This caused amusement in the Hit Search office this morning. Checking the Bing xRank statistics about which celebrities are trending in the search engines.
xRank is a search module that makes part of the Bing search engine. It keeps track of notable celebrities, musicians, politicians and bloggers and ranks them in order of popularity from Bing search query results. It’s “xRank Today” list features the top 10 movers on Bing xRank over the previous 24 hours, it also has an xTreme Movers ranks the top search keywords on Bing in terms of search volume movement in the past 24 hours.
Usually there is a good reason behind all appearances in the list. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Oasis all feature for various reasons. A brief spot of research will generally tell you the reason why. This morning, however, when we were faced with a slightly unexpected appearance from martial arts legend Bruce Lee we were initially confused.
Bruce was flagged as one of their highest climbing xTreme Movers for the day but nothing we saw, aside from an article about one of his former homes, would explain it until we observed his entry on the list.
Seem to be a case of close but no ciger for Bing, and indeed Bruce Lee himself, as the news links listed by Bing pertain to Sunderland FC manager Steve Bruce trying to sign Middlesboro FC player Lee Cattermole.
It’s an unlucky coincidence and probably won’t happen all that often although we did scan to see if TV presenter Bob Wilson writes an article on Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves. It does however highlight the need for a human input into an algorithm or at the very least increased levels of artificial intelligence. Otherwise there will always be an anomaly like this just around the corner to upset the apple cart.