Live Search dances

Mon 22 December 2008 02:15, Francis Siefken

Live Search dances

Reports from the search engine watchers at WebmasterWorld last week and the unleashing of a 2nd generation MSNBot in the wild might suggest Microsoft Live Search is now implementing it's BrowseRank search algoritm since the last interface updates in september.

"Experimental results show that BrowseRank indeed outperforms the baseline methods such as PageRank and TrustRank in several tasks." says the abstract taken from BrowseRank: Letting Web Users Vote for Page Importance" by Tie-Yan Liu et al.)

Microsoft has more up it's sleeve to battle the competition: comprehensive search tools and several new types of searches. In July Microsoft bought the startup Powerset for $100m, the same month it revealed it's the browserank algorithm at SIGIR 2008. In september it started testing integration of the semantic Powerset projects.

One might remember the excitement and lively discussion at webmasterworld whenever there were the periodic "google dances". Will Microsoft's Live Search (perhaps rebranded again into Kumo) be able to attract a similar buzz from the community?

They've got the goods, a large index, an in theory superior new algorithm, a Live Search deal with Dell, will they up their searchengine marketshare next year? Build it and they will come? As history shows it's one thing to have the superior techniques, quite another to get enough user votes.


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