse4.mm.bing.net\/th?id=OM...",
                "embedHtml" : "<iframe width=\"1280\" height=\"720\" src=\"http:\/\/www.you...<\/iframe>",
                "allowHttpsEmbed" : true,
                "viewCount" : 47325,
                "thumbnail" : {
                    "width" : 300,
                    "height" : 168
                },
                "allowMobileEmbed" : true,
                "isSuperfresh" : false
            },
            . . .  
        ]  
    },  
    "rankingResponse" : {
        "mainline" : {
            "items" : [{
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 0,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.0"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "Images",
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#Images"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 1,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.1"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 2,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.2"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "Videos",
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#Videos"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 3,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.3"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 4,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.4"
                }
            },
            {
                "answerType" : "WebPages",
                "resultIndex" : 5,
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#WebPages.5"
                }
            }]
        },
        "sidebar" : {
            "items" : [{
                "answerType" : "RelatedSearches",
                "value" : {
                    "id" : "https:\/\/api.cognitive.microsoft.com\/api\/v7\/#RelatedSearches"
                }
            }]
        }
    }
}  

Based on this ranking response, the mainline would display the following search results:

  • The first webpage result
  • All the images
  • The second and third webpage results
  • All the videos
  • The 4th, 5th, and 6th webpage results

And the sidebar would display the following search results:

  • All the related searches

Next steps

For information about promoting unranked results, see Promoting answers that are not ranked.

For information about limiting the number of ranked answers in the response, see Limiting the number of answers in the response.

For a C# example that uses ranking to display results, see C# ranking tutorial.