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Microsoft Uses Human Computing Game To Tune Bing

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the wtb-better-rewards dept.

Microsoft 119

Al writes "Microsoft researchers have come up with a novel way to fine-tune the algorithms behind the company's new search engine, Bing: a game that harnesses human computing power to improve the results. Called Page Hunt, the game (which of course requires Silverlight to run) shows users a web page and asks them to figure out a search query that should produce the page within the first five results. The idea is to better understand user behavior and expectations and ultimately improve its search algorithms. Other human-computing projects have sought to digitize out-of-print text (reCAPTCHA) and image labeling (Google Image Labeler). Can Microsoft use a similar approach to gain the edge over its rival? Or does Google already have the edge with SearchWiki, which lets searchers re-rank its results?"

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first, and a cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28839787)

B=====D

So does google (1, Informative)

xDxDxD (1521791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839795)

So does the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840345)

"Other human-computing projects have sought to digitize out-of-print text (reCAPTCHA) and image labeling (Google Image Labeler)."

So you're anchoring the algorithm... (4, Insightful)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839811)

So they're anchoring the algorithm in real-world data? Truly groundbreaking...

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (3, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839895)

i wouldnt call it a game so much as cleverly disguising crowd sourcing their work. its a really good idea actually.... excuse me, i need to go design a 'points system' where users, er... i mean players get points when they fix their own computer issues and put a basic trouble shooting guide in a flash docume-- er, game.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843823)

Without further refinement, they'll get results meaningful only to Silverlight users. This means that technical terms some of us use aren't going yield the results we'd expect from Google.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840115)

Maybe they can use the real world data to fix this issue

http://www.bing.com/search?q=why+is+microsoft+word+so+expensive&form=QBLH&qs=n [bing.com]
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=why+is+microsoft+word+so+expensive&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g1 [google.com]

Flooded with blog articles about the same query now, and yes, it looks like there's probably a technological reason (or at least viable excuse) for it, but it still seems pretty shady to me.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28843413)

Ah, so what you're saying is there is some issue with searching for the phrase "why is microsoft word so expensive," and you provided links to demonstrate the issue. However, the links no longer demonstrate the issue because they're flooded with blog articles. But you still don't explain the issue.

So what I learned from your comment is: a) there is some issue with bing or google. Why is this comment modded +4?

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (5, Insightful)

Tynin (634655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840153)

Seems like this would be ripe for abuse. Get a group of people together like the /b/ group on 4chan, have them start labeling mundane links with porn terms, and porn links with mundane terms. I don't think it would work if only a few people did it, but if you had a large enough group I would think you could make a ton of the data they are gathering useless.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840761)

actually, how are they tuning porn searches? depending on your desired search results, the wrong query, or the system interpreting your query wrong could bring up some truly undesired stuff.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (2, Funny)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841625)

4chan, or a bunch of Microsoft haters that would pretty much never use Bing anyway. I can't think of anywhere that a bunch of Microsoft haters hang out on the interwebs. It definitely wouldn't happen on slashdot.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841787)

sounds like a plan :)

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

robinesque (977170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841827)

Or if you happened to control a huge botnet, you could do the same thing.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841997)

A botnet would be fairly easy to detect, these n IP's always tag all pages with these 100 words. In order to make the feedback system work there would have to be some sort of trust measure of each contributor, so a botnet with random assignments to randomly displayed pages would never get enough trust score to get counted.

1000 people all tagging 98% good values and 2% added values may make it through the trust filter, but they would be reinforcing the value as much as damaging the system.

if someone was dedicated enough, they could write a bot keyword detector and have it scan the game page, identify keywords, then add a few skewed words, but at that point you'd probably have an algorithm good enough to compete as a search engine...

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (2, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843353)

Indeed. Google only fine-tunes search results from more savvy users. It's a tad creepy, but they build a profile and know what you're interested in, and use that to send you the correct links.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Pandora&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq= [google.com]

What's your top link? Mine is OpenPandora.org

Bing spits out crap that I'm not at all interested in. Now I know why.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28844271)

www.Pandora.com (Pandora Radio) ...now I need to be more careful about my searches.

