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Quality and Authority: Relevance Alone Is Not Enough
msndude




msg:1533876
 8:30 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

One complaint I hear a lot in this forum is that MSN Search fails to identify "quality" sites or "authority" sites. I'd actually be interested in hearing your collective idea of what these terms mean. It's hard for me to respond intelligently to this type of concern if I'm not sure we mean the same thing by the words.

Here are a few questions to get us started:

Does quality include the appearance of a site, or only the content? How about the organization of a site?

Can a site be an authority if it's not government, educational, or from a big corporation?

Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?

I realize this is a bit different from the usual sort of discussion we have here, but I hope I'm not the only one who'd welcome a little variety.

 

ronburk




msg:1533877
 8:42 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Does quality include the appearance of a site,
> or only the content?

Potentially both. Doesn't matter how good the content is if it's displayed in a font I can't read, or the navigation uses some fancy doodads that don't work in my browser.

> How about the organization of a site?

This seems likely to be outside the domain of search engine analysis in most cases.

> Can a site be an authority if it's not government,
> educational, or from a big corporation?

Heaven help us if the answer to that is "no".

> Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?

Example: Google Co-op. The Google pages on this subject are, by definition, the authority. But the quality of the documentation is extremely poor. So many people turn to Google's page that lists "other resources", and go read what someone else has to say about Google Co-op.

asiaseo




msg:1533878
 9:59 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Can a site be an authority if it's not government,
> educational, or from a big corporation?

Heaven help us if the answer to that is "no".

I couldn't agree more!

spander




msg:1533879
 10:05 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think quality sites, and authority sites are two different things. A site can be good quality without being an authority, and vise versa.

I believe we can all recognize a quality site, but an authority site is more subjective.

In my way of thinking, there could be untold numbers of authority sites. To me, an authority site is one that deals with it's chosen topic in the most complete way. It may not always be all things to all people, but it's the best in its field.

asiaseo




msg:1533880
 10:28 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

msndude, firstly believe me, we do appreciate you asking, pity some of the other majors don't!

Because a website has 250,000 pages and 100,000 links does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that they are automatically an authority on light green widegts in mysmallhometown in myhomecountry simply because they mention or deal with dark green widgets in theirhomecity in their homecountry on the other side of the world.

A local site in mysmallhometown in myhomecountry that is fully up to date with local information, clean and clear can of course be far more of an authority site.

steveb




msg:1533881
 2:28 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Does quality include the appearance of a site,"

No generally, but lack of abandoned pages and proper code could be a tiny good thing.

"or only the content? How about the organization of a site?"

A search engine isn't smart enough to understand organization. For example, articles could be organized by author as well as topic. That would be a good organization, but an engine wouldn't be able to understand the seemingly random grouping of article links on an author's page. It will think something very related is not related at all. Quality is accurate user-friendly content.

"Can a site be an authority if it's not government, educational, or from a big corporation?"

Of course. Authority sites are less often government or big corporation sites. Authorities are sites with a passion for accuracy.

"Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?"

Certainly, but rarely. The official site of a person will virtually always be an authority, but it will also sometimes have very little actual information.

Quality and authority are extremely easy to discern by people. Engines have historically been abysmal at recognizing authority, in large part because they still are terrible at recognizing niche. Webmasterworld is an authority on webmastering. CNN is not. MSN in particular has been dreadful in rrecognizing authority because it can't find a niche with a map, a german shepard and a couple sherpas. If a page has 100,000 links pointing at it, but zero come from any other site in the top 1000 for that term, it should be easy to see that site is not an authority (and almost certainly is not quality).

msndude




msg:1533882
 2:44 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

So then could a single query have more than one authority site? If so, how do you distinguish authority from quality?

For example, in a query for a brand-name drug, one could argue that only the manufacturer is an authority, although various hospital, government, or even personal sites could be quality results. Alternatively, one could argue that any site produced by an expert (an authority) would be an authority site.

Liane




msg:1533883
 3:06 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does quality include the appearance of a site, or only the content? How about the organization of a site?

Content is the key ... but appearance could have at least "some" basis in quality from the users point of view. If the content is tiny white type on a black background and a difficult font to read, then yeah, appearance matters to a certain extent.

