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This 284 message thread spans 10 pages: < < 284 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 > >     
Microsoft Launches New Era in MS Search

 10:18 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Continued From: [webmasterworld.com...]

Wow! Lot’s of excitement. Thanks for all of the feedback. We just want to address a few of the topics that came up.

What is the beta? As WebGuerilla has pointed out the beta is an evolution of our Technology Preview. As you can tell we made major enhancements to the user interface and added a bunch of new features. We still have work to do, however, to get [search.msn.com...] to be able to use our new algorithmic search results that are available at [beta.search.msn.com...] .

How does one get into the results? All of our web results are generated algorithmically so you cannot buy your way into the index. We will not try and teach site optimization to you guys – assume you have that covered :) If you want to submit your URL to us you can do that at [beta.search.msn.com...] .

Also regarding relevance, there has been some speculation on some online forums about MSNBot using Google search result pages to build our index. Let us set the record straight – that is simply not true. We respect robots.txt and as a result we will not crawl Google’s search result pages.

With regards to site availability that is something we are continuously working on. Oshoma Momoh, a General Manager in the MSN Search team, posted a blurb about this on the MSN Search blog -- [blogs.msdn.com...] .

Finally some folks have asked why we don’t just turn this on for all users right now? We love the words of encouragement, however, we have a number of bugs that we need to fix and we need to make sure that we can run the service with great performance and deliver high quality results. We will get there.

Please keep the feedback and constructive criticism coming – we appreciate all of it.

- msndude (msd)



 8:47 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)


The search is great. I like it very much.
Does MSN have a set date to go live? Or you will kind of wait and see, when all the bugs are improved, then you will go live.

I think I read that MSN Australia Search will go live the beginning of the next year.

Thank you.


 10:19 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lose the sliders and any other "fancy". Learn from what Google has done using the KISS method. The average joe surfer doesn't care about bells and whistles. They want fast & relevant.

Continue investing in your carawler farm(s) to the point where most of the net can be crawled daily. Eliminate the spam/session id's/affiliate URLs, and you'll have something that will give the big boys a run for their money.


 10:44 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah I agree with WebFusion. Keep it simple stupid.

Why over complicate things? People aren't apt to use the advanced search features and are more interested in fresh, fast results.

The results I am seeing look very good. There were a couple exceptions such as radar detectors coming up for a prescription drug related search, but other than that the serps look clean, and come up fast.

Work out the technical bugs such as cross browser compatabilities and LAUNCH this thing already!

It blows away what you are currently serving up with the Yahoo junk anyways.



 10:56 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I do gree with Webhound, "Launch it quickly."

The beta is much better than what you have currently up there.

While I understand that you can launch it when you decide it is ready, I suggest that either you hurry up or make the MSN Search Beta red colored link more visible or just have a smaller input search box marking it Beta Search or something like that. So the average Joe will start using the beta.



 11:06 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bad thing: At least with the beta, users are not automatically transferred to the domain that will provide them the most useful results.

At least make sure that the user can *choose* which suits him best.

So if I choose .co.uk then give me .co.uk results even though my Ip comes from somewhere else.


 12:55 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Agree with emax, why hide it. If MSN wants to know how it really compares, let average joe customer give you some feedback. At current time anything is better than the Y results. Let the butterfly out of the jar!


 1:55 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

A positive I've noticed is they appear to be doing a great job indexing dynamic pages. Their site: command has a more accurate display of one of my dynamic sites than G or Y.

Another positive is they don't appear to have Yahoo's problem with 301s.


 2:09 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


Very well said. "let the butterfly out of the Jar."

So the average Joe can test and taste it. The more people use it, the better for you guys to ID the bugs or other problems that may come up.


 2:22 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


1) Very active spidering which will hopefully keep results fresh and allow new sites to enter the index quickly.

2) Answering of questions using Encarta (I think). For example, "deepest ocean" yields answer: Pacific Ocean: depth, max: 35,840 ft. Awesome.

This is great and I think what search really needs - the ability to access more accepted bodies of information such as encyclopedia's.

3) Local search is actually providing local results as opposed to directories. Google is favoring directories too much and has lost its way in this regard.


1) As steveb explained, a very poor sense of niche authority. Some unimportant and not well developed sites have top tens for major search terms. Lacking are the authority sites that really deserve to be there.

I see this as a major problem that needs to be resolved. For major search terms, if the algorithm can not pick out authority sites, at least humans should do that in the mean time.

2) Too much reliance on the keyword in the domain. This is a set up to be spammed by throw-away keyword stuffed domains that are all interlinked.

3) I don't think enough weight is being placed on the title tag and as a result, I am seeing some search results that are really irrelevant. Just listening a bit more to the title tag will help eliminate that.

4) I was seeing basic spam like hidden text a while ago and massive interlinking of doorway sites. I have to say that over the last two weeks, this has been cleared up in a big way.

5) Has a hard time in bringing up internal pages and instead brings up the index page even when that is not the most relevant page for the search.

6) The paid ads above the organic search results are not clearly delineated and blend in to well. This obviously increases profits from ads but I don't think is good for the user.

One suggestion I would like to make - Microsoft needs to listen to webmasters and users in earnest. Google had an opportunity to have 'white hat' SEO's on their side against spam by listening to spam reports. Google clearly failed and instead alienated and frustrated those who took the time to fill out spam reports by ignoring those reports and providing no feedback at all.