Damn that is creepy. Useful. But creepy.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (2, Funny)

freyyr890 (1019088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28844029)

Congratulations. You just invented the bing bomb.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28846109)

You assume that the results are incorporated automatically. I doubt that. I think there is a person on the other side tinkering with the algorithm so that it covers more of the search terms.

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28846143)

Get a group of people together like the /b/ group on 4chan, have them start labeling mundane links with porn terms, and porn links with mundane terms.

how do i search web?

Re:So you're anchoring the algorithm... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843137)

It's quite amusing seeing MS trying to catch Google's 11+ year-old engine, while Google is probably working flat out to get ahead of sig.ma and the like as web 3.0 takes off.

Looks like fun (5, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839815)

After the success of Page Hunt, Microsoft is developing a sequel called File Reports. Players earn points by filling out real business forms and increasing productivity!

Re:Looks like fun (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28839873)

Apple has a game too. It's called Jobs for Jobs. You buy a mac and then give Steve a metaphorical blowjob on message boards about how awesome his products are.

Re:Looks like fun (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840071)

Hey Anonymous Coward, the 80's called and they want their game back.

Re:Looks like fun (1)

inamorty (1227366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840585)

They called again, and they want they're joke back :(

Re:Looks like fun (4, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840793)

yeah, well the jerk store called. they're running out of you.

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841209)

The prize patrol called. They said you win teh intarnets.

Re:Looks like fun (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841627)

What's the difference? You're their all-time best seller!

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28842365)

I slept with your wife!

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28842631)

I fucked your mother!

Re:Looks like fun (1)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842665)

The Aristocrats!

Re:Looks like fun (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842685)

I slept with your plate of shrimp!

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28845427)

My cat can eat a whole watermelon!

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840715)

Hey Anonymous Coward, the 80's called and they want their game back.

If the 80's call back please ask them if they remember a series of toys that had retractable strings that you could connect to things and have the vehicle slide along the string, I had one when I was a kid (In late 80s) but I can't remember what they were called.

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840985)

Sky Commanders? http://ilovethe80s.com/toys_toys_skycommanders.htm

Re:Looks like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841243)

Yes, that's it exactly... Thanks AC, I've been trying to remember the name for a while.

Re:Looks like fun (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840247)

+1 because Apple fags have no sense of humor.

Re:Looks like fun (1)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840641)

For the bonus round, you can earn extra TPS cover sheets.

Should write a program to play it (2, Funny)

Erelas (1077365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839831)

That'll put a spoke in their wheel.

Cheating. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840039)

Can I use a trainer on this game?

I don't like to lose.

MS silverlight (1)

askksa (1167121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839897)

needs MS silverlight to run

Re:MS silverlight (1, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840437)

Well, I won't be installing Silverlight unless it becomes ubiquitous, but if I were Microsoft I'd be "eating my own dog food" (as they say) too. If they won't use it themselves, why would they expect you to? I'm sure their internal documents are Word.

I wonder, though, if the site could have been done with plain old HTML/CSS. As I'm not installing silverlight I guess I won't find out.

I can't wait to win a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate! (1)

Mister Xiado (1606605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839901)

...and wait eleven months to receive it. Oh Live Search Club, your spirit will haunt us forever.

That said, Google Image Labeler has already proven the viability of this method of tagging and indexing. I think. Has anything really come of the GIL project?

Finally... (3, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839915)

I have a valid excuse to surf porn.

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840013)

... to help Microsoft?

Re:Finally... (4, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840397)

Don't worry, I'll sabotage them by tagging all of the scatplay and goatse pictures with things like "Cute Lesbian Teens" or "Vista Troubleshoot Help."

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841371)

Go one better and tag them with "Pokemon", "Online Bible Studies", and "Local Senior Citizen Activities". Does that cover all of the groups it would most offend?

Re:Finally... (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842027)

You forgot to put "slashdot" on the list.