Organization is part of the user experience and could have some degree of importance ... but once again, it is the content itself which matters.

Can a site be an authority if it's not government, educational, or from a big corporation?

Absolutely! In fact, in my industry, the government sites are darned near useless.

There are only two large corporations in my industry and they are both trying to "game the sysyem" when it comes to providing decent content. They have all the money in the world and could easily pay people to generate the information I have developed over the past 6 years ... but they prefer to pay SEO companies to play the SE game!

My site is one of very few out there which has gone the "educational route" and I am just a small business person. People who come to my site (whether they buy from me or not) often write things like the following message rec'd today:

I can't say enough about your web site and have to thank you for making my job of choosing (can't say what he was choosing) so easy. It is obvious that you have spent years making your web site and I just wanted to say thanks. I can't wait for our holiday!

Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?

You bet! The tourist board for our country had one of the worst, inaccurate and out of date sites on the internet until just recently when they finally decided to update it last year. By stealing content from several other sites (including mine), they have finally made it better. However, It still contains outdated and inaccurate information!

Information is everything to the user. If a so called authority site provides inaccurate or outdated information ... that is unforgiveable because the user has no way of knowing it is outdated and inaccurate!

The only way an SE can possibly know the value of a site is to use IBL's as a way to judge. Age of those IBL's is a major indicator. If all IBL's are really old and no (or few) new links have been added in years ... something is rotten in the state of Denmark! That includes government, big business and educational sites.

Authority sites are those which are constantly linked to by anyone and everyone, forums, personal sites, other authority sites, etc. Most of the links have no (sorry, but I have to use a Google term here) PR value to speak of. But if any given site has a steady flow of new links to a given page or pages ... its a pretty good bet that its considered an authority by those who use it.

It can't be difficult for an SE to age links. If there are many old links and new one's are added at a steady rate ... there has to be something to it don't you think! Conversely, if a site has 6,000 old links and the majoriity are three years old with very few new links being added ... there may be something wrong.

The problem with this scenario is that there are a limited number of valuable links to be had for some topical subjects. Quite often, very good information will get a flood of links in the beginning and then links will slow to a trickle. It depends upon the topic.

It is the job of the algo engineers to figure out how to determine which topics are fluid and attract links all the time and which are static and may not attract new links.

Whether SE's want to admit it or not ... it is not possible (in my opinion) to automate everything. That is why directories such as DMOZ are so important. Without human review, you can't possibly know which sites are valid authorities and which aren't. Even then, DMOZ is not as current as it could be.

Internal, deep links are also a pretty good indication of value. Most directories only list the index page of a site, but users will often link to internal pages. This is certainly a sign of "authority" or at the very least "popularity".

If you want to judge for yourself, let me know and I will give you several examples of "authority" sites which are definitely not government, big business or educational sites.

[edited by: Liane at 3:17 am (utc) on June 18, 2006]

msndude




msg:1533884
 3:15 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the tips, Liane, but I'm actually looking for how humans interpret these words -- not an algorithm for implementing them. So, for example, I'm pretty sure that most humans don't sneak a peek at the inbound links before deciding whether a site is quality/authority or not. :-)

Likewise, other folks have mentioned that search engines can't evaluate the "organization" of a site. Maybe they can and maybe they can't, but what I'm more interested in is whether you good people use that when you yourselves decide that a site is quality and/or an authority.

Sorry if I left the wrong impression . . .

Liane




msg:1533885
 3:23 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that most humans don't sneak a peek at the inbound links before deciding whether a site is quality/authority or not.

Of course not and perhaps I wasn't clear about what I meant. People with their own personal sites will often link to information they think is valuable. People using forums will link to information which is important to them.

How do YOU decide which sites are important or provide really good information when you are surfing? Like anyone else, you just "know quality" when you see it, right?

Likewise, other folks have mentioned that search engines can't evaluate the "organization" of a site. Maybe they can and maybe they can't, but what I'm more interested in is whether you good people use that when you yourselves decide that a site is quality and/or an authority.

