Bing now taps user location, history for relevance

Bing now pulls up results that are relevant to a user's location, as well as changing the order of results to prioritize the sites users have already visited after running previous searches.

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Bing now knows a little bit more about where you are, and where you've been.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that Bing now makes use of user location to change the way search results are ordered. This means if you search for something like a restaurant, it will guess that you're looking for a match nearby where the search is being made and will automatically serve up items that fall into that category.

Google added a similar feature to its search tool in February of last year, after having introduced it to its mobile search two months prior.

Joining the location feature is a tweak to how the search engine orders results on searches that have been done in the past. If you had clicked on a result lower down from the top, Bing will put it at the top the next time you do that same search. In a blog post outlining some of the changes, Aidan Crook and Sanaz Ahari from Bing's search team said the reason for changing this particular behavior is that when users are searching to find particular sites by name, they tend to do the same thing when they do the search again.

"Our research shows that users commonly re-issue such navigational queries and the intent of that user rarely changes," the post said. "This new personal search feature uses this human behavior as its core premise - if Bing thinks a user is trying to 're-find' a site, the relevant result is promoted to the top position on the page."

Microsoft says both features are currently available only to Bing users in the U.S.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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