Every search engine will be spammed. I think Microsoft can really put itself in a unique position by having an actual functional spam reporting system where webmasters are made allies instead of being alienated and frustrated.

For starters, when spam is reported, a search engine with clear spam policies should not be scared of giving one of the following responses to the submitter:

1) The incident you reported does not (at this time) violate our spam polciy.

2) The incident you reported does violate our spam policy and action has/will be taken to remove the page/site form our index.

3) The incident you reported does violate our spam policy. We are addressing this incident by algorithmic means.

In my opinion, a functional spam reporting system is perhaps the most important thing that Microsoft can do. Microsoft will never know about the spam in their search engine as well as we do. They can, if they do things right, have the webmasters that play by their rules on their side.


 2:51 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

They can, if they do things right, have the webmasters that play by their rules on their side.

I agree and encourage M$ to learn that.

That's where G$ turned many of us (and who are honest "white hats" who used to be definite G supporters) into full-blown opponents against the current G$.

M$ should be sure to learn from that lesson as it uses bbth its financial might and new M$ beta to give G$ the thrashing with a splintery two-by-four on its raw flesh that G$ so ab#*$!ely deserves for their being such betrayers.

Then after that deserved thrashing, maybe G$ will learn and start to listen to us again -- although I am sure M$ would not care all that much about that ;)


 3:01 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth in my part of the woods, Microsoft's results are very poor and unrelevant for key words that means much to me.


 3:38 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Despite what other have said, I have not seen enough of MSNBot. Or at least, not enough of my sites are indexed. Most not fully. I'd like to see a deeper crawl, and more internet sites in general fully indexed.


 4:02 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

the layout looks very familiar cough Google cough.


 4:30 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

A few days ago the results were looking for "some" searches...reasonable...for me, they were awesome...now they have just totally fallen off the planet and the results are mostly garbage for the many phrases I have searched.

Even none of my competitors were there which is worrying!

Not SPAM, nor Sites Positioned Above Mine, just totally riduculous, meaningless, sporadic, does this word/phrase fit ANYTHING we have spidered results? Yeah...they have the same alphabetical construction...nothing else.

OK, we understand that this is Beta, however when such ridiculous results are given it does not inspire confidence that MS can get it right...soon.

I feel that they have the making of a good piece of kit here which could very seriously challenge Google...it is easy to identify certain problems and unless MS decide to go the Google route and go country-specific, local searchers, and that definitely includes the USA, are going to get lots of results which are not pertinent to themselves.

Spam they seem to have got rid of in my industry, sense they are not making!


 10:19 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Where do they get the Location information from in the search build?

If I choose UK for instance some of the returned sites are .co.uk while most are .com or other ones.

Do they decide this from from WHOIS info information or on page text?


 12:47 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Isn't this based on hosting location?


 12:59 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Peter,

That must be correct. I put in the most obscure county on the list, Malasia, and it stuggled to come back with results that contained the search word "Italy" and were cleary from or about Malasia.

I think that is an error though. Most people choose thier hosting company on basis of cost and convenience.

For example neither I nor my company are based in the US but all my hosting is done there so the results for my sites are totally incorrect.

So that for me is an MSN slider error.


 1:01 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks for the summary Gomer.

I find that the spider isn't running v. deep. I can't see deep pages of any of my sites.

The results are loooking a lot like Google pre-florida, minus deep pages


 3:31 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that is an error though. Most people choose thier hosting company on basis of cost and convenience.

So that for me is an MSN slider error.

Google does this in exactly the same way my friend. This is where my guess that MSN might be doing it the same way came from.

It took me a while to work it out to be honest - a few years ago it had me baffled.

Chose your hosting carefully - I know it might be a little cheaper to buy hosting elsewhere but in reality disappearing from your regional SERPs is going to cost you far more...


 3:58 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone else notice the beta isn't working?


 5:20 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's not bad, certainly better than the current MSN trash.

One suggestion for MSNDude to take back to the beta team: work on the search URL, as these are likely to get linked to.


could this become:


- putting q always at the end makes it easier to fiddle with the query

- Remove the FORM= unless it's necessary - shorter URLs mean easier to link to (and hence use your engine!)

- No file extension - .aspx will presumably change at some point and it makes it longer

- Results could be shortened to search, unless you really *have* to be different to google, which I see actually uses /search? as well. What about just /?= , i.e


Well done for using CSS-P for the page by the way - Google is behind the times on this, and it must save you $$$ on bandwidth and us time to load..


 5:23 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's working now.


 5:28 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am still getting:

HTTP 500 - Internal server error


 5:37 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't think much of their page rank..... ;)

A manual clip perhaps?


 5:37 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't think much of their page rank..... ;)

A manual clip perhaps?

<edit> Sorry enter button stuck!</edit>


 5:39 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

am i the only thats getting the HTTP 500 - Internal server error message?

is the site coming up for the rest of you?


 5:57 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


been getting same error all morning.


 5:58 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

All here for me - has been steady for a few days now


 6:18 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

still down for me here. (canada)


 8:23 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok in Australia but the results are getting worse not better.


 8:48 pm on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

yeah back up here, results do look a litte worse. database and radar detectors coming up for prescription drug related searches.

whats up with the serps getting worse? lol

This 284 message thread spans 10 pages: < < 284 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 > >
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