Microsoft Corp. is releasing an update to Live Search centered on improvements to core search technology and advancements in the vertical search areas of entertainment, shopping, local and health.
The company says collectively, these improvements mark a quality milestone based on its focus on delivering a better search experience for consumers and advertisers.
“With this update to Live Search, our engineering focus is on the areas that matter most to our 185 million consumers who use our service every month. We have made dramatic progress in delivering a better search experience to our customers,” said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of the Search and Advertising Platform Group at Microsoft. “We know what kinds of things consumers are searching for, and we have invested in those key high-interest verticals, including entertainment, shopping, health and local search. With the core platform in place we intend to win customers and earn their loyalty one query at a time.”
The majority of Live Search customer feedback has focused on improving overall search relevance to deliver richer and deeper results and investing in differentiated experiences in high-interest consumer areas such as entertainment, shopping, health and local search.
Microsoft’s efforts toward satisfying its Live Search customers can be grouped into a few key areas. The company says there's over fourfold increase in index size, with a broader coverage of the Web.
Substantial improvements were made in understanding queryintent. The team claims the new Live Search does a better job in predicting the intent of the query to return the best results possible. The engine has also incorporated more user click-stream data to inform ranking and relevancy processes, yielding more relevant results across queries.
Additional improvements to the service include a new, cleaner user interface which comes down to making the results pages easier to read and use.
Microsoft has identified that up to 40 percent of searches fall into the categories of entertainment, shopping, health and local search. That's why the new Live Search delivers specialized content presented in across these key vertical search areas.