Is it just me or anyone else notice this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28839921)

Sometimes I hear a hum that seems to be coming from somewhere distant. It is a directional sound. If I turn my head, I can locate which direction it comes from. But if I move around to another position and turn my head, it sounds like it's coming from somewhere else. It's a faint sound that sounds like someone from far away is on a motorcycle revving it up and down, or turning a blender on and off, or turning their vacuum cleaner on and off. It seems to come and go. Sometimes I can hear it, sometimes not. Sometimes I hear it during the day, sometimes during the night. Most of the time I notice it at night just because I am trying to go to sleep. The strange thing is, if I put in ear plugs, I can still hear it. This seems to be a new phenomena that I haven't noticed but in the past few months. Anybody else notice this or am I just crazy?

Re:Is it just me or anyone else notice this? (0, Offtopic)

Tynin (634655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840257)

Likely crazy, but I'd suggest drinking more water.

While you are off topic... (3, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840273)

I will stick my karmic neck out and humor you [wikipedia.org] .

Thanks.

Re:While you are off topic... (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842965)

I've gone so far as to get on my bike and ride for miles trying to track down the source of what sounds to me like a giant guitar string being strummed. It comes and goes and I'm glad to see an actual wikipedia article on it. I never gave it much thought because I live in a noisy city. I guess it might freak me out more if I lived in the sticks.

Re:Is it just me or anyone else notice this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840581)

You're not crazy. [battlestarwiki.org] Just make sure you get us to Earth, m'kay?

Re:Is it just me or anyone else notice this? (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841449)

I think you have been listening to too much Metallica are going deaf. The hum is your ear saying goodbye to that frequency, or it could be a medical condition. Check out 'Tinnitus" and "hum".

Re:Is it just me or anyone else notice this? (1)

crontabminusell (995652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842787)

Are you sure it isn't the Caponians [wikipedia.org] ? I loved that game...

It's a shame... (5, Insightful)

Tenek (738297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839925)

The game gets boring really quickly the first time you run out of "reasonable" search terms and just tack on some exact quote from the page. "His father dies during the travel" is probably not going to help them very much, but it *will* get you to a specific bio of Paul Gauguin.

Re:It's a shame... (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841443)

It doesn't make much sense either- can't they just aggregate the data from the bing website to get practically the same thing?

Soylent Search is People! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28839929)

Soon they'll be breeding us like cattle.

Stick with the pigeons as god intends.

Spammers... (5, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839943)

If users have the ability to tailor search results, won't page rank "fixers" (aka spammers) have an easier time? Or am I missing something?

Re:Spammers... (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840637)

There are already multiple ways for spammer to tailor search results. You know, the webpages itself, thats why it's search results. You need the algorithms to protect that, so you obviously need algorithms to protect what data is used from this "game" aswell. This is just to give additional information to the search results, but same rules apply.

Wait for it... (3, Funny)

Snarkalicious (1589343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839945)

This must be the beta. I don't see mention of a monthly charge, yet.

Human computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28839949)

Like in that movie where people were in pods living in a virtual world while their body heat was being extracted? No thanks.

Doomed to fail (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28839985)

...the game (which of course requires Silverlight to run) shows users a webpage and asks them to figure out a search query that should produce the page within the first 5 results.

Gee, that sounds SO much more fun than playing the Sims! Not. reCAPTCHA works only because the user wants to get to what's after it, and doesn't require another downloaded plugin or frequent interaction. Guys, learn one of the great rules in IT: Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should. If you want to investigate user behavior, do what everybody else in the industry has done -- install malware onto the user's machines and track their habits. :\

Re:Doomed to fail (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840771)

Guys, learn one of the great rules in IT: Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should.

But as long as it has some users, its good info for MS. I wont be using it, and you probably wont be either, but there probably are people who like to try it out of interest. Maybe even now and then just to see random websites or whatever fun it gives them. Anoher great rule of IT: You can just leave it in the background and it doesn't affect your main business in any way. Microsoft and Bing are large enough to do quite random stuff and it will still have its users. And it goes along with Bing's strategy aswell -- Shoot there, shoot here, try out things and be innovative. So far its working great for them (hell, thats what google does too)

Re:Doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28844275)

... Shoot there, shoot here, try out things and be innovative. ...

