Emerging Tech

Microsoft Live Search upgraded, index increased four-fold

In what is touted as "[Microsoft's] biggest update since [its] debut in January 2005," Microsoft has announced a quadrupled index size and an enhanced algorithm that will generate more relevant results based on search queries.

In what is touted as "[Microsoft's] biggest update since [its] debut in January 2005," Microsoft has announced a quadrupled index size ands an enhanced algorithm that will generate more relevant results based on search queries.

Also, substantial changes were made to the way the Microsoft Live Search engine interprets queries with "common problems," taking spelling errors, stop words, and punctuations into consideration. Other upgrades such as auto-correction of misspelled queries are in -- finally.

And yes, you should also see an increase in speed as well.

According to Ars Technica:

But [these changes are] not all. Microsoft says that it has improved its analysis of clickstream data so that it can better rate the relevancy of sites based on which links are most often clicked by users. It has also integrated its Answers platform better with Live Search, so that users who are just looking for a specific fact (weather, sports scores, stocks, etc.) can get the answer immediately without having to dig deeper into search results.

If you are a Microsoft Live Search fan, you will probably want to read more from the Live Search Fact Sheet.

Microsoft says that the changes will be available to all U.S. customers next week. Users from outside the U.S. will have to wait until the end of next month [October] though.

What motivation does a seasoned Google user have to switch to Live Search?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

16 comments
csring
csring

Hopefully this helps. So far when I use their search (usually on accident), the results are pathetic compared to google

phivetacos
phivetacos

I use Google for my rss feeds, share a calendar with my friends, post docs so I can view at home or at the office, and I search like there's no tomorrow. Never in any of these interactions with Google do I care about indexing or new algorithms. If MSFT thinks that they'll win over Google converts or new users with those types of improvements, they really have lost their way. I don't care about the technology but I do care about what I can accomplish via the web. Show me the usability and interaction improvements!!! 5Tacos

shuhrn
shuhrn

I use many of Google's different features (analytics, trends, adsense, adwords, maps, base, etc), but indexing and algorithms do matter to me as well. I have no problem using the features at Google and using a different site for my searches. When Google started, it grew because its searches were much better than its competitors. However, I find that it is getting more difficult finding relevant searches, especially for non-branded items (or poorly) and generic searches. I've been on the lookout for an engine that will provide real relevance like Google used to. If MS thinks they have it down, I'll try it out. I'm not a big fan of anything they've done online at this point, so I'm not excited about this update. But I'll try it.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm an engineer too; but just don't use my schooling(yet). With the energy crisis coming up; its time to hit the chalkboard again!

NGENeer
NGENeer

A lot of times I still get more "on target" results from Yahoo's search engine. Just dumb luck? I dunno. I do agree though that Google seems to return a lot of trash. Some times I've had to click through to the 5th or 15th page before finding what I really wanted. Might be worth giving the Microsoft Live a try. Richard_P mentioned a a search on "Free word processing Software" and got the following results: Microsoft: Page 1 of 609 results Google: Results 1 - 100 of about 8,280 English pages Now if the 609 returns from Microsoft were better hits than Google's 8,280, which might include a lot of unrelated trash, then I'd go for the MS scheme. Bottom line - try the same search (I'd suggest something more specific than "free word processing software") on multiple engines and see which one consistantly gives the best (not the most) results.

JCitizen
JCitizen

when I get tired of Google. Not that it is way better; but they package the data into catagories over there, in a way that helps cut through the drizzle. Google supposedly keeps your privacy better but they collect more personally identifiable data than anyone else; and with the way they caved into the Chinese government it makes me nervous too. I will believe MSN has improved their search when I see it; maybe next week I will be suprised; but I doubt it.

rkell25
rkell25

I feel Google has lost its way - in terms of the way results are presented ie the ones with the most marketing muscle(and the least to offer) always come first. They probably want to shake up their algorithm to loosen some of the rubbish. As for MS I avoid like the plague dont know what their reporting back(even though I have nothing to hide but just in a social engeneering/marketing way I worry) and its always best to go for the underdog as long as its service is comparable.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I too have noticed a slow down in search success; but I have no idea if it is because Google is stacking the deck to favor certain targets or if junk data is being foisted onto Googles data engine to stack the deck in favor of one target or another. I'm sure the world has figured out Google's keyword system and done something like this to favor their own links. A few years ago I could find medicines that had been taken off the shelf because of FDA disapproval; now it is as if someone doesn't want anyone to know such things. I'm not sure I fully trust Google's business motivations - perhaps someone is paying them to keep data off the web? Not that I would trust MSN any farther than I could spit; knowledge is power and the powerfull eventually try to corner it, to keep themselves on their precarious thrones.

shannyhan
shannyhan

I remember when searching the internet and finding what i needed was fast ... and how it felt to click the "I'm feeling lucky" and getting the exact hit I needed. i am now inundated with stuff I wasnt searching for!

paulmah
paulmah

Just what motivation does a seasoned Google user have to switch to Live Search?

Richard_P
Richard_P

I think my view on this can be guessed if you try comparing a particular search on both search engines .... "Free word processing Software" Microsoft: Page 1 of 609 results Google: Results 1 - 100 of about 8,280 English pages

butlerw3
butlerw3

I love google. in fact I would refer to myself as a googlean. However, i think we must not forget what made google so great. It offered something fantastic that we needed. I have been an avid surfer for quite sometime now. I believe that loyalty has it's technological limits. Many of use left MSN, Yahoo and other search engines to convert to Google. I am sure we were devoted wholisticly to them before leaving. Technology, is not monogamous. It is the techno-fight to the finish! I will always be open to new technologies. This philosophy led me to google in the first place.

keeleyt83
keeleyt83

I agree. If it allows me to get my work done quicker and makes my life easier, I'm there.

john.decoville
john.decoville

Microsoft has to deal with a big factor in Google's favor:.. Inertia. Microsoft will have to load up their Engine with some slam-home run sexy features to entice people over to them. Don't forget Google will respond to keep their base. And Microsoft is in third place behind Yahoo!, another seasoned player in the Search Wars. -John

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Unlike some posters below, all I use Google for is web searching. No customized page, no toys, no desktop search. I'm satisfied with it, enough so I probably will forget MS Live by the time Monday morning rolls around. That's not to say I'm opposed to trying new apps. I went through Yahoo, Lycos, and Northern Light before settling for Google. And unlike Google, I was never really satisfied with IE so I didn't hesitate to try and eventually switch to Firefox. But there's nothing in this article or the linked MS fact sheet that makes me want to try MS Live. I may putz with it over the weekend, if I remember it exists after I post this.

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