This is kind of freaking me out. Just yesterday, I wrote about MSN’s new search engine and how, after asking a number of natural language queries, I thought Google was superior. Dave Winer pointed to a discussion topic on the BloggerCon site about MSN Search. I posted my thoughts there.
Two hours later, Michele commented on the BloggerCon thread to say “I tried Darren’s queries just now and the last two natural language questions both answered correctly, comparable to Google, mostly identical. Ford Prefect gives Wikipedia on MSN now too, for example.” Indeed it does. The Stan Smyl results have improved as well. Slashdot cites this article that suggests that MSN may be ‘borrowing’ Google’s results. Could this be what’s happening? Are there other plausible explanations for MSN Search being able to ‘learn’ this quickly (the results changed significantly in about 10 hours)?
Regardless of their tactics, I’m impressed that MSN Search is evolving so rapidly. I have been currently bounced to third in the Darren sweepstakes, though.
UPDATE: Via Metafilter, the BBC has run a little search engine shoot-out.