Yesterday, I was trying to collect information to buy a weather station. I found the manufacturer's site for the equipment I wanted to buy, but the organization of the site was unbelievably horrendous. I am the impatient type and don't have a lot of time to waste. I hired someone else to procure the equipment for me because I couldn't deal with their horrid website. Is organization important? Yes, absolutely!

msndude




msg:1533886
 3:44 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I want to hear from a few more people before I give my opinion; I fear that once I weigh in, the rest of the thread will be about whether I'm right or wrong, and how this might explain the search results someone is seeing. Before that happens, I want to be sure we hear other people's ideas.

A different way to think of the problem is this: if you were going to hire some people to rate how many "quality" results or how many "authority" results an engine gave for a particular query (or set of queries), what sort of instructions would you give to those judges? Just based on the responses so far, I don't think it would be safe to just tell each judge to use his or her personal definition of quality or authority!

Liane




msg:1533887
 4:34 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you were going to hire some people to rate how many "quality" results or how many "authority" results an engine gave for a particular query (or set of queries), what sort of instructions would you give to those judges?

Firstly, the question is slightly confusing. The human brain is impacted by thousands of different signs of "quality" and judging "authority" is most certainly subjective ... but here goes:

Questions

1) Were all or most of your questions answered by visiting this site? Yes/No
2) Was the information provided clear and concise? Yes/No
3) Were photographs or images provided to assist you to better understand the topic? Yes/No/Not applicable
4) Were the photographs or images of reasonable quality? Yes/No/Not applicable
5) Do you consider this an important site to the topic? Yes/No
6) Do you believe this site offers up-to-date and accurate information? Yes/No
7) Was the site easy to navigate and find the information you required? Yes/No
8) Was the site easy to read? Yes/No
9) Was the information provided "complete"? Yes/No
10) If you had to pick 10 sites to recommend to your friends on this topic, would this site be included? Yes/No

If "Yes", how would you rate this site on a scale of 1 to 10? ____ (1 being best)

If "No", how would you describe this site:

a) Pretty good, but others are better
b) Mediocre ... just another rehash of the same ole'
c) Poor ... left me searching for more answers elsewhere
d) Horrible ... not worth the time it took to read the index page.

willybfriendly




msg:1533888
 4:41 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Does quality include the appearance of a site, or only the content?

Quality sites are made of quality pages, and quality SE's take me to the page with the info I am looking for. (Hard to find an SE that consistantly does that anymore:()

I have come across, and bookmarked, some pretty ugly sites when the info was important to me.

>How about the organization of a site?

It is nice to be able to find things. That said, I regualrly use "site: query" when the site is difficult to find things on. Some really big sites can take a long time to drill down into.

>Can a site be an authority if it's not government, educational, or from a big corporation?

No doubt about it. I often find info about MS products on non-MS sites, as well as drivers, dll's, etc.

For a generic example, Mother Earh News often has more practical info than a govt. site dealing with sustainability or organic ag, and there are other, smaller sites with even better info than Mother Earth.

>Is it possible for an authority to not be quality?

When I visit microsoft.com with Opera it becomes quite apparent that authority sites can lack quality ;)

FEMA is an authority, but there is little doubt that it lacks quality.

WBF

msndude




msg:1533889
 4:48 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great questions! Now imagine that the human judge has to select one box to check from a set consisting of:

Authority
Quality
Both
Neither

How will he/she use those guidelines to make a selection?

Note that this is the same problem I face when I try to respond to a message telling me that a query for "cheap widgets" has lost all the authority sites with the new update. If I want to respond, I have to look at all the old/new sites and decide which ones are/were authorities. (Or quality; same issue.)

When I do this (as I've done quite a few times now) and end up responding with "actually I see the same number of authority sites as before," I wonder if we all really mean the same thing here when we say "authority."

So that's what I'm after here; I want to see if we can agree on a definition of quality and authority that at least lets us come up with roughly the same count when we look at a results page. (I also hoped we might have a little fun in the process.) :-)

Make sense?

buckworks




msg:1533890
 4:49 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The top factor in my definition of both "authority" and "quality" would be a commitment to accuracy of information. That includes more than just accurate and complete data; it includes clarity, balance, fairness and sound logic in how it's interpreted and presented.

