An Open Letter to Bing Regarding JSON-LD

by Aaron Bradley on March 24, 2017

in Search Engines, Semantic Web

An Open Letter to Bing Regarding JSON-LD Support

Update, 31 July 2018

On 30 July 2018 (in a post dated 2 Aug. 2018) Bing announced JSON-LD support in Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing had previously announced it was supporting JSON-LD at SMX Advanced in June, but this is the first published confirmation that Bing supports JSON-LD. As of 31 July 2018 the Bing structured data page, though, makes no reference to JSON-LD.

Update, 20 June 2018

On 12 June 2018 Bing announced, at SMX Advanced, that it would be adding JSON-LD support for its markup validator. This support was confirmed that same day.

Update, 6 March 2018

As per this discussion, on 2 March 2018 Bing indicated that they now support JSON-LD. However, this has yet to be reflected in their documentation or reflected in their Markup Validator. I'll update this post when and if these changes surface in official Bing documentation.

Hi Bing, how's it going?

Pretty well, I think.

I was really happy to learn in October 2015 that Bing had started turning a profit. Competition in the search engine arena is vital, as it provides search engines with an incentive to innovate and, more importantly, ensures that search engines will endeavor to win over users by returning the most useful and relevant search results they possibly can.

But Bing also understands that sometimes it's in their best interests and that of their users to work cooperatively with their competitors to align on standards and best practices.

This was the case in November 2006, when Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! agreed to support a common sitemaps protocol.

And, more recently, you, Google and Yahoo! joined forces in June 2011 (joined later by Yandex) "to create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages": The initiative has been an enormous success: millions of domains now use this standard to provide information about the objects referenced in their web pages.

A structured data vocabulary of course requires a method of encoding it that data consumers can understand, and when was released the sponsors recommended microdata as the preferred syntax, and soon (after some missteps) embraced RDFa as well.

Microdata and RDFa are both excellent methods of adding annotations to HTML documents, and few would argue that there was a better standard available for this purpose when was announced.

In January 2014, however, JSON-LD became a W3C Recommendation.

As you're doubtlessly aware, JSON-LD offers some significant advantages for webmasters over microdata or RDFa. Since it does not rely upon HTML elements to make declarations it is far less error-prone than microdata or RDFa, and, unlike those syntaxes, does not require the use of tags to make statements about information that is not visibly present in web documents.

Perhaps most importantly, as it is "100% compatible with JSON" it provides a method of deploying linked data that the vast majority of web developers are already familiar with and use on a daily basis in their work.

In recognition of JSON-LD's benefits, Google has incrementally increased its support for it as a mechanism for providing structured data markup, and it is now its recommended method for doing so. And, at least as evidenced by what's returned by their validation tools, Yandex, Apple and even Pinterest are now capable of understanding JSON-LD-provided data.

As a result, in particular, of Google's support for the syntax, JSON-LD has seen significant and rapid adoption on the web. While looking at changes to Web Data Commons data extracted from Common Crawl over time is not a strict apples-to-apples comparison (as Common Crawl does not use the same corpus for each crawl), a comparison of their November 2015 extraction to that of October 2016 nonetheless suggests JSON-LD is quickly gaining in popularity.

Web Data Commons domains with triples by data type,  November 2015 and October 2016 Common Crawl extracts

In this environment webmasters, developers and – especially – search marketers are finding themselves having to make an increasingly difficult choice: continue to use a cumbersome inline markup syntax in order to maintain or gain search visibility in Bing, or use JSON-LD with the realization that this will result in the loss of structured data-powered features in Bing search results.

Bing's failure to support JSON-LD means, too, that their users are increasingly ill-served by that lack of support, insofar as more and more webmasters are choosing the latter of those two options.

That is, as Bing has long generated featured snippets for things like products and recipes based on structured data markup, it must consider these snippets to be of value to searchers.

Bing product rich snippet

Bing recipe rich snippet

But as more and more webmasters use JSON-LD exclusively to provide structured data, Bing users will see fewer and fewer rich snippets, from fewer and fewer publishers, populating their search results.

I'm confident that you're aware of many, if not all, of the points I've made here in order to try and persuade you to publicly and demonstrably support JSON-LD.

And I'm actually fairly hopeful that you're already making efforts to do so. Nothing could make me happier than to find out that writing this letter was unnecessary by virtue of a soon-to-be made announcement that you have approved JSON-LD as a method of providing Bing with structured data.

But if you're still equivocating on this course of action, let me make this plea on behalf of developers, search marketers, linked data enthusiasts and Bing users everywhere: please join the party and throw your weight behind JSON-LD.

1 Jeannie Hill March 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

May I add my voice to Aaron Bradly’s to request more support for JSON-LD. Having noted it says on the Bing Webmaster Help Forum, “At Bing, enabling users to make key decisions through visually appealing, information-rich search results is a key component of our search experience”, more support is hopefully forthcoming.