*sigh* Shooting randomly is not being innovative. Just desperate and out of actual good ideas.

Re:Doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841317)

If you want to investigate user behavior, do what everybody else in the industry has done -- install malware onto the user's machines and track their habits. :\

What do you think "Windows Genuine Advantage" is? They can at least get information on your OS-purchasing habits (or lack thereof).

Sounds riveting (2, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840009)

shows users a webpage and asks them to figure out a search query that should produce the page within the first 5 results

How much am I being paid? I suppose it is recession after all..

Live Search? (1)

gigabites2 (1484115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840047)

I've been taking a look at it and the thing that seems to stand out the most is that it's labeled Live Search. It hasn't adopted the Bing color scheme either. Did these guys not get the memo or something?

Gee, but... (5, Funny)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840117)

I sure hope no one tells 4chan about this.

Will tune to gamers (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840289)

In theory, even if the venture is successul, what you will get is a search engine that understands gamers well. Is that going to improve your market share?

Re:Will tune to gamers (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840873)

In theory, even if the venture is successul, what you will get is a search engine that understands gamers well. Is that going to improve your market share?

Why not? Even if it understands just gamers better, its another win in that market. Its not like this is their only source of information. Both Google and Bing have thousands of factors to count in to deliver search results -- this is just another one in the basket.

Re:Will tune to gamers (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842269)

Because when soccer mom jumps into Bing! and searches for "halloween costume halo" they are going to be confronted with pages and pages and pages of Master Chief instead of a prop for their 5 year old. I'm not saying there isn't something to what you wrote that tuning it to something is better than nothing but if they go too far tuning it for one fringe audience, it turns Bing! into the thing Microsoft's comericals try to show us is bad: Internet meme babble.

fail? (2, Funny)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840339)

In other words, Microsoft service does not have solution. Microsoft asks users to provide results for themselves...

Re:fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840515)

It's called improvement.

haha searchwiki (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28840367)

google is becoming so obnoxious that I had to make privoxy block cookies and javascript on google by default, and then allow it only in cases where needed

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840373)

Come up with a search to find the pages shown within 5 seconds?

I'd settle for "lesbian kissing" not turning up 30,000 pages of BJ pictures.

Err... (2, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840395)

All this made me realise is how terrible Bing's search is. I mean... some of the queries failed to return the correct site, and I was literally "spelling it out" (full name of the page complete with some of the exact sentences/phrases on it).

If anything, this just makes Bing seem like a lost cause - it made the 'game' seem unfair (the engine was failing, not me) and completely pointless

Re:Err... (2, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841907)

I hate it when some moron takes it upon themselves to mod down legitimate complaints. Seriously - this was not some substance-less "LOL ITZ BAD" comment: all I noticed from this "game" was how terrible the query -> result relationship worked.

Silverlight at every turn (1)

westyvw (653833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840409)

This would be easy to write as a regular web page, but NO they have to try and shove silverlight out in the wild yet again. Two missions accomplished in one shot. What will it take to make Silverlight go away? And yes, I am no fan of flash either.

What a brilliant idea! (1)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840433)

Instead of asking users to label webpages, which would understandably bore them to death, they are asking them to come up with search queries that would have presented the page as a result! Genial! And we get to be introduced to Silverlight in the process! Sign me up.

Re:What a brilliant idea! (4, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840843)

It's actually quite interesting that they're asking for search terms rather than simply labels. Search engines are the a form of machine learning, and a lot of ML research goes into improving them. So it's interesting to consider what Microsoft is asking, in the context of ML. For example, Google has a game where users play by tagging images. Obviously, they're using some sort of supervised classification algorithm under the hood. But with Bing they're not asking for 'tags,' which would imply a supervised classification system, but search queries which return the page. Now that suggests that Bing is actually built on a bayesian model, which is very different from Google's markov steady state (page rank) model.

