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Bing’s May Search Updates: Domain Cleanup, Recourse Links, Related Searches
Back in March, Bing began sharing regular updates about changes that it’s made to search quality and the user search experience, much like Google has been doing since late last year.
The latest Bing update was published earlier today and, rather than sharing surface-level information about dozens of changes like Google does, Bing has chosen to go fairly in-depth on three changes.
Bing’s post doesn’t specifically refer to these changes as happening in May but, for the sake of future consistency, I’m calling these “May updates” in the headline. Here’s a look at what Bing shared.
Improved URL Handling
Bing says it’s improved how it handles spelling errors and typos when searchers type a domain name/URL into the search box. In one example, searchers that misspell Facebook’s domain name as facebookc.om (and other similar errors) are now getting the correct top result — Facebook’s home page.
In another example, Bing says it analyzed search patterns to be able to connect user errors such as typing swair.com when the searcher is actually looking for Southwest Airlines’ website at southwest.com.
Removing Superfluous Recourse Links
Recourse links are included in the alerts that Bing places on a search results page when it’s changed the user’s query, like Including results for (such-and-such)….
Bing had been showing these links in some off-topic and superfluous occasions — times when the recourse link wasn’t necessary — but says it’s now doing a better job of only showing such links when they improve the user experience.
Improved Related Searches
Bing says it’s query expansion system sometimes would lead to off-topic related searches, and shares the example of a search for “AMD L3 Cache,” where some of the related searches were medically-oriented.
Bing says it’s improved its relevance scoring for related searches to keep them on-topic. Users can also expect less duplication and a much cleaner set of suggestions — adult-oriented related searches won’t appear if the searcher is using moderate or safe search settings.