2 local seo April 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I suppose maybe the profit clouds the eyes a bit.
Great article,thanks.

3 Amit Jain April 10, 2017 at 3:33 am

JSON-LD definitely offers real advantage over microdata. If the industry giants start to cooperate with each other having a standard markup will go a long way and makes things easier for us web developers. Great article and love the letter style you wrote it in. Cheers.

4 Richard L. April 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm

I agree wholeheartedly here. As one of those professionals who has chosen to use only JSON markup, it would be a wonderful thing to wake up one day and see my markup supported in Bing. I’m a daily Bing user but I optimize for Google at the expense of my Bing results, simply because I don’t want to format my markup in two different ways.

We get that the obvious focus has been on maps and AI recently, and updates to webmaster features don’t seem to be a huge priority. With an increasing portion of markup only present in JSON-LD format these days, however, shouldn’t availability of that data suffer as a result? It seems like that’s a good way to make some dumb, outdated robots straight out of the gate.

5 Strivers May 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

Great! If bing fully supported JSON-LD then we don’t need to have different tactics for different search engines.

6 Simon May 24, 2017 at 5:03 am

Seconded. I have been using JSON+LD exclusively for over 1.5 years and, at a guess, compiling JSON+LD snippets for clients accounts for about 1/3 my income. Get on board Bing, your customers are leaving you behind!!!

7 Adam June 30, 2017 at 11:43 am

I would like to add that I am also very confused with Bing’s refusal to fully support JSON-LD. We just switched to exclusively using JSON-LD to express recipe markup and it is much easier to express.

One thing I have noticed that is very confusing is on the query “hummus recipe” I am noticing showing full rich snippets in the search results. On’s recipe pages in Bing’s search results for “hummus recipe” they are using JSON-LD and their markup is showing up fine. On my site ( which uses JSON-LD Bing is using the incorrect recipe image and doesn’t show the aggregate review stars. Our JSON-LD fully checks out when I use Google’s structured data testing tool.

Why would’s rich snippets show up fine when other sites don’t get JSON-LD support at all?

8 Aaron Bradley July 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

Thanks for comment Adam. Interestingly enough, in the two weeks or so it took me to reply to your question it appears Bing has started to generate recipe rich snippets from JSON-LD (including for See more here.

9 Samuel Lavoie August 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Seconded. JSON-LD does have a decent penetration for Rich Snippet compared to microdata and Bing should start to support it!

10 Norman Höhne September 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

I totally add my voice to your open letter Aaron and agree with you with all the pain I have to serve every search engine with appropriate markup.

Structured data solely can be confusing enough. We don\’t need search engines that revoke specific markup formats.


11 Filip Zafirovski October 19, 2017 at 7:37 am

Great letter Aaron!

Do you think Bing can go head to head with Google?

12 Aaron Bradley December 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Let’s hope!

13 Andy Ngothai November 5, 2017 at 4:59 am

Love the style of letter you\’ve gone for here Aaron. Agreed! Bing needs to start supporting this to make it easier on all of us involved in search marketing to any degree.

14 Digital marketing Noida December 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Hello sir,
I have a WordPress site for soccer movie reviews. In order to improve my search ranking on Google, I added JSON-LD structured data script to all my posts. I just assumed that Bing would be able to parse it. But when I go into my bing Webmaster console, and enter my homepage on the Markup Validator page, only one piece of data shows up. So does this mean Bing doesn’t understand JSON-LD? Will Bing ever support and JSON-LD in the way that Google does?

15 Aaron Bradley December 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

So does this mean Bing doesn’t understand JSON-LD?

At present, correct

Will Bing ever support and JSON-LD in the way that Google does?

Let’s hope it eventually does. 🙂

16 Townsville Marketing December 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Always a good read to see other people\’s perspective on the different search engines!
Bing hopefully will match Google to make all our jobs easier!

17 Nayeem December 27, 2017 at 8:09 am

Sounds good!!hope best for Bing,,but it needs to be more resourceful and catching google is so far,i.e. need more time to spend in hard…

18 Andy C December 29, 2017 at 9:03 am

I just received an email from Bing after having requested that they add json-ld support some time ago upon having originally read this article. It linked to this page.

Looks like they’re going to add it!

19 Gary February 22, 2018 at 6:43 am

Well done, keep fighting the good fight.



20 Bill March 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Bing is a 2nd-class search engine, because Bing is apparently happy being a 2nd-class search engine. My website has been running for a year with JSON markup, and still to this day, no markup validation can be seen in Bing Webmaster Tools. Get your act together Bing! The same could be said for your version of “Adwords”. I get no customers from it, because internet users don’t search on Bing. So guess what? I don’t advertise with you no more, and your revenue is going to keep free falling as long as you fail to ignore what both developers and search users want!

21 James July 21, 2018 at 2:28 am

Great open letter and seeing/reading the comments/ ideas for this blog. Great work and hoping also that Bing will support JSON-LD.

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