I used to get paid for this (1)

orcateers (883419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840689)

This was my job about three years ago. I would sit at home while a client dished out web queries, and I identified which sites were good results (they were nearly always spam). I would need to judge each web page in about three seconds. This speed was figured so that I could keep up my required quota, while still taking many, many 6.5 minute breaks (this being the longest amount of time before the client automatically logged out). This job drove me crazy. After looking at thousands and thousands of spam-pages your brain was jelly, and you want a free I-pod for no reason at all. You are also now listening to Drum and Bass internet radio, because you know that if you listen to music you like it will distract you. The only rewarding moment was when I found the feminist/lesbian-focus Star Trek fan fiction.

Re:I used to get paid for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841979)

Oh come on, no link?

Re:I used to get paid for this (1)

orcateers (883419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842463)

long since forgotten. I used to keep a "kook file", but I never resurected the practice after it was lost in a hard drive crash

Silverlight, no thanks (2, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28840781)

I've got better things to do with my time than to do MS' job for them while having to install Silverlight at the same time.

Though without Silverlight, it may have been fun to come up with search queries for innocent things that involve gay animal sex, clown shoes and old people's inability to control their bowels.

Chain Factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28841021)

It's like the Chain Factor ARG all over again!

Can I say ... (0, Offtopic)

nitroyogi (1471601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841205)

that I'm a happy Opera user!?
.
..
...
....
.....
Oh bollocks!

Bewildering, pointless, and laborious (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841259)

This "game" is about as much fun to play as those "fun with subtraction" pages in the fourth grade arithmetic book. It's bewildering, pointless, and laborious. And as nearly as I can tell there are no prizes. It's too clever by half.

A straightforward feedback link asking whether an ordinary Bing search got you the results you wanted would surely be more effective. Better yet would be an option to submit failed Bing searches to a human being who would attempt to find the answer and email it to you.

Show of hands ... (3, Funny)

jamesl (106902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28841295)

Or does Google already have the edge with SearchWiki, which lets searchers re-rank its results.

Anybody who has used SearchWiki to re-rank Google results, hold you hand up. Up high. Keep 'em up. Anyone? I didn't think so.

Re:Show of hands ... (1)

bobdown2001 (528975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28845351)

I only used it once to try it out, and I'm sure everyone else who has used it did the same thing as me. Which of course it to make your own website number one :P

But really, what is the point of doing that when you're the only person that will ever see it?

Bing, Bang, Bung (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28842037)

If you can say "I Googled this", can you also say "I Bunged that"?

Re:Bing, Bang, Bung (1)

FatRichie (1456467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843071)

I'd Bang it.

Phrasing Please! (1)

chazd1 (805324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842169)

The director of this department is Alex Trebeck.

When they happen on an AVI or WAV the score is doubled.

The final round consists of a handwritten query and a wager of how many hits the target query will actually manifest.

It is all so exciting. Exciting enough on which to base a TV show!

-----------------

Drive Fast. Take chances.

one way to boost search hits - pay people to play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28842245)

pay people to play a game which hits your search engine It's also a way to train people to use search terms for MS BING which return expected results. ie, it's also a training game too.

The next thing you know, they'll mod the game so it does the inverse, the top ranked "players" would get a search string and pick the best results. This would be timed and more points/money would go their way based on solution time and solution quality. Little would the "players" know that they really were just becoming part of the BING system and their results were getting fed right back to users searching.

These Microsoft guys are so smucking fart.

This can only make Bing worse (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28842299)

That last thing I need is "real people" screwing up the tags on a site. I recently got a new PC for home theater, and installed absolutely as little as possible on it (not even firefox - heresy, I know). I used the default search the first couple of times - forgetting that it wasn't google - and was amazed at how poorly the results came back. Even specific text known to be on the page (down to filenames I was trying to find for installing necessary codecs) wouldn't bring up the pages I needed. I can only assume that with (primarily) non-technical people typing in search keywords for pages it will just get worse.

You might say that a decade and a half of old search engine technology has trained me to make computer-based queries, but damnit it works, and I don't look forward to the unwashed masses breaking it.

Re:This can only make Bing worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28843381)

I agree completely.

