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Bing Search Engine News Forum

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New MSN Search is LIVE
We are seeing a rollout of MSN new search

 3:20 pm on Jan 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

It looks like it might be tied into their lateset Windows update.

Results look very good so far, Look out Google!


The Dr



 2:21 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use mod_rewrite on a couple sites and MSN sucks down those pages like they're candy.


 2:49 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think any of us are qualified to speculate accurately on how this will affect Google.

Some of us are.

Others are not.


 3:16 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

95% of search engine users will have no clue and will continue to use Google.
- by internetheaven

internetheaven, I used to agree with you, but my eyes have been opened. It's not just us techies, but average person DOES notice (can notice?) that google results are getting worse.

Couple that with a MS-backed marketing campaign and you'll see migration. Not the downfall of Google, but certainly competition.



 3:18 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

BTW, contact in Belgium saw the beta traffic live, but with the alternate algo. (The spammier one).

For the past 3 weeks I've noticed that MSN was alternating between 2 different main algos,(or at least SERPs) so probably A/B testing now live.



 3:54 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I have yet to see the beta show here in the PNW. Have looked in Opera, Firefox and IE.

Will this effect G? Hard to say. I see an awful lot of people do their searches from the browser address bar. For all those IE users that will be an MSN search. I suppose if it meets their needs they won't go any further.



 4:01 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Seeing beta results here in Trinidad. Not perfect but fresh. All five websites doing doing amazingly well, #1 for my single category keyword on one site and #5 for another, both in 10 million plus results.

Shows that good old fashion optimizing still works and also the extent to which Google and Yahoo mess around with their results.


 6:31 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am consistently seeing the Beta results live in California and I agree that old fashioned optimizing is working well. I like what I see for my sites.


 6:48 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can't manage to feel sorry for Microsoft, but aside from results a four year old could spam, someone there needs to wake up and understand that most searched for content is not "local". Sites that show up for a search on .com, don't appear anywhere on co.uk. Unlike their results which are just poor quality, it is conceptual idiocy to serve up different english language results for an "alpha centauri" search.


 7:12 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmm.. So MSN is copying Google in providing the cache date. I also see the date is written as mm/dd/yy. Someone from M$ would have done well to atleast comprehend that there is a big enough % of searchers who are used to dd/mm/yy. Though seemingly a small issue, sure doesn't improve the search experience.

Google was smart enough to mention month by letters.


 7:13 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

This beta results on FireFox thing is finally making me to use FireFox after years of IE :)


The Contractor

 9:17 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

This beta results on FireFox thing is finally making me to use FireFox after years of I

It's not the browser triggering it... at least not for me. I have tried FireFox, FireBird, Opera, IE, and Netscape 7.x - I still get Yahoo results. Only by going directly to the beta search can I get the beta results...


 9:22 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not so sure the version we are seeing on Firefox is the real deal.

I've tried some rather complex queries, not the simple one or two word phrases a webmaster might be looking at to see how they rank. I mean one of those longer queries that people type in...

I've tried several that good sense and show results on the old search, nothing on the new search at all. To many of these and people will run from this search engine:

Search tips:

* Try similar words. For example, some sites may use "film" instead of "movie".
* Make your search more general. For example, instead of using a specific product name, try typing the generic product category or manufacturer.


 9:24 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's not the browser triggering it... at least not for me. I have tried FireFox, FireBird, Opera, IE, and Netscape 7.x - I still get Yahoo results. Only by going directly to the beta search can I get the beta results...

Here is Atlanta, GA, I am seeing Yahoo in IE and the new MSN in FF.


 10:25 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Results look good, we'll continue monitoring over next the next few weeks and then most likely switch over our isp search. Majority of our customer sites, pages and keywords are now back geographically where they once were. bye google


 10:47 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wish I could join in the celebration but I have yet to see any beta results, in any browser, from either msn.com or search.msn.com

IP based seems right.

