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Same query in Bing returns different results on two machines

    Question

  • Hello,

    We are using Bing Search API for fetching the content and scanning for presence of emails addresses in it. 

    Apparently we see two issues with the search –
    1. Results for the same query with same API key return different results of the local box and on the DEV server.
    2. The outcome to queries varies on daily basis, for instance query for email address having '@sap.com' return high results on one day and it returns drastically low results the next day.

    What could be the reason for these issues? Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jiten Savla

    Monday, October 21, 2013 7:06 AM

Answers

  • Hello Jiten,

    I think you are encountering some of the API results adjustment logic:

    1. Based on location, Bing Search API tries to optimize for a specific location requests are coming from (i.e. query from India is getting results prioritized based on India location). You can override this by specifying Market parameter in your query.

    2. Bing always does processing, adjustment of search results and duplicate entries removing. This is an ongoing process that happens throughout the day. Hence we cannot quite guarantee same amount of results during different times of day (and especially for keywords which produce significant activity during the day).

    Thanks,

    Max

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:37 PM
  • Hi Jiten,

    Bing Search API results are usually optimized for relevance and not for a number of results. One other flag you may try to use is "DisableQueryAlterations", which removes some of other results modification capabilities.

    Generally speaking, you are experiencing some influence of three different parameters:

    1. IP of your computer that Bing Search API sees (which can be an outbound proxy in your organization, located in entirely different location than you actual dev machine)

    2. Azure and Bing DataCenters that you hit with your request (some data may have different index in different datacenters)

    3. Market parameter that optimizes your results for a specific market

    All three parameters may influence actual number of results you get from an API. Market parameter should keep your results as relevant as possible to your target market. At the same time, your computer/proxy location (and which data center your request was routed to) may have an impact on an actual number of results in any case.

    Thanks,

    Max

    Friday, October 25, 2013 7:40 AM

All replies

  • Hello Jiten,

    Is there any chance your computers are located in different geographic regions (different countries?).

    Could you also post full query URI?

    Thanks,

    Max

    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:32 PM
  • Are you certain that the computers' configurations are the same, meaning Regional and Language settings, Date and Time zone etc. Moreover, do you query the search engine (Bing) via a browser or programatically? If it is via a browser, did you first delete all the cache history and cookies? Are you logged in when you query the search engine?
    Monday, October 21, 2013 9:30 PM
  • Greetings Max,

    Thanks for quick response.

    URI as follows - https://api.datamarket.azure.com/Bing/Search/Web?Query=%27email%20@sap.com%27

    Regarding the different geographic regions the answer is yes & no. Please see the tale below

    PROD box DEV Box Local Workstation
    Physical Location USA India India
    Timezone CDT CDT (UTC+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi

    Surprisingly, the results vary on the workstation and DEV box even though they reside in the same geography and results also vary between DEV & PROD box even though they have same Timezone.

    Couple of questions -

    1. What's the impact of  the timezone on the query results?

    2. I have seen the same query returning different results on the same box within a span of 7-8 hours, why is that?

    3. If I fire the same query multiple times  in the quick succession, does the Bing server treat it differently?

    Thanks & Regards,

    Jiten Savla

    • Edited by Jiten Savla Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:03 AM
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:59 AM
  • Greetings Mang,

    Thanks for quick response.

    I am querying the Bing programmatically and not via Browser

    URI as follows - https://api.datamarket.azure.com/Bing/Search/Web?Query=%27email%20@sap.com%27

    Regarding the different geographic regions the answer is yes & no. Please see the tale below

    PROD box DEV Box Local Workstation
    Physical Location USA India India
    Timezone CDT CDT (UTC+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi

    Surprisingly, the results vary on the workstation and DEV box even though they reside in the same geography and results also vary between DEV & PROD box even though they have same Timezone.

    Couple of questions -

    1. What's the impact of  the timezone on the query results?

    2. I have seen the same query returning different results on the same box within a span of 7-8 hours, why is that?

    3. If I fire the same query multiple times  in the quick succession, does the Bing server treat it differently?

    Thanks,

    Jiten Savla

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:03 AM
  • Hello Jiten,

    I think you are encountering some of the API results adjustment logic:

    1. Based on location, Bing Search API tries to optimize for a specific location requests are coming from (i.e. query from India is getting results prioritized based on India location). You can override this by specifying Market parameter in your query.

    2. Bing always does processing, adjustment of search results and duplicate entries removing. This is an ongoing process that happens throughout the day. Hence we cannot quite guarantee same amount of results during different times of day (and especially for keywords which produce significant activity during the day).

    Thanks,

    Max

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:37 PM
  • Max,

    Thanks once again for taking time out to respond to my queries.

    As you suggested I tried to put the Market parameter as en-IN to get India specific results on the box deployed in India but it returned me lesser result that when I wasn't passing the parameter at all. Interestingly the results returned by the search without Market parameter on the box deployed in India are same as when we pass Market='en-SG' (Singapore).

    So are the results localized regionally for South East Asia instead on country?

    No when I deploy the same code with Market='en-SG' (Singapore) on the box in US, it is giving me high results. I surprised that the results for Market='en-SG' (Singapore) are better than Market='en-US' on box deployed in USA. Let me know your thoughts on this.

    Regards,

    Jiten Savla

    Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:10 PM
  • Hi Jiten,

    Bing Search API results are usually optimized for relevance and not for a number of results. One other flag you may try to use is "DisableQueryAlterations", which removes some of other results modification capabilities.

    Generally speaking, you are experiencing some influence of three different parameters:

    1. IP of your computer that Bing Search API sees (which can be an outbound proxy in your organization, located in entirely different location than you actual dev machine)

    2. Azure and Bing DataCenters that you hit with your request (some data may have different index in different datacenters)

    3. Market parameter that optimizes your results for a specific market

    All three parameters may influence actual number of results you get from an API. Market parameter should keep your results as relevant as possible to your target market. At the same time, your computer/proxy location (and which data center your request was routed to) may have an impact on an actual number of results in any case.

    Thanks,

    Max

    Friday, October 25, 2013 7:40 AM