Bing has bolstered its context-specific search technology by allowing users to engage in a ‘conversation’ while searching.

The Microsoft search engine already recognises questions like “Who is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?“, and displays relevant information from its knowledge base. In this case, ‘David Cameron’.

The new innovation, announced in a blog post yesterday, takes this one step further by allowing users to ask further questions like “how tall is he?” or “who is his wife?”. The technology should recognise the subject matter of the ‘conversation’ through strings of questions – on asking “who is his wife?” and seeing results for Samantha Cameron, users should now be able to ask questions like “how old is she?” and get results related to her age.

Yan Ke, principal development lead on the Bing Relevance Team, wrote in the blog post: “These improvements build on extensive work we have done to build out the Bing platform including investments in entity and conversational understanding.  This is a long journey, and we expect to deliver a number of additional improvements in the days ahead.”

Contextual search is nothing new. Google has made several improvements to its search engine’s contextual understanding, most notably with its 2013 ‘Hummingbird’ update.

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Oliver Pyper is senior online copywriter at ClickThrough Marketing. He writes on-page content, blogs, press releases and loads of other bits and pieces too numerous and brilliant to mention. He’s also responsible for Kate Bush: The Musical and a series of videos depicting a young man’s search for energy drinks in New York City. Drop him a line if you want to talk content solutions or Kate Bush.