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This 96 message thread spans 4 pages: 96 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
MSN Search Technology Preview -- Round 2

 12:37 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Check out the "second peek" at:


I heard that they have more than 5B pages in the index this time.



 1:42 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Timeout error on that page for me?

[edited by: robjones at 2:10 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2004]


 1:55 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Timing out for me.

>>I heard that they have more than 5B pages in the index this time.

Hearsay or you saw it?


 4:41 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

From Google cache... do not know if it's a more recent message...

Thank you very much to all of those that tried our service and sent us feedback. We will make improvements based on the suggestions we received. Once we are ready, we will release another preview of our new algorithmic search engine.

On a related note, we have a site that has previews and betas of upcoming MSN technologies: The MSN Sandbox. Visit the MSN Sandbox and try out our new MSN product ideas.

MSN Search Team


 1:34 am on Sep 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know when the new MSN search engine is to be launched.


 1:49 am on Sep 27, 2004 (gmt 0)



 1:57 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey Receptional, Add a subtitle, "False Alarm, Remain Calm!"

No use getting hopes up.

Link Still times out after almost 3 days.




 7:34 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well I just got in to test the preview.

The look is new but the engine does not seem to be connected yet - all I get is "not found" for any search...

At least it has stopped timing out so I guess they are nearly ready for Round 2!


 8:18 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, they are very much ready for round 2!

I could access the page and even tried out many queries. Plus for every query that I tried, the number of results are more than twice for that in Google. Looks like the new MSN index is really really large, and relevant too! They even seem to have clustered sites this time to avoid too many results from the same site (this was a major drawback of round 1)

That could explain the recent massive Google crawling, they must have heard about an upcoming large MSN index and are trying to outbeat it.


 8:34 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am getting some time outs but it is working.

First thoughts. A lot more pages in the index and it is very fresh for my sites (Fresher than Google on a PR6) - much fresher on newer sites (obviously)

(First looks - does not look like on page factors are as ranking as well as say Yahoo)

More pages from the sites doing a site:www.domain.com check.

Only 2 results shown from each site (well they had to do it).

Better (I am ready for them ;))


 8:39 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Looks good, very good.

More pages than anyone else (so they report) and the results look clean and targeted. Very Google like.

I don't think they will be waiting too much longer before releasing this now..


 8:40 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got in at [techpreview.search.msn.be...] .

Some initial observations / guesses on a search for a non-popular keyword:

- domain name seems to weigh more than in google - this was reported in the first preview thread
- 'big' sites (authority sites, or sites w/lotsa links) seem to do better than smaller sites w/more anchor text for a very particular search term - that is, compared to google
- my page's cache is ultra-fresh - the content that it shows was posted less than 22 hours ago.
- results pages look a lot more like Google's than current msn - easier navigation ('next' button on msn.com search very small, not nice according to Fitt's law, you know, target acquisition size/distance), more whitespace, larger margins. Color combo less ennervating and more googlish, followed links in default purple like google and not same color as ordinary links as in msn.
Would do better not to use a fixed width - google doesn't either, and a search window is often one you keep small. Msn isn't fixed either, but the margins are much too small - makes for difficult reading.

In the 'query builder', you can enter special stuff to add to your query like dates, numbers, filetypes, and domains; one particularly interesting feature is 'equalizers', I suppose the term borrowed from the audio device of that name, which allow you to select the degree to which certain search criteria apply: freshness, popularity, and fuzziness. Some very, very bad news though: these 'equalizers' depend on javascript which works in neither firefox nor konqueror, and gives very shoddy, jumpy behavior in opera. One would have thought that msn had learned by now that new work should be cross-browser. My nose tells me people who are likely to get this far in doing searches will have to change browsers to make this feature work. In my case, reboot to change partitions.


 8:44 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

link:www.domain.com check is a good measure too.


 8:47 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Much better than round one. Keyword-in-domain still a winning factor, but notably less so than before. Cache dates as fresh as G.

Some really dumb stuff still gets past - 'off-screen' stuffed divs and the like, but that still works elsewhere also, so can't single them out for that.

Yep, much better. Big names where they should be, no single-site page domination, fresh feel. Just turn down the keyword in domain dial to keep out the fly-by-night crud and they get my vote.


 8:48 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

On a scale of 1 to 100, with the original alpha release a zero, this is about a twelve. Very very poor. And where are you guys getting this "more results" thing? They are capped at 10,000. They have more pages indexed per domain, but there isn't a way to compare to Google or Yahoo for result totals.

