Microsoft Live Search’s xRank feature got some attention when it launched as a way to track celebrities. But you might not realize the service also now tracks buzz about musicians, politicians, and — yes — bloggers.
Let’s go back, then forward. Last September, Live Search rolled out xRank. It showed you a list of the most popular celebrities "Top Ranked" based on searches for them. You could also see "Top Movers," celebs that were rising in the rankings. And you could chart buzz over time.
For example, Lil Wayne is the top ranked celebrity at the moment, and you can see the chart below showing he’s been number one for several weeks, with occasional dips:
But Tori Spelling (you go Donna!) is moving up, now at seven after interest in the birth of her baby girl (congrats!).
From the xRank help pages, we get just a bit more about how all this is calculated:
xRank keeps track of notable people and puts them in order for you. We count Live Search web searches for movie stars, musicians, and other famous people. Then, we compile our findings into an insightful ranking formula that tells you who the world is searching for most. The result is a cultural snapshot of who’s hot and who’s not!
The Live Search blog also covered a bit more about the celebrity search feature back in April, stressing that it really is the number of searches that get people up tops. What it doesn’t cover directly is that there has to be a master list of "celebrities" behind the scenes. It would be nice to see that shown, the full list of everyone tracked in the celebrity category, even if they aren’t ranked.
Moving on, in May, Live Search rolled out xRank Musician. Now you could get a top ranking of just music stars. And by doing so, popular entertainment idiot me learned that Lil Wayne is apparently a musician, because he’s still at the top of the list there. Tori Spelling disappears — and hey! There’s Coldplay at number four. I do know Coldplay.
I said Live Search rolled out xRank Musician in May, but I actually think it was live at the end of April — Live just didn’t say anything then. So were two other features that might not have been noticed before, but now some are spotting as "new." According to Wikipedia, both xRank Politician and xRank Blogger were part of the service as of the April 25 Wikipedia edit. So I’m pretty sure these things were just live. Microsoft just didn’t mention them.
Since more of our readers are likely to be bloggers rather than celebrities, musicians, or politicians, how can you find yourself? You could next your way through the results 20 at a time. But it’s easier just to search for yourself on the service. At the moment, there are 305 bloggers in totally being ranked.
For fun, I wondered how our Search Engine Land bloggers fare. I came in at 38, Chris Sherman at 90, Vanessa Fox at 130, Greg Sterling at 165 (and that’s soooo not his picture!), then Barry Schwartz at 305. Someone search for Barry a lot. He really takes these lists seriously. :)
One more thing. You have to be using the US version of Live Search to see some of these additional categories. Use the well-hidden Live Search Country Picker Page to make that change.