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Beta MSN SERP's = New Algorithm Today

 9:21 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

It appears the MSN SERP's have a new algorithm applied! Check your own keywords as my sector's keyword listings have had dramatic changes!

Get ready for MSN Google! These results appear to shout "RELEVANCY"!

And according to MSN during the Chicago SES they would be launching by Mid-January! Stay TUNED! :>~

Bring the heat MSN and Yahoo! Google deserves the competition!



 6:42 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

MSN great job on cleaning up the "city state" searchs, Authority sites now dominate, no more real estate sites. Great Job!


 5:54 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wine isn't on the main page so there is no reason to expect it to rank for korbel wine

Search engine is not on google's home page but I think it is reasonable to expect them to rank for this.


 5:57 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw some changes in the SERPS today. I must say they are beginning to look more relevant (not just for our site).


 6:41 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Search engine is not on google's home page but I think it is reasonable to expect them to rank for this.

Korbel does not market itself as a wine producer. Korbel does not see itself as a wine producer. It (incorrectly) markets its California sparkling wine as champagne. Its website promotes itself and its product as Champagne.



Korbel markets itself as a Champagne producer, and markets it's product as champagne on it's website. MSN is presenting what Korbel is representing itself as. MSN's results are accurate.

The Korbel wine search is a poor example. It's like searching for a directory and expecting to find MSN search.


 8:06 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

One can argue about whether Korbel wine should or should not be included and there are good points made on both sides.

However, no one has been able to explain to me why a site that has been consistently the #1 site on 6 other top SEs for a 2 keyword search for almost 2 years is not listed anywhere in MSN beta. By "not listed anywhere", I mean that I gave up after clicking through the first 60 pages of MSN beta results.

It is no mystery why the site has been #1 on all the other SEs. These pages are the only pages on the web with current, updated information, photos, and video clips of a TV and film actress, with extensive links to additional resources, and it is linked in by other sites in the same genre.

Not only is no page of the site listed for that 2 keyword search, but none of the other pages on other subject matters in the site appear in the MSN beta. One exception: If I enclose 3 keywords in quotes MSN beta returns one of the 3 pages that contain that phrase in the title, in the META keywords, and in the pages text. Without the quotes, the page does not appear, even though our site is the only site on the Internet that contains that exact phrase in the title, in the META keywords, and in the page text.

The other SEs have no problem finding and listing content the site contains about show biz news, stocks and trading, cats, and music. These pages are all consistently found by the other search engines, but not by MSN beta.

It would be a violation of the terms of service to post these examples on this board. If anyone is interested I will send you a private message on this site with a link to a page where you can click on links to quickly see the results of 6 other SEs and how they compare to MSN beta for 2, 4, and 3 keyword searches that bring up our site on the other SEs. MSN beta never finds our pages with these searches.


 9:10 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google seems to prefer portals and doorways and forum topics to the pages that are the actual authority sources mentioned by other sites that rank above the authority source pages.

This is a current weakness of google's algo. Since google has this weakness, it must be broken, right, the world's worst search engine, etc?

MSN Beta failed to deliver me number 1 to software x, home page, the site is called softwarex.com, the product is called softwarex, softwarex is a single, unique term, like google. This is what I call a real failure, and it's why I can see that beta is still beta.

Google has also increasingly begun to fail on this type of precise test, to the point that I no longer use google to find manufactorer specifications etc, I just go to the manufactor site, then struggle through their weird navigations to find the information.

Personally, I think all 3 search engines are showing huge weaknesses this year, but I blame beta msn least because, well, they aren't claiming to be ready for prime time. Each also seems to have strengths that the others lack. And distinct weaknesses, most I believe structural at this point.

And I'm not the only one, my yahoo/msn traffic is up maybe 5 times more than it's ever been in the history of my site, the last few weeks it's been totalling higher than Google, and these aren't average user searches, they are more power user type searches, which I in the past would sometimes only get a handful of yahoo referrals in a week.

I'm no longer obsessing on google, the power users I care about don't seem to be either, which is a huge warning flag for google if they care to pay attention to something other than their adwords income.

When msn goes live I expect it to be about as good as google was a year and half ago, which is in my opinion better than google is today. I'm already seeing signs of this capacity, they are returning correctly pages that google has been unable to find for almost a year now. But they do have the errors we can all talk about.

Using your own site's success or failure isn't a very good indicator of the quality of a search engine, maybe you've tripped some algo or other, you can't know that for a fact, maybe it doesn't like your style, who knows? It likes mine, what can I say.

[edited by: lizardx at 9:18 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2005]


 9:13 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

There must be a new algo, but it's not producing great results in the SERPs I monitor. I looked for the various buisness sevices we and our competators provide and 90% of the results were off target and many of the major players were nowhere to be found.

I hate to say it, particularly becuase most of our sites are brand names rather than keywords, but I think the results were more relevent for these keywords back when the MSN beta weighted title and URL to a greater extent. It's hard to get around the fact that sites whose title is keywordA and whose domain name is keywordA and who make mention of keywordA throughout the text more often than not have something to do with keywordA, spam potential or no.


 9:23 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I believe that msn foolishly listened to people here complaining about over weighting domain names, and turned that down too much, that's the only way I can think of that they could possibly have made such a silly blunder.

