Custom Search API v7 reference

The Custom Search API lets you send a search query to Bing and get back web pages from the slice of Web that your Custom Search instance defines. For information about configuring a Custom Search instance, see Configure your custom search experience.

For information about headers that requests should include, see Request Headers.

For information about query parameters that requests should include, see Query Parameters.

For information about the JSON objects that the response may include, see Response Body.

For information about permitted use and display of results, see Bing Search API Use and Display requirements.

Endpoints

To request search results from your custom view of the web, send a GET request to:

https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/bingcustomsearch/v7.0/search

The request must use the HTTPS protocol.

Note

The maximum URL length is 2,048 characters. To ensure that your URL length does not exceed the limit, the maximum length of your query parameters should be less than 1,500 characters. If the URL exceeds 2,048 characters, the server returns 404 Not found.

Headers

The following are the headers that a request and response may include.

Header Description
Accept Optional request header.

The default media type is application/json. To specify that the response use JSON-LD, set the Accept header to application/ld+json.
Accept-Language Optional request header.

A comma-delimited list of languages to use for user interface strings. The list is in decreasing order of preference. For more information, including expected format, see RFC2616.

This header and the setLang query parameter are mutually exclusive—do not specify both.

If you set this header, you must also specify the cc query parameter. To determine the market to return results for, Bing uses the first supported language it finds from the list and combines it with the cc parameter value. If the list does not include a supported language, Bing finds the closest language and market that supports the request or it uses an aggregated or default market for the results. To determine the market that Bing used, see the BingAPIs-Market header.

Use Accept-Language header and the cc query parameter only if you specify multiple languages. Otherwise, use the mkt and setLang query parameters.

A user interface string is a string that's used as a label in a user interface. There are few user interface strings in the JSON response objects. Any links to Bing.com properties in the response objects apply the specified language.
BingAPIs-Market Response header.

The market used by the request. The form is <languageCode>-<countryCode>. For example, en-US.

If you specify a market that is not listed in Market Codes, this value may differ from the market you specified in the mkt query parameter. The same is true if you specify values for cc and Accept-Language that can't be reconciled.
BingAPIs-TraceId Response header.

The ID of the log entry that contains the details of the request. When an error occurs, capture this ID. If you are not able to determine and resolve the issue, include this ID along with the other information that you provide the Support team.
Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key Required request header.

The subscription key that you received when you signed up for this service in Cognitive Services.
Retry-After Response header.

The response includes this header if you exceed the number of queries allowed per second (QPS) or per month (QPM). The header contains the number of seconds that you must wait before sending another request.
User-Agent Optional request header.

The user agent originating the request. Bing uses the user agent to provide mobile users with an optimized experience. Although optional, you are encouraged to always specify this header.

The user-agent should be the same string that any commonly used browser sends. For information about user agents, see RFC 2616.

The following are examples of user-agent strings.
  • Windows Phone—Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows Phone 8.0; Trident/6.0; IEMobile/10.0; ARM; Touch; NOKIA; Lumia 822)

  • Android—Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.5; en-us; SCH-I500 Build/GINGERBREAD) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML; like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1

  • iPhone—Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML; like Gecko) Mobile/10B142 iPhone4;1 BingWeb/3.03.1428.20120423

  • PC—Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko

  • iPad—Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 7_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11A465 Safari/9537.53
X-MSEdge-ClientID Optional request and response header.

Bing uses this header to provide users with consistent behavior across Bing API calls. Bing often flights new features and improvements, and it uses the client ID as a key for assigning traffic on different flights. If you do not use the same client ID for a user across multiple requests, then Bing may assign the user to multiple conflicting flights. Being assigned to multiple conflicting flights can lead to an inconsistent user experience. For example, if the second request has a different flight assignment than the first, the experience may be unexpected. Also, Bing can use the client ID to tailor web results to that client ID’s search history, providing a richer experience for the user.

Bing also uses this header to help improve result rankings by analyzing the activity generated by a client ID. The relevance improvements help with better quality of results delivered by Bing APIs and in turn enables higher click-through rates for the API consumer.

IMPORTANT: Although optional, you should consider this header required. Persisting the client ID across multiple requests for the same end user and device combination enables 1) the API consumer to receive a consistent user experience, and 2) higher click-through rates via better quality of results from the Bing APIs.

The following are the basic usage rules that apply to this header.
  • Each user that uses your application on the device must have a unique, Bing generated client ID.

