Feeds

Microsoft 'personalizes' Bing search results

Google wannabe mines your location and history

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft is now "personalizing" searches on Bing, tailoring results to the user's particular location and search history.

Previously, according to a blog post from Microsoft, the company has run limited tests involving personalized Bing results, but this is the first time it has rolled out personalized results to everyone on the search engine.

Google has long personalized results. In March of last year, the company said it was personalizing one in five searches, tweaking results according to a user's location, web history, and online contacts (contacts are gathered through non-search Google services, such as Gmail). Microsoft is not yet personalizing based on contacts, but it appears the company is at least experimenting with such results.

"In real life, you take into account many things when making a decision: for example, where you are, what time it is, and what your friends think. We asked - shouldn’t your search engine do the same thing?" the company's blog post reads.

At the moment, Microsoft is solely personalizing based on location and web history. If you're in Seattle and you search for "pizza", Bing will show you pizza results specific to Seattle. And if you key what is on the surface an ambiguous query, the search engine may use your web history to dissect it. If you key in "ACS"," for instance, it may use your previous searches to determine whether you mean the "American Cancer Society" or the "American Chemical Society".

"Suppose...the chemistry fan selects American Chemical Society. Our research shows that users commonly re-issue such navigational queries and the intent of that user rarely changes. This new personal search feature uses this human behavior as its core premise – if Bing thinks a user is trying to 're-find' a site, the relevant result is promoted to the top position on the page."

Microsoft personalizes results even if you're not signed into Bing, a company spokeswoman tells The Register. Google has been personalizing searches for signed-out users since December 2009, and it signed out personalization dates back well before then. ®

Update: This story was updated after Microsoft responded to our query about whether it was personalizing searches even when users are not signed in.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.