Today Microsoft launched two major new features for Bing, its increasingly popular search engine. Bing can now show local search results based on your current location and personalize results based on your previous searches and clicks.
Localized search results are, of course, nothing new and Google has been offering this feature for quite a while now and continues to make local search a major focus of its engineering efforts. Bing, too, has been offering a local search feature for a while, but this was a separate feature in a separate tab and not integrated into the default search results page.
Now, your location will also influence the results you see on the default search results page. Providing more local search results is a major step forward for Bing, given that local search is becoming increasingly important and provides a way for the search engine to offer more relevant search results to its users. Today, according to the Bing team, “76% of people users use search engines to plan trips, events or social gatherings.”
The new personalization feature, too, will help Bing provide more relevant results. The search engine’s algorithms will now look at your search history and remember which sites you usually click on. As the Bing team notes, users “commonly re-issue such navigational queries and the intent of that user rarely changes.” So whenever Bing thinks a user is trying to “re-find” a site, it will give more weight to the link you clicked on before. If you often search for “spiegel,” for example, and usually click on the link to the German news magazine and not the fashion store, Bing will realize this and push the German link further up to the top.