    If you do not include this header in the request, Bing generates an ID and returns it in the X-MSEdge-ClientID response header. The only time that you should NOT include this header in a request is the first time the user uses your app on that device.

  • ATTENTION: You must ensure that this Client ID is not linkable to any authenticatable user account information.

  • Use the client ID for each Bing API request that your app makes for this user on the device.

  • Persist the client ID. To persist the ID in a browser app, use a persistent HTTP cookie to ensure the ID is used across all sessions. Do not use a session cookie. For other apps such as mobile apps, use the device's persistent storage to persist the ID.

    The next time the user uses your app on that device, get the client ID that you persisted.

NOTE: Bing responses may or may not include this header. If the response includes this header, capture the client ID and use it for all subsequent Bing requests for the user on that device.

NOTE If you include the X-MSEdge-ClientID, you must not include cookies in the request.
X-Search-ClientIP Optional request header.

The IPv4 or IPv6 address of the client device. The IP address is used to discover the user's location. Bing uses the location information to determine safe search behavior.

NOTE: Although optional, you are encouraged to always specify this header and the X-Search-Location header.

Do not obfuscate the address (for example, by changing the last octet to 0). Obfuscating the address results in the location not being anywhere near the device's actual location, which may result in Bing serving erroneous results.
X-Search-Location Optional request header.

A semicolon-delimited list of key/value pairs that describe the client's geographical location. Bing uses the location information to determine safe search behavior and to return relevant local content. Specify the key/value pair as <key>:<value>. The following are the keys that you use to specify the user's location.

  • lat—Required. The latitude of the client's location, in degrees. The latitude must be greater than or equal to -90.0 and less than or equal to +90.0. Negative values indicate southern latitudes and positive values indicate northern latitudes.

  • long—Required. The longitude of the client's location, in degrees. The longitude must be greater than or equal to -180.0 and less than or equal to +180.0. Negative values indicate western longitudes and positive values indicate eastern longitudes.

  • re—Required. The radius, in meters, which specifies the horizontal accuracy of the coordinates. Pass the value returned by the device's location service. Typical values might be 22m for GPS/Wi-Fi, 380m for cell tower triangulation, and 18,000m for reverse IP lookup.

  • ts—Optional. The UTC UNIX timestamp of when the client was at the location. (The UNIX timestamp is the number of seconds since January 1, 1970.)

  • head—Optional. The client's relative heading or direction of travel. Specify the direction of travel as degrees from 0 through 360, counting clockwise relative to true north. Specify this key only if the sp key is nonzero.

  • sp—Optional. The horizontal velocity (speed), in meters per second, that the client device is traveling.

  • alt—Optional. The altitude of the client device, in meters.

  • are—Optional. The radius, in meters, that specifies the vertical accuracy of the coordinates. Specify this key only if you specify the alt key.

NOTE: Although many of the keys are optional, the more information that you provide, the more accurate the location results are.

NOTE: Although optional, you are encouraged to always specify the user's geographical location. Providing the location is especially important if the client's IP address does not accurately reflect the user's physical location (for example, if the client uses VPN). For optimal results, you should include this header and the X-Search-ClientIP header, but at a minimum, you should include this header.

Note

Remember that the Terms of Use require compliance with all applicable laws, including regarding use of these headers. For example, in certain jurisdictions, such as Europe, there are requirements to obtain user consent before placing certain tracking devices on user devices.

Query parameters

The following is the list of query parameters that you may specify. See the Required column for required parameters. The query parameter values must be URL encoded.

Name Value Type Required
cc A two-character country code of the country where the results come from. For a list of possible values, see Market Codes.

If you set this parameter, you must also specify the Accept-Language header. Bing uses the first supported language it finds in the specified languages and combines it with the country code to determine the market to return results for. If the languages list does not include a supported language, Bing finds the closest language and market that supports the request. Or, Bing may use an aggregated or default market for the results.

Use this query parameter and the Accept-Language header only if you specify multiple languages. Otherwise, you should use the mkt and setLang query parameters.

This parameter and the mkt query parameter are mutually exclusive—do not specify both.
String No
count The number of search results to return in the response. The default is 10 and the maximum value that you may specify is 50. The actual number delivered may be less than requested.

Use this parameter along with the offset parameter to page results. For more information, see Paging Webpages.

