Bing starts serving personalized search results

By on February 10, 2011, 5:33 PM
Microsoft has announced two new personalized search features that should make Bing's results more accurate. The first new addition is localized search. For instance, Seattle residents can now simply enter "pizza" to receive local eateries instead of "pizza in Seattle." Microsoft notes that 76% of people use search engines to plan trips, events or social gatherings, so having results tailored by location should make Bing more useful for those types of queries.

Bing can also now customize results by showing you the most relevant links based on your previous searches. "If a user issues a query such as {acs} the most relevant result for that user is not necessarily the same as that for the majority of people in the U.S.," Microsoft explained. For instance, if a user is interested in chemistry, the most relevant result may be the American Chemical Society, but to someone else the American Cancer Society might be more accurate.


The greatest obstacle with personalizing results is the unpredictability of human behavior. "We think one of the challenges with delivering results which are truly individualized is that, to date, personalized search can't see the forest for the trees. In other words everyone is collecting everything and trying to figure out the foibles of human behavior from a mass of digital bits. To an extent, we've all been looking at the wrong inputs which in turn haven't given us the output we want."

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