Google searches are based solely on the pages' contents, and patterns of traffic, not on people's interpretation of those contents. The (albeit limited) transparency of Google's algorithm makes for very reliable, consistent searches. Know the basics of the algorithm, and your good to go.

The last thing I would want is to have my searches clouded by what other people about particular pages; I'm happier knowing the basics of the algorithm, and adjusting my searches accordingly. I can target objective data that is - or that I suspect will accompany - what I'm looking for. However, if the search results are based on people's interpretation of that data, this introduces another level of abstraction to how we must formulate search queries - it would require you to not only target likely present text strings, but also consider the publics likely interpretations of the pages that house that text.

I can imagine how the idea could be appealing, and don't doubt that it will mature into something I'd be more willing to integrate into my searching. However, as presented, its more of a turn-off than an attractive feature.

Re:This can only make Bing worse (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28844307)

You might say that a decade and a half of old search engine technology has trained me to make computer-based queries, but damnit it works, and I don't look forward to the unwashed masses breaking it.

The unwashed masses are the ones who write the web pages. The web pages which Google's PageRank uses to figure out the relationships and rankings. Perhaps Bing can be manipulated in such and such a way, but so can Google. We all know the stories of manipulation of Google results by link spamming, Google Bombing, etc.

As long as humans are creating the content, they will be in control of how it is organized and ranked, even if this is carried out by an algorithm. Bing is no more inherently susceptible to this than any other method. I'm not defending Bing or criticizing it either. I haven't even used the thing.

I "played" the game... (1)

FatRichie (1456467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843053)

It looks like another case of MS completely missing the point... you're presented with a webpage, ex: the home page of www.exampleoftravelpage.com and asked to make it end up in the top five search results, so I search on "exampleoftravelpage.com" and other words that are actually on the front page, maybe like "Home" "current deals" etc.

I get the page to come up #1 in the Bing search, but what have I proven? Only that I know a bunch of the words on the home page. Pretty much exactly the opposite of how a user would search. If I'm searching for a site, I DON'T know what's going to be on that site's page... that's why I'm searching.

If I happened to know the website name, I would just type it in the address bar, not search on it. And as far as this game is concerned, it didn't work to search on it anyway. If I search on an actual domain name, should not the domain root be THE first search result?

If I'm looking for travel pages (like in this example) I might search on "travel" or "vacations" or the actual destination I wish to travel to. ...none of which worked anyway, unless those happened to be words on the webpage (as far as making the top five searches)

Either they've missed the point of how a search engine works, or I've missed the point of their game... perhaps both issues are at work here.

Silverlight again (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28843735)

As if we want Silverlight... Gross! At least I have to hand it to Microsoft.... instead of just ignoring Linux users, or insulting them with "click here for the plugin" and being handed some useless .exe, you get this now:

"Install Silverlight. Experience this in Silverlight Install the free Plug-in. Microsoft Silverlight may not be supported on your computer's hardware or operating system. If you are using a Linux, FreeBSD or SolarisOS operating system, please press the Click to Install button to get the appropriate installation package for Silverlight."

And you click and it takes you to go-mono.com/moonlight! Wow! Microsoft admitting that Linux actually exists?? And providing a working link to an actual program to handle it??? Amazing!

Still won't install it, though :)

Just Sayin... (1)

Snarkalicious (1589343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28844049)

There are so many words that translate roughly to 'penis', that a concerted effort on the part of gay pron enthusiasts could do some serious damage to the research results of such a project. Not that I would ever condone such an effort, or encourage someone of considerable means to provide free dew, doritos, parking and a wireless hotspot in a major metropolitain area in support of it. That'd be unethical.

Monkey Magic! (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28845249)

Search for +steve +chair on Bing ...

First result: Steve's Chair Caning Service;Full service antique chair caning [steveemma.com]

Options include:

# HAND CANE
# RUSH SEATING
# SPLINT WORK
# HONG KONG GRASS
# FANCY PATTERNS
# PRESS CANE
# DANISH CORD

Curiously, the copyright notice on Steve's page is:

"© BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON"
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