For example, if your user interface presents 10 search results per page, you would set count to 10 and offset to 0 to get the first page of results. For each subsequent page, you would increment offset by 10 (for example, 0, 10, 20). It is possible for multiple pages to include some overlap in results.
UnsignedShort No
customConfig Unique identifier that identifies your custom search instance.

String Yes
mkt The market where the results come from. Typically, mkt is the country where the user is making the request from. However, it could be a different country if the user is not located in a country where Bing delivers results. The market must be in the form <language code>-<country code>. For example, en-US. The string is case insensitive. For a list of possible market values, see Market Codes.

NOTE: If known, you are encouraged to always specify the market. Specifying the market helps Bing route the request and return an appropriate and optimal response. If you specify a market that is not listed in Market Codes, Bing uses a best fit market code based on an internal mapping that is subject to change.

This parameter and the cc query parameter are mutually exclusive—do not specify both.
String No
offset The zero-based offset that indicates the number of search results to skip before returning results. The default is 0. The offset should be less than (totalEstimatedMatches - count).

Use this parameter along with the count parameter to page results. For example, if your user interface presents 10 search results per page, you would set count to 10 and offset to 0 to get the first page of results. For each subsequent page, you would increment offset by 10 (for example, 0, 10, 20). It is possible for multiple pages to include some overlap in results.
Unsigned Short No
q The user's search query string. The query string must not be empty.

NOTE: The query string must not contain Bing Advanced Operators. Including them may adversely affect the custom search experience.
String Yes
safeSearch A filter used to filter webpages for adult content. The following are the possible filter values.
  • Off—Return webpages with adult text, images, or videos.

  • Moderate—Return webpages with adult text, but not adult images or videos.

  • Strict—Do not return webpages with adult text, images, or videos.

The default is Moderate.

NOTE: If the request comes from a market that Bing's adult policy requires that safeSearch is set to Strict, Bing ignores the safeSearch value and uses Strict.

String No
setLang The language to use for user interface strings. Specify the language using the ISO 639-1 2-letter language code. For example, the language code for English is EN. The default is EN (English).

Although optional, you should always specify the language. Typically, you set setLang to the same language specified by mkt unless the user wants the user interface strings displayed in a different language.

This parameter and the Accept-Language header are mutually exclusive—do not specify both.

A user interface string is a string that's used as a label in a user interface. There are few user interface strings in the JSON response objects. Also, any links to Bing.com properties in the response objects apply the specified language.
String No
textDecorations A Boolean value that determines whether display strings should contain decoration markers such as hit highlighting characters. If true, the strings may include markers; otherwise, false. The default is false.

To specify whether to use Unicode characters or HTML tags as the markers, see the textFormat query parameter.

For information about hit highlighting, see Hit Highlighting.
Boolean No
textFormat The type of markers to use for text decorations (see the textDecorations query parameter).

The following are the possible values.
  • Raw—Use Unicode characters to mark content that needs special formatting. The Unicode characters are in the range E000 through E019. For example, Bing uses E000 and E001 to mark the beginning and end of query terms for hit highlighting.

  • HTML—Use HTML tags to mark content that needs special formatting. For example, use <b> tags to highlight query terms in display strings.

The default is Raw.

For a list of markers, see Hit Highlighting.

If textFormat is set to HTML, and display strings contain escapable HTML characters such as <, >, and &, Bing escapes the characters (for example, < is escaped to &lt;).

For information about processing strings with the embedded Unicode characters, see Hit Highlighting.
String No

Response objects

The following are the JSON response objects that the response may include. If the request is successful, the top-level object in the response is the SearchResponse object; otherwise, it is the ErrorResponse object.

Object Description
Error Defines an error that occurred.
ErrorResponse The top-level object that the response includes when the request fails.
MetaTag Defines a webpage's metadata.
OpenGraphImage Defines the location and dimensions of an image relevant to a webpage.
Query Defines a query string.
QueryContext Defines the query context that Bing used for the request, if the specified query string contains a spelling error.
SearchResponse The top-level object that the response includes when the request succeeds.
WebAnswer Defines a list of relevant webpage links.
Webpage Defines a webpage that is relevant to the query.

Error

Defines an error that occurred.

Element Description Type
code The error code that identifies the error. For a list of possible codes, see Error Codes. String
message A description of the error. String
parameter The query parameter in the request that caused the error. String
value The query parameter's value that was not valid. String

ErrorResponse

The top-level object that the response includes when the request fails.

