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Bing xRank – it’s rubbish as it can’t distinguise volcanos from 90s bands

May 19, 2010 No Comment

This is how Bing describes xRank:

"xRank keeps track of notable people and puts them in order for you. We count Bing web searches for movie stars, musicians, and other famous people.

Then we compile our findings into an insightful ranking formula that tells you who the world is searching for most. The result is a cultural snapshot of who's hot and who's not!"

Xrank's top celebrities today

Xrank's top celebrities today

I can reveal that it is, in fact, a load of old rubbish. As you can see from this screenshot, according to Bing, of the top 10 celebrities being searched for today:

  • 90s band Ash is number one - maybe Girl from Mars is being rereleased? (Hint: no).
  • 90s Manchester band James is number 2.
  • Eric Clapton's 60s band Cream is at number 4.
  • Prince is at number 5.
  • Queen is at number 6.
  • And 70s New Romantic band Japan is the 9th most popular celebrity search term.

What a load of garbage.

Ash: ah hah

Ash is first because a volcano is erupting in Iceland, as xRank itself demonstrates. This is the screenshot of its Ash page, showing Ash related stories and headlines - all volcano related.

Ash casts a cloud over Bing's xRank results

Ash casts a cloud over Bing's xRank results

James: welcome to the rubbish data

James is second because people search for people called James - not because of a renaissance of interest in the band.


James is a popular search term. But not because of the band.

Cream of the crop. Not

Cream is 4th, but mostly because of food searches

Ice cream anyone?

Ice cream anyone?

And the rest

I could go on, but it won't surprise you to learn that Prince of Persia is behind Prince being in there, lots of people search for the Queen as in the monarch, and Japan is a popular country.

Yes, Bing seems to be unable to apply any sorts of filters to search terms when it comes up with its top 10.

Still, as searching Bing for xRank doesn't even return the xRank page first, maybe it's hoping it will quietly be forgotten. If you are interested in data around topical searches, I did a post comparing Google's various methods. There are some more in this roundup of keyword research tips from SMX on SEO Insight.

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