I rank really good for some terms, but sadly comparing my page to the ones around it the reason is obvious... volume of links. This is spammer heaven. I know plenty of people here will love that their duplicate/expired domain crap is ranking so well.

Keyword in domain still rules.

Better than previously but still poor.... in other words, now this is an alpha release.


 8:54 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lol - I knew steveb would be in soon to have his 2cents worth ;) - everytime Google makes a change it seems to be for the worse too ;)

A site check on Webmasterworld shows more than 10,000 results!

However, when people are checking the site:www.domain.com be careful - the first page(s) may say 1-10 of about 690 - but when you click next a few times this figure changes (bug there.)


 9:06 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that's looking pretty good - not seeing multiple pages from sites appearing throughout the SERP's which feels a lot cleaner, and, as others have said, good to see new sites being ranked more fairly -IMO :) - the keyword domain thing, and pure volume of links could do with a bit of a tweak, but otherwise gets my vote too.

[edited by: mcavill at 9:09 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2004]


 9:06 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

A site check on webmasterworld shows 690 results.

And that isn't the issue anyway. The point is search results, like "Results 1 - 10 of about 10,000 containing webmaster"

I don't see any site close to completely indexed, but again it is better than last time. Still a very long way away from being competitive.


 9:11 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

A site check on webmasterworld shows 690 results.

If you click the next button a few times and read my post you will see more pages indexed :)

I am seeing:-


Web Results 1-10 of about 431,267,297 containing webmaster


Results 1 - 10 of about 62,500,000 for webmaster


Search ResultsResults 1 - 10 of about 134,000,000 for webmaster

(Perhaps it is the bug where you need to click next)


 9:15 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice to see this:
<snip>No specifics please<snip>
in the top 10 for "bill gates"

Suggests the marketing filters aren't in place yet...otherwise he might rewrite history in the light of XP SP2

<Edited By Receptional to remove the specifics, thanks.>

[edited by: Receptional at 10:02 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2004]


 9:17 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thumpcyc said:
Hey Receptional, Add a subtitle, "False Alarm, Remain Calm!"

Not so false it seems!

Also at [techpreview.search.msn.co.uk...]


 9:17 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It never shows more than a 10,000 number here (and I've clicked through to result 1250 so far)

"Results 1,901 - 1,947 of about 10,000 containing webmaster" is last screen.

<ah the .com is showing the 10,000 thingee, the co.uk is showing the bigger number>

[edited by: steveb at 9:21 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2004]


 9:19 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It never shows more than a 10,000 number here (and I've clicked through to result 1250 so far)

Bizare - can someone either back me up - or back steveb up. I am definetely seeing more than 10,000 results for searches.

<ah the .com is showing the 10,000 thingee, the co.uk is showing the bigger number>

Ahha - I cant access the .com - being redirected to uk.


 9:27 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing more than a few problems where tracking urls are hijacking an affiliate parents naturnal listing: www.site.com/?12436 ranks instead of www.site.com


 9:35 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am definately seeing more than 10,000 results.

For some travel searches I am seaing excess of 5,000,000 results. Thats way more than Google for the same query.

I am in europe and being forced to the .es version.


 9:41 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I do it through an anonymiser then I see the 10,000 results and a different log-in page.

try a regional version and you will a different preview for example

techpreview search msn es

techpreview search msn co uk


 9:44 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that is mostly based on "on page optimization": they do not adopt anti spam filters.


 9:47 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ahha - I cant access the .com - being redirected to uk.

Me too by default. But it looks like the .co.uk and the .com results are exactly the same at the moment.

Some years back I recall MSN using your PC's settings to decide on your location, not IP resolution, so maybe that needs looking at again, but at the moment the UK results are giving US biased results as far as I see and the same ones as US users would see.


 9:57 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok - seems the redirect is IP based. It lets me go to everywhere BUT .com (.eu, .es .co.uk) but I need to go through a US based cloak to get to the .com at the moment.

Anyway - the results seem pretty US based wherever you look, looking for the word "uno" on .es is guving me web pages in English not Spanish. (38 million results though)


 10:01 am on Oct 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is so refereshing seeing all the work that I have done in the last 9 months actually ranking :)

With Yahoo being so slow to index sites and the "Google Lag" et all.

Wonder how far MSN are off from launch (It must be sooner than next July.)

This 96 message thread spans 4 pages: 96 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >
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