Name Value Type
_type Type hint. String
errors A list of the reasons why the request failed. Error[]

MetaTag

Defines a webpage's metadata.

Name Value Type
content The metadata. String
name The name of the metadata. String

OpenGraphImage

Defines the location and dimensions of an image relevant to a webpage.

Name Value Type
contentUrl The image's location. String
width The width of the image. May be zero (0). UInt32
height The height of the image. May be zero (0). UInt32

Query

Defines a search query.

Name Value Type
displayText The display version of the query string. This version of the query string may contain special characters that highlight the search term found in the query string. The string contains the highlighting characters only if the query enabled hit highlighting (see the textDecorations query parameter). For details about hit highlighting, see Hit Highlighting. String
text The query string. Use this string as the query string in a new search request. String

QueryContext

Defines the query string that Bing used for the request if the specified query string contains a spelling mistake.

Element Description Type
adultIntent A Boolean value that indicates whether the specified query has adult intent. The value is true if the query has adult intent.

If true, and the request's safeSearch query parameter is set to Strict, the response will not contain results.
Boolean
alterationOverrideQuery The query string to use to force Bing to use the original string. For example, if the query string is saling downwind, the override query string is +saling downwind. Remember to encode the query string, which results in %2Bsaling+downwind.

The object includes this field only if the original query string contains a spelling mistake.
String
alteredQuery The query string used by Bing to perform the query. If the original query string contained spelling mistakes, Bing uses the altered query string. For example, if the query string is saling downwind, the altered query string is sailing downwind.

The object includes this field only if the original query string contains a spelling mistake.
String
originalQuery The query string as specified in the request. String

SearchResponse

The response's top-level object for search requests.

If the service suspects a denial of service attack, the request succeeds (HTTP status code is 200 OK); however, the body of the response is empty.

Name Value Type
_type Type hint, which is set to SearchResponse. String
queryContext The query string that Bing used for the request.

The response includes the context only if the query string contains a spelling mistake or has adult intent.
QueryContext
webPages A list of webpages that are relevant to the search query. WebAnswer

WebAnswer

Defines a list of relevant webpage links.

Name Value Type
totalEstimatedMatches The estimated number of webpages that are relevant to the query. Use this number along with the count and offset query parameters to page through the results. For information, see Paging Results. Long
value A list of webpages that are relevant to the query. WebPage[]
webSearchUrl The URL to the Bing website that contains the search results for the user's query. The results include content that is not limited to your custom view of the web, and may include other types of content such as images and videos. String

Webpage

Defines a webpage that is relevant to the query.

Name Value Type
dateLastCrawled The last time that Bing crawled the webpage. The date is in the form, YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS. For example, 2015-04-13T05:23:39. String
deepLinks An array of Webpage objects. Each object contains a link to related content within the website that contains this webpage.

The Webpage object in this context includes only the name, url, and snippet fields.
Webpage[]
displayUrl The display URL of the webpage. The URL is meant for display purposes only and is not well formed. String
id An identifier. String
name The name of the webpage.

Use this name along with url to create a hyperlink that when clicked takes the user to the webpage.

The name may contain special characters that highlight the search term found in the name. The name contains the highlighting characters only if the query enabled hit highlighting (see the textDecorations query parameter). For details about hit highlighting, see Hit Highlighting.
String
searchTags A list of search tags that the webpage owner specified on the webpage. The API returns only indexed search tags.

The name field of the MetaTag object contains the indexed search tag. Search tags begin with search.* (for example, search.assetId). The content field contains the tag's value.
MetaTag[]
snippet A snippet of text from the webpage that describes its contents. String
url The URL to the webpage.

Use this URL along with name to create a hyperlink that when clicked takes the user to the webpage.
String
openGraphImage URL for an image that the page owner chose to represent the page content.

Included only if available.
OpenGraphImage

Error codes

The following are the possible HTTP status codes that a request returns.

Status Code Description
200 Success.
400 One of the query parameters is missing or not valid.
401 The subscription key is missing or is not valid.
403 The user is authenticated (for example, they used a valid subscription key) but they don’t have permission to the requested resource.

Bing may also return this status if the caller exceeded their queries per month quota.
410 The request used HTTP instead of the HTTPS protocol. HTTPS is the only supported protocol.
429 The caller exceeded their queries per second quota.
500 Unexpected server error.

