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Microsoft Eyes A New Approach to Social Search

Microsoft is seeking a patent that would apply a persona to Internet search results, reports Geek Wire, which spotted the patent.  In other words, it would allow someone to see search results shaped by a celebrity, such as, say, Megan Fox. Or, another application would allow people to see the search results that are shaped by the preferences of their friends.

The patent gives as examples clothing searches driven by the preferences of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, or Jessica Lange — clothing that reflects their "style and/or fashion preferences," including "color, fit, designer, cut, etc."

Bing follows this model and to a certain extent, all of the search engines have been dabbling in incorporating social signals into search, especially since Facebook introduced its now ubiquitous Like button. Other examples include the use of Tweets, Quora and similar interactions in search results.

Six months ago, it seemed that social data would be the next major algorithmic change in Google and Bing. Now, though, there indications that search engines are not focusing as heavily as the industry assumed it would on social signals. After running some tests with searches, Eric Enge at Search Engine Watch, suggests that Bing may no longer be using the Facebook data stream as part of a social search and social ranking service.

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