Russian search engine Yandex announced a new change to its algorithm that looks at a person's search history from within a particular search session to deliver results and suggestions based on what it says is the "full picture" of the user's search behavior.
"We all know what it takes to understand another person," the company says. "It’s a lot. Even if all you need to understand is what a person is looking for online. We have been trying to do this for years. A person’s interests and preferences give a good clue as to what they want to find. We used to look into a user’s search history as far as a few months back to choose for them the search results that would be most relevant to their scope of interests."
"Updating our knowledge of users’ interests once a day allows us to understand their more-or-less stable interests, such as a love of books or football, or that they speak Russian and live in Saint Petersburg," says Yandex. "More than half of all searches on Yandex, however, are about something that interests the searcher at the very moment of searching and stops interest them the moment after. To be able to cater to such momentary searches, we now analyse search sessions in real time."
The company notes that the change helps it deliver more relevant results to users who don't actually have another search history on the search engine.
Yandex's real-time processing system processes over 10 terabytes of data per day.
More on the changes here.