If the request fails, the response contains an ErrorResponse object, which contains a list of Error objects that describe what caused of error. If the error is related to a parameter, the parameter field identifies the parameter that is the issue. And if the error is related to a parameter value, the value field identifies the value that is not valid.

{
  "_type": "ErrorResponse", 
  "errors": [
    {
      "code": "InvalidRequest", 
      "subCode": "ParameterMissing", 
      "message": "Required parameter is missing.", 
      "parameter": "q" 
    }
  ]
}

{
  "_type": "ErrorResponse", 
  "errors": [
    {
      "code": "InvalidAuthorization", 
      "subCode": "AuthorizationMissing", 
      "message": "Authorization is required.", 
      "moreDetails": "Subscription key is not recognized."
    }
  ]
}

The following are the possible error code and sub-error code values.

Code SubCode Description
ServerError UnexpectedError
ResourceError
NotImplemented
HTTP status code is 500.
InvalidRequest ParameterMissing
ParameterInvalidValue
HttpNotAllowed
Blocked
Bing returns InvalidRequest whenever any part of the request is not valid. For example, a required parameter is missing or a parameter value is not valid.

If the error is ParameterMissing or ParameterInvalidValue, the HTTP status code is 400.

If you use the HTTP protocol instead of HTTPS, Bing returns HttpNotAllowed, and the HTTP status code is 410.
RateLimitExceeded No sub-codes Bing returns RateLimitExceeded whenever you exceed your queries per second (QPS) or queries per month (QPM) quota.

If you exceed QPS, Bing returns HTTP status code 429, and if you exceed QPM, Bing returns 403.
InvalidAuthorization AuthorizationMissing
AuthorizationRedundancy
Bing returns InvalidAuthorization when Bing cannot authenticate the caller. For example, the Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key header is missing or the subscription key is not valid.

Redundancy occurs if you specify more than one authentication method.

If the error is InvalidAuthorization, the HTTP status code is 401.
InsufficientAuthorization AuthorizationDisabled
AuthorizationExpired
Bing returns InsufficientAuthorization when the caller does not have permissions to access the resource. This can occur if the subscription key has been disabled or has expired.

If the error is InsufficientAuthorization, the HTTP status code is 403.

Market codes

The following table lists the market code values that you may use to specify the mkt query parameter. Bing returns content for only these markets. The list is subject to change.

For a list of country codes that you may specify in the cc query parameter, see Country codes.

Country/Region Language Market code
Argentina Spanish es-AR
Australia English en-AU
Austria German de-AT
Belgium Dutch nl-BE
Belgium French fr-BE
Brazil Portuguese pt-BR
Canada English en-CA
Canada French fr-CA
Chile Spanish es-CL
Denmark Danish da-DK
Finland Finnish fi-FI
France French fr-FR
Germany German de-DE
Hong Kong SAR Traditional Chinese zh-HK
India English en-IN
Indonesia English en-ID
Italy Italian it-IT
Japan Japanese ja-JP
Korea Korean ko-KR
Malaysia English en-MY
Mexico Spanish es-MX
Netherlands Dutch nl-NL
New Zealand English en-NZ
Norway Norwegian no-NO
People's republic of China Chinese zh-CN
Poland Polish pl-PL
Republic of the Philippines English en-PH
Russia Russian ru-RU
South Africa English en-ZA
Spain Spanish es-ES
Sweden Swedish sv-SE
Switzerland French fr-CH
Switzerland German de-CH
Taiwan Traditional Chinese zh-TW
Turkey Turkish tr-TR
United Kingdom English en-GB
United States English en-US
United States Spanish es-US

Country codes

The following are the country codes that you may specify in the cc query parameter. The list is subject to change.

Country/Region Country Code
Argentina AR
Australia AU
Austria AT
Belgium BE
Brazil BR
Canada CA
Chile CL
Denmark DK
Finland FI
France FR
Germany DE
Hong Kong SAR HK
India IN
Indonesia ID
Italy IT
Japan JP
Korea KR
Malaysia MY
Mexico MX
Netherlands NL
New Zealand NZ
Norway NO
People's Republic of China CN
Poland PL
Portugal PT
Republic of the Philippines PH
Russia RU
Saudi Arabia SA
South Africa ZA
Spain ES
Sweden SE
Switzerland CH
Taiwan TW
Turkey TR
United Kingdom GB
United States US