In the example I mentioned, the number one site has the page named softwarex, title softwarex, softwarex is splattered throughout the page, it's selling softwarex I think. But it's not softwarex. And if I followed their backlinks, 10 to 1 I'd find a host of directories with links optimized for softwarex.

My guess is that this is seos at work, it reeks of it, probably a WebmasterWorld msn forum poster... But it's good for peoople to start trying to spam msn before it goes live, that can only improve the results massively.


 9:35 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I no longer use google to find manufactorer specifications etc, I just go to the manufactor site

just came in to read ww after doing research for sparkplugs on my car. google couldn't even deliver the manufacturer's home page when i searched for <manufacturer> platinum copper <car brand> sparkplug application. hobbyists will recognise that these words would all be found in the application notes pages of the relevant manufacturer. the only useful detailed information came from an adwords link in the serps for genericproductcategory.com

anyways, how come the terminology from the google camp is:

msn beta=broken

at least msn calls it a beta, google just flogs in a new algo on the fly. thus google is in a constant beta state.


 9:44 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

"and turned that down too much"

I guess you think "too much" = "barely"

Exact match left of the .tld still rules these things (right of the .tld helps far less).

word1-word2.crapdomain.com still rule for word1 word2 searches.


 10:18 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

softwarex.com is a parked domain name for sale, complete with spam pop ups. This is the one time I agree with MSN beta and Google for not including it in the SERP, in spite of the domain name match.

However, in their effort to block a parked domain site, is MSN beta blocking all content from all pages of any site where the home page is a simple menu of links to content within the site? That seems bizarre, but no one has offerred any logical explanation for the exclusions I am seeing.

Is that the problem with my site for MSN beta and no other SE? I have 150MB of content in 1155 files, yet MSN beta, while indexing the site (site:<domain name> works) does not show any of the content in any of its results pages.


 11:04 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

csnet, ROTFLOL... if I write mysite.com are you going to go there to check it out? softwarex is like brandx. By the way, some genius does have mysite.com, think of its pagerank, all those forum posts pointing to mysite.com... LOL

Steveb, you're probably right, it's barely. In fact, it might be something else altogether, since I'm still getting keyword domains number 1, maybe this actually is a more fundamental flaw in their algo?

plumsauce, that example is getting easier and easier to find. When users stop using your product which is supposed to give a result because it can't or won't give that result you have a serious problem on your hands. To be fair, that's assuming the site navigation leads to that, more and more this type of thing comes in through forms and drop lists, if there is no link of course bots can't follow it. I've been too lazy to check that out though, is there a sitemap link to the specs page in question, a non-form based navigation route?

<<< msn beta=broken
google=hiccup >>>

the google lovefest just won't go away. Google is a business guys. They are hiring key Microsoft employees. Forget the cute name. Their market valuation is about 1/5 that of Microsoft, and Google wants it to be as big. They play IPO games, they do things that big businesses do to grow.


 11:13 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

checking the backlinks on mysite.com in google and then in the beta msn.com we have
google - 255
msn - 5,332

google's only showing pr4's or better, if this hasn't changed recently, but does the site really have 5,000 low value links out there?

softwarex.com shows only 1 backlink in beta. 0 in google :/


 11:15 pm on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

<< softwarex.com shows only 1 backlink in beta. 0 in google >>>

This is getting to be too funny. While you're at it, go to mysite.com, site.com, yoursite.com, example.com, widgets.com, widgetx.com, red-widgets.com, etc and let me know how those are doing too.


 12:09 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

lizard, lol, next time give us a hint that softwarex.com is not the actual name, but just an example of a type of search you are doing. :-)


 1:09 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

man, I thought softwarex was obvious enough, guess I'll have to clarify it next time, ha ha.. I wanted it to be more specific than widget because it's actually pretty relevant that this is a software company name and brand and domain name, all softwarex..., without saying the actual software company name, so I though, widgetx, softwarex... sometimes some parts the WebmasterWorld forum charters are really counterproductive, I don't think they help stuff like this at all, but that's just me. On other forums I can check out sites in seconds, see what the problems are, do link checks, etc, learn something concrete about how not to do something..


 5:44 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


you wrote earlier:

... my yahoo/msn traffic is up maybe 5 times more than it's ever been in the history of my site, the last few weeks it's been totalling higher than Google ...

Are you sure you are good in MSN Beta and not in MSN Old? As MSN Old is still using Yahoo or? Therefor Yahoo! goes up and MSN Old follows simply but not at all MSN Beta!

My personal MSN Old traffic is nearly as Google with REFERER:


(Yahoo! 5 times as Google as yours),

but I have NOT 1 from REFERER:



 10:17 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I say yahoo/msn traffic, I'm referring to total yahoo/msn referals. Which means technically yahoo based search results, but since a significant part of those come through msn currently, it's worth mentioning msn, I see about 65%/35% yahoo/msn by the way.

My msn beta results are currently very solid. But no traffic from that of course.

If this continues my site is going to have an excellent search engine balance, 50% yahoo, 35% google, and 15% msn.

I'd like to see the google numbers up a little, maybe to 45%, then once msn proves if it can do the job, an ideal would be 40-40-20 yahoo-google-msn

that would lead to a pretty stable kind of traffic, not overly dependent on any one search engine.

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