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Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

A Laugh at Microsoft's Expense – Hand Crafted Results

 

I know this was happened while back (2005 in fact) but a friend of mine (thanks Quentin!) showed me this link to Microsoft’s job post board and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

In 2005 MSN’s search results were infamous for their less than optimal relevance. Well, as a result, Microsoft posted a job for fast typers to help them create Hand Crafted Results when “ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold”. Here is the job posting:

Hand crafted results
When all else fails, and the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold, we fall back to delivering handcrafted results. Working on a team of approximately 132 other handcrafters in 26 worldwide markets, you will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user. Successful handcrafters can typically find top 10 results for a real-time user’s query in less than 3.8 seconds. This is an opportunity to truly connect with customers, because the queries that get routed to you are precisely the ones that the engine cannot answer well. We will have adequate staffing to allow generous coffee and bathroom breaks.
If you are an expert at using at least 3 different search engines, well versed with American English/colloquial usage, and can type at > 149 words/minute as measured by the Simia-Lico method – come join us and delight users real-time!

So in other words, if your results suck please go to other search engines, find a better result and update our search engine. Hilarious!

Yes, I know, I am poking fun when this is long since old news but I enjoyed it immensely and I hope you did as well. And hey, they still have the page up so it is fair game!!

Oh and in case they remove this online link, you can see a copy of this page on our server here.

A Laugh at Microsoft’s Expense – Hand Crafted Results


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