Maybe Microsoft Live Search ought to rename its search engine into “Smart Live Search”. After introducing auto-spell Correction and search stemming, Live Search is introducing the concept of equivalencies and implementing intelligent stop words retention. Both search enhancements are geared towards giving Live Search users higher relevance in the search results they get from Live Search.
Equivalencies moves past keyword matching into a more mature and intelligent way of interpreting search query. When a user searches for something using search terms combination that could mean two or more different things, Live Search crawlers would display search results based on the most meaningful derivatives of the search terms used.
The Live Search blog gave a good example when searching for “crossroads mall in OKC”, Live Search would take this to mean “crossroads mall in Oklahoma City”. Or when a user used “Julia child bio”, Live Search would also search for “Julia child biography”.
Live Search is also modifying the way it treats “stop words” or words in the search query that doesn’t really mean anything. Previously, Live Search eliminates this stop words when interpreting search queries. But since, there are search queries which need certain stop words to be meaningful, Live Search is taking this into consideration.
A good example as given in the Live Search blog, is the search query “The Office” which refers to the popular TV show. Live Search would not take out the word “The” since using just the word “Office” would get other search hits.
These two enhancements are leading towards Live Search becoming a search engine that really does what a user mean rather than say or type in the Live Search toolbar.