Steveb, for a while I thought you were being too harsh on the new msn beta, but I'm starting to think you're seeing it pretty clearly. I think I fell for some illusion that suggested that content was being given a higher rank, but now I think that was a mistake. We are after all talking about one of the least creative corporate computing cultures in existence here.


 10:52 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

either some of you are on drugs or you're just happy that your sites may be ranking well, but msn has the WORST serps hands down out of the big 3. i'm not saying this because my sites are doing poorly, quite the contrary. many are in the top 10, but when i see garbage link directories that i set up for a link campaign ranking higher than the site, i cringe. who cares if you're sites in the top 10 if it's surrounded by crap! I mean they have very few (if they have them, they suck!) spam filters or any sort of filters in. it's cake to get your site to #1. I submitted a detailed report to msn yesterday calling out a few serps specifically and explaining to them the exact (very beginner, almost 90s style) blackhat seo they were doing. Am I doing this to be a rat? hell no, I want the serps to be good so people will actually have an alternative to google. Who cares if my site ranks well in msn? If the results suck and are filled with spam nobody is going to use it! What good will a good ranking do then? also, until msn.com becomes a more search orientated site I have trouble seeing it competing with either yahoo or google.


 10:56 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

"but msn has the WORST serps hands down out of the big 3."

I agree, I can't believe MS is going live with this now, it's completely useless for any real searches. Maybe one out of 5 is good. But it is very consistent. IE 1, 2, and 3 were the worst major browsers out there. then they got it right, and 4 was the best available. They've done that with almost every area they've entered from scratch, it's their formula, put out anything for version 1, then wait for the MS backed inertia to start building market share, improve product each version, until it finally actually works. Crush opposition by making it cheaper or free. Cut into profit centers of competition, as dvduval very astutely pointed out the msn beta serps are already designed to do.

MS is nothing if not predictable. Here I was thinking that they would actually try to put out a good product for the first release, they've never done that, why start now?

However, that little bird has only about 36 hours to be right by my count, still no sign of beta results for me.


 11:07 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've found one simple tactic that seems to make it cake to SPAM their serps in the beta version. I'm also tempted to post it in hopes that they'd fix it...but what am i thinking?! it's microsoft...

if they rush this product out and it sucks, they are such idiots. talk about a waste of promotions and publicity. people we'll see this crap and go right back to google.


 11:20 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

"people we'll see this crap and go right back to google."

that's how I was thinking about it too. But then I realized, no, that's not what's going to happen. What will happen is that the current userbase of msn, the ones too clueless to use a non msn product, the ones that stuck with the browser defaults their machine came with, will keep doing that. As long as the results are halfway useable they will suffer very little marketshare loss.

But they'll do live testing, and start building the next version, or tweaking this one. Maybe by next year MSN will be putting out results good enough to start attracting new users. Or maybe even by this summer if it's designed for flexible tweaking. They have patience, this doesn't need to take off now, it just needs to be barely good enough to let them start working on it with real user data.

Then, if Google keeps messing up, in 6 months msn can start advertizing, like, hey, new sites listed. no directory pages [ok, that's optimistic :-)] etc. I see the commercial like this: ms type fantasy girl is at computer, turns to boyfriend, says, hey, how come I cna't find the new website for that movie when I search for that new movie. Boyfriend turns to her and says, oh, well, you know, google doesn't have new websites. Didn't you know that? Try MSN, it has all the new stuff.


 11:25 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Think about how crappy MSN was a year ago with Looksmart, Inktomi and Overture. MSN is way better now. This is a great start for them. And to think...people were using them a year ago too. ;)


 11:29 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

yeah, I really have to stop being so darned optimistic, especially when I'm looking at a company like MS. They are predictable, they always use the same strategies. I think maybe I though they'd changed a little because the new search site was done in real xhtml/css, somebody here pointed that out, and it was, haven't checked again. So I thought, oh, maybe they really are going for quality.

