Bing Tweaks Search History, Dings Google
There’s a new post on the Bing Search blog that talks at length about Bing’s search history features, introduces a couple new features, and seems to ding Google a couple times along the way over its recent privacy-related stumbles.
Bing has added its existing search history controls — “Clear all,” “See all,” and “Turn off” — to the Bing.com home page now. Those options appear when you click the new “History” link.
Those same controls are still available in the left-hand column of a search results page, as they’ve been since Bing launched in late May/early June.
The other piece of news is that Bing is now storing your search history for four weeks. Since its launch, Bing has only kept search history for 48 hours (as Danny Sullivan explained in Meet Bing, Microsoft’s New Search Engine). Bing also explains that removing a query from your search history doesn’t remove it from Bing’s search logs, which are stored separately from any personal account information it may have about you.
But news or not, Bing’s announcement seems to contain some not-so-veiled swipes at Google’s recent announcements and trouble with privacy watchers. Sree Kamireddy — a Bing Program Manager who’s also described as its “Privacy Champ” in today’s post — says Bing’s search history team has “tried to build privacy and respect for your search history into the overall experience and not as an afterthought.” Touché! Sree later writes that “Too many systems provide us with choice, but little control,” which could be a reference to Google’s recent announcement of personalized results for all users, which could be said to take away the user’s control by opting everyone in automatically to personalized results before providing a choice to turn it off.