Microsoft: Bing saw the largest relevancy jump in search in two decades
January 18, 2023 there was a large Bing search ranking algorithm update - one that Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi now confirmed.
Bing Search saw its “largest jump in relevance in two decades” after applying the AI model to the Bing core search ranking engine, according to Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President & Consumer Marketing Office at Microsoft.
While much of the focus has been on the new ChatGPT features in Bing Search, and while our coverage touched on the relevancy aspect, I wanted to pull it out a bit more here.
Bing’s relevance jump. Here’s what Mehdi said:
- “But a few weeks ago, something special happened. We applied the AI model to our core search ranking engine and we saw the largest jump in relevance in two decades. We believe we can continue to drive breakthroughs as we improve the models.”
You can listen to what he said at the 19:43 mark in this video.
Chart. Yusuf showed this chart documenting the relevancy boost in Bing Search quality:
Microsoft didn’t elaborate on how exactly it defines relevancy and what this chart illustrates. I have followed up with more questions to get more details and will update the story if I hear back.
Bing ranking update. There was indeed a Bing ranking update around Jan. 18, as Glenn Gabe posted on Search Engine Roundtable. That was a few weeks prior to this presentation, so the relevancy bump and the previously unconfirmed reports of a Bing search ranking algorithm update prove it.
Yes, Bing did a massive update to how it ranks search results around Jan. 18:
“I received several reports of serious volatility with Bing rankings and traffic starting on January 18th into January 19th, and I dug in a bit across sites. And yes, it does look like there was some type of algorithm update that heavily impacted some sites.”– Glenn Gabe, Now Confirmed Bing Algorithm Update On Wednesday, January 18th
Why we care. Bing, while it has a much smaller market share compared to Google, is still a player in search. It may be an even larger player in search in the coming months and years if it can continue to improve relevancy and innovate with new search concepts, such as chat and other AI integrations.
We are living during such exciting times ins search right now and expect a lot more from Bing and other search engines.
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