Google uses MusicBrainz data in some of its searches!

Earlier this week I met with Shawn Simister, who works on Google’s Freebase project (former from MetaWeb) to touch base about how MusicBrainz is being utilized inside of Google. MusicBrainz represents a large chunk of the music data in Freebase and in turn the Freebase data is used as one of the sources of data for Google’s search.

Shawn explains this in more detail:

You can actually see a couple areas where we’re using the Freebase music data publicly. First, in the structured refinements in search. If you search for lady gaga albums and scroll to the bottom to see “Album searches for Lady Gaga”. Also you can see videos clustered by topic in YouTube Topics and many of the topics are music-related.

It’s important to keep in mind that Musicbrainz is just part of the solution. It’s a pretty big part of Freebase music data and therefore its likely to be a pretty big component in these results but as you know the search results team at Google is pretty secretive about what all goes into the results page so even I can’t tell for certain when they’re using Freebase/Musicbrainz data for any given result.

I think it’s important that people don’t mistake this as a one-to-one relationship between Musicbrainz data and Google results because there are quite a few steps in between but there’s definitely a strong connection there and we really appreciate everything that the Musicbrainz community is doing and hope that Musicbrainz community continues to grow.

I find this tremendously exciting to hear, since I proposed a very similar thing to Google many years ago. While this idea was rejected back in the day, I’m excited to see that Google is now using our data for it searches. Every person who has ever contributed to MusicBrainz should be proud!

Thank you to everyone and thank you Shawn for shedding some light on this!

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