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Searches on Bing: This Time, It’s Personal




“With the launch of Personalized Search, you can use that search history you’ve been building to get better results. You probably won’t notice much difference at first, but as your search history grows, your personalized results will gradually improve.”

Oh wait, that’s from Google’s blog back in 2005. Let me try again.

“We’re introducing a feature that helps Bing present the most relevant website based on an individual’s previous searches.”

Oh, okay. Bing is using “previous searches” which obviously isn’t the same as the a fore mentioned “search history” that Google uses. Did we mention that Bing is also included localized search results, now so you don’t have to type in your city when you’re craving pizza? One problem. When I type in pizza, Bing wants to send me to a town twenty minutes from here and Google wants to send me up the street. Looks like Bing still has some refining to do.

Bing is now a personalized search engine and I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement but their blog announcement makes it sound like they’re the only ones working on the idea.

Says Bing:

The beauty of thinking differently about personalized searching is that it enables us to construct elegant solutions that require a minimal amount of personal information and, frankly, often exhibit better results than a more computationally complex predictive model alone.

Bing says their new personalized search program differs from Google’s in the fact that it’s not an all or nothing system. They say they’re working to define when personalization works and when it doesn’t.

Can Bing come up with a plan that returns more relevant returns more often than Google does? I see visions of search boxes that refuse to give me the location of the nearest McDonalds because I need to go on a diet. Movie requests that show only the films the search engine deems worthy of my time. And if I look up something adventurous like sky diving – the single phrase, “you’ve got to be kidding” takes over my screen.

Search results and drop downs are already creepy enough. I swear Google now reads my mind offering options based on a conversation I just had with my husband in the privacy of our own home. How much more personal can search get? It already feels like Big Brother, Google and now Bing, are watching.