MSN's RankNet in Plain English (almost..)

Source Title:
MSN Search and Learning to Rank
Story Text:

Findory's Greg Linden very kindly noted mine and Danny's request for a simpler explanation of "Learning to Rank using Gradient Descent", a paper written by Chris Burgess dealing with MSN's new RankNet technology, and did just that. He's updated his original blog post to provide a nice walk through of the paper (scroll down to #update) that makes much more sense to us lesser mortals heh..

The new MSN results by the way, have received glowing reviews from veteran Search marketers at Threadwatch, and are no doubt being watched closely...

Thanks Greg!


Interesting stuff

I dunno why he doubts it as an approach, looks good to me. I wonder if he is correct that they are using click throughs as a measure of relevance? Will we see a load of clickbot networks move over to organic search from PPC?

I could barely find any relevance

I just had a look over some results, and although the site quality was OK, the ranking methodology looked painfully obvious. I get the feeling that button pushers could very easily own any term they liked, subject only to the rate at which MSN will suck up their pages

Not in my search terms

The serps I look at are not too different from g or y, not sure what you are seeing TallTroll - are yours very competitive areas (mine are not)?

>ranking methodology looked

>ranking methodology looked painfully obvious

It does have a familiar feel to it, doesn't it, TT?


There you go with the "exuberant" descriptions again, Nick, hhh. But, yeah, I give it fairly high marks for a new algo in my sector (Yes, I did score pretty well but I'll try not to let my extra trips to the bank make me bitter.)


It's just so nice to have something positive to say about MSN heh..

Was travel related

you can probably work what the stem phrase is without too much trouble....

Seeing a page that they picked up as a #2 result was a clincher. It's a page that G and Y stopped showing as top results a while ago, due to the fact that they are basically content free

MSN Ranknet

Really interesting to finally understand more of the MSN Search algorithm and in what way they are devloping.

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