They are really only competing against themselves at this moment, or rather against their old yahoo results, which are ok, but not the greatest. MSN will definitely totally kick the yahoo results in the butt when it comes to freshness, and percent of site pages indexed, although google still leads there, but I don't think they'll lead that for long unless they get their systems working, upgraded, or whatever they need to do, asap.


 11:36 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

i'm not saying that msn will lose any marketshare. Rather I'm saying that they are losing a valuable opportunity to start off on the right foot. to be honest i think yahoo's results have gotten much better as of late. their apparent policy of only including the domain name and not hundreds of inner pages seems to actually work on cutting down spam. Not that i'm saying it's a good policy, just that I see it having one good effect. I dunno though maybe i'm just not searching for the right things on it.


 12:14 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yikes! Try searching for a map of something. Not a huge country like the US or Argentina ... pick somewhere small. I did and got "site" maps for about 2/3 of the first page results. Come on MSN ... that's pretty basic stuff don't you think?

Also noticed they don't seem to use any sort of stemming which is one of the reasons Google is so far ahead of everyone else.

I think they still have a very long way to go. However, I'll wait until they roll out the real deal. I just hope this isn't "it"! :(


 3:28 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)



 4:09 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is the clincher for MSN search... The next release of Windows.

Who knows what MS has in store for the search functionality of the near future but I'd bet that integration with the OS will seal the deal with MSN being the benefactor.

We are not 'normal' members of the public, anyone who is and finds they have a little box in their office document that gives them decent results (and I mean once the have ironed out the problems) for information that they need immediately is going to click that rather than open a browser and then type it in.

Imagine this....

Person is typing sentence 'The turnover of Blah Industries for 1999 was' and needs the figure, what do they do? If there is a button that answers their need for information then they will use it. I know that getting suggesting the correct document isn't easy but the general public are fairly useless at forming search phrases so why couldn't an automated system build a query similar in quality to the average user?


 4:52 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Personally I'm not harsh about MSNsearch as an early beta product. It has positives and obvious negatives. The pumping that people do to release this beta as a done deal is what is ludicrous. If Microsoft were to be as dumb as the boy-who-cried-wolf pumpers desire, it would be the market that would treat them harshly.

Some testing the rest of this month, two or three more major algorithmic changes, more complete indexing of quality larger sites, an addition of some sense of niche authority, kicking the blog spam and domain name addiction... and this could be a great engine in two to four months.

Hopefully something like that is what will happen, not some crazy premature birth.


 6:47 am on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am getting MSN beta results from the main MSN home page search now.

Here's a demo or the world's worst search engine ever:


I have left "beta." in the beta search URLs in case MSN wakes up and realizes how bad theirs SERPs are, and restores their old (read usable) search to their main MSN home page.

None of the sites above are commercial, they are just historical authority sites in a "pop culture" sort of way. lol


 2:14 pm on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I only see the new beta results when I am using Firefox. If I cutover to IE, I see the old results. So this is definitely a small scale test they are running.

Regardless, I like it! At least from a site placement perspective and increase in revenue! ;-)


 2:39 pm on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day, love or hate the new MSN search, fact remains that Google have 100% lost their way anyway.

Without any quality alternative MSN will clean up with this search engine.

Users will not be going to MSN and saying "Oh i cant find what i want, i will try google" more likely they will be saying " MSNs better than it was, no point trying google because it only brings up directory, old out of date sites anyway"


 4:17 pm on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)


Couldn't agree more. They need a couple more algo tweaks on this thing before making it live permanently.

Making it intermittently live is a good way to get more feedback, but I think it needs a little more work before making it permanently live.

Good to see them working on it though. Death to Google. :-)


 5:20 pm on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been comparing both of the MSN engines and I find a wild difference in results (comparing both side by side with exact same search). Where my sites ranked well on the old engine currently they are now buried, only a few ranking well. To a lesser degree Google results have been somewhat different..WHY? Yahoo, and then some of the other less used engines are still kind to me! In this ever changing business it's just the matter of me getting with the program as the new engine will be as it is!

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