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Microsoft Game Helps Make Bing Better

     
5:45 pm on Jul 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[technologyreview.com...]

Researchers at Microsoft's labs in Redmond, WA, have released an online game to help fine-tune the algorithms behind the company's newly-minted search engine, Bing.

Called Page Hunt, the game presents players with web pages and asks them to guess the queries that would make Bing show the page within its first five results. Players score 100 points if the page is no.1 on the list, 90 points if it's no.2, and so on. Bonuses are also awarded for avoiding frequently-used queries.

The idea is to gather useful information on user search habits and fine tune Bing's search algorithms and ranking scheme. The game was developed by Chris Quirk and Raman Chandrasekar at Microsoft, and colleagues from Georgia Tech and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and it was unveiled this week at the SIGIR09 conference in Boston.

7:01 pm on July 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It was surprisingly hard to get some of the domains. The first one I had didn't even work when I used the site address.
1:33 am on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Easy indeed (guest user). Got 3 out of 3 correct. 340 points. What can I do with it? ;)
1:42 am on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Wow, Bing is crazy bad. I got like 1 out of 20 and some were very obvious.
5:42 am on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't want to come across as a bing cheerleader, but I must say, that's a pretty dang creative idea to get the kind of direct feedback from users that might make for a better product. Will be interested to see if they post a general summation when the test has run it's course, as to whether they feel it gave them enough useful data to push bing another step forward. The better bing gets, the more competition we'll see in a field that needs more competition -- we'll all come out ahead...

.......................

8:05 am on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good stuff, thinking out the box.
2:04 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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-- What can I do with it? ;) --

They are Your points, maybe Bing will have a Monthly RollOver thingy later. Use them when You need them! :)

5:27 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What can I do with it?

If you get 10,000 points, they give you a free copy of WindowsMe ;-)

5:38 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you get 10,000 points, they give you a free copy of WindowsMe ;-)

That's a GREAT reason to stop at 9,900 points! :)

Looking for that first "Find Bing points at eBay!" AdSense ad. (That situation itself is just dripping with irony...)

8:56 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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so this is a thinly veiled exercise in social tagging on web sites. If a page is too hard to figure out algorithmically, they can throw it in the game. What if I "play" and "guess" a whole bunch of crappy bingbombing keywords?

yes, I said bingbombing

8:58 pm on July 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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a test

try playing the game and enter some unusual / rare word combinations. then wait a few days/weeks and search bing for those words, see if the sites you "played" show up for those terms

11:48 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So what's the next site that MS will come up with for media attention and for our personal enjoyment sharing our selves to them...., "Bingo".

Got to hand it to MS. They sure know how to side step ideas to the top.

I'm now a Mac guy without a MS partition. Does Silverlight run on a Mac without IE?

 

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