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Live Search Adds AutoSpellchecking, Word Stemming

The Windows Live Search blog writes about two new features they’ve added. AutoSpell, which activates when they think you’ve misspelled a search term. Unlike Google, which says “Did you mean ____” and invites you to click a link, Live includes the properly spelled search results along with your misspelled results, probably fixing the problem for you with no effort on your part. If you didn’t misspell, you can click to dump them out, instead. VERY smart.

The other new feature is Stemming. With this one, if you search for a word, if it thinks a longer version of that word will deliver better search results, it includes those results in your regular search results as well. So, if you search for “book”, it might include “books” as well to improve things, and if you search for “walk”, it might include “walking” automatically.

October 26th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Windows, Search | 2 comments

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  1. I’m sure you didn’t mean to omit this fact, but these kinds of behavior has already been in Google for some time now. Even without clicking on the “Did you mean…” link, properly spelled search results will still be seen, usually high on the list. “Did you mean…” seems to be more of like a heads-up, nowadays. The so-called Stemming behavior also appears from time to time.

    Comment by Francis Ocoma | October 26, 2007

  2. Yes, Google has the Stemming behavior, but I’ve never noticed the autospell. Looking at results, it appears Google highlights the correct spelling when it appears in the misspelled search results, not including correctly spelled results within the misspellings. I could be wrong, but the behavior isn’t as obvious as Live’s.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | October 26, 2007

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