Local, Relevance, and Japan!
MSN Search's Ken Moss talks about recent innovations in their Search algorithm on the MSN blog. One interesting thing mentioned is the introduction of neural networks...
In collaboration with Chris Burges and other friends from Microsoft Research, we now have a brand new ranker. The new ranker has improved our relevance and perhaps most importantly gives us a platform we think we can move forward on quicker than before. This new ranker also is based on technology with an awesome name -- it's a "Neural Net."
Findory's Greg Linden says
While applying machine learning techniques to relevance rank for web search is common, using neural networks is not. I am surprised to see neural networks used as part of the relevance rank in a system of this size and scope.
I can't claim much understanding myself, perhaps someone can put that into simple terms for mere mortals? :)