I would dispute that quality or authority are things you can "just know." Sometimes that happens, especially if you yourself are knowledgeable in the subject, but sometimes it takes a while to get past first impressions to discern what's really good or not-so-good about a site. Or a person, for that matter!

It's often easier to spot fakes and wannabe's than it is to discern true authority.

Some good reading about quality: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Liane




msg:1533891
 5:04 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Once a human judge goes through the process of answering the ten questions provided above, he/she can easily pick from your final four:

Authority
Quality
Both
Neither

Note that this is the same problem I face when I try to respond to a message telling me that a query for "cheap widgets" has lost all the authority sites with the new update. If I want to respond, I have to look at all the old/new sites and decide which ones are/were authorities. (Or quality; same issue.)

With all due respect, unless you yourself are a human authority on any given topic, you can't possibly do a fly by and expect to "know" which sites (out of possibly thousands) are the "current" authority sites.

So that's what I'm after here; I want to see if we can agree on a definition of quality and authority that at least lets us come up with roughly the same count when we look at a results page.

Are you looking for "count" ... as in quantity of sites ... or are you looking for quality/authority? I am confused!

[edited by: Liane at 5:06 am (utc) on June 18, 2006]

Liane




msg:1533892
 5:05 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry dup entry.

Liane




msg:1533893
 5:22 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would dispute that quality or authority are things you can "just know." Sometimes that happens, especially if you yourself are knowledgeable in the subject, but sometimes it takes a while to get past first impressions to discern what's really good or not-so-good about a site.

True ... to a degree. But there are times when after really delving into a site or topic, one can be reasonably confident that the information provided was top notch!

It's often easier to spot fakes and wannabe's than it is to discern true authority.

Very true! If it were easy to spot authority, my site would be number one for everything to do with my topic(s)! :)

msndude




msg:1533894
 5:25 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

No problem. If someone says "with the old version, when I queried for widgets, I got 8 or 9 quality results, but today I only get three," I'd like to issue the same query and get about the same numbers. If I don't get the same numbers, I'd like to be fairly confident that something is amiss. (Or that the person felt his/her site was the only quality/authority site.) :-)

Anyway, this complaint that we "lost all/most of the quality/authority sites" is common enough that I think it's important to really understand it. That's all I'm trying to do here.

Liane




msg:1533895
 5:50 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyway, this complaint that we "lost all/most of the quality/authority sites" is common enough that I think it's important to really understand it. That's all I'm trying to do here.

I get it now and I agree with the complaint. I can only speak authoritatively on my own topic so I will just reiterate what many have already observed:

It appears that MSN have turned up the knob on keywords in URL and title in regards to identifying important sites. In many cases, your top one or two results are a good starting point, but I find when searching on MSN of late that once you get past the first one or two sites and if you are still looking for more info ... (which is often the case), the third, fourth and even up to the tenth ranking sites are piddly, little, no-nothing sites which have been well optimized for their keywords ... but contain no meat!

Just because those keywords are used in the title or the url of these piddly, little, no-nothing sites ... does not mean they should necessarily show up in the top 10 or 20 or even the top 100 results!

THAT is what the complaints are about. In my opinion and if we can agree that the questions above would likely help identify true "authority" sites, MSN has not achieved that as yet. No search engine has ... but Google is certainly closer than most.

Although MSN is delivering "some" pertinent sites in the top ten results, they are not delivering the most pertinent and most informational results possible for any given query string. Quite often, the "real" authority sites are being buried.

[edited by: Liane at 5:54 am (utc) on June 18, 2006]

steveb




msg:1533896
 5:53 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"So then could a single query have more than one authority site? If so, how do you distinguish authority from quality?"

Well again this is an underlying problem.

The official site for a movie is an authority, but it isn't necessarily the best authority or the highest quality site. In my niche there are a few dozen authority sites, but I'll use the movie analogy since it is pretty obvious. When talking about a specific movie, authority sites would include the official site, but it would possibly also include Roger Ebert's review page and a few dozen similar. It could also include fan or scholarly sites devoted to the specific movie. What would not be an authority is irs.gov mentioning the movie title, or the New York Times reporting the box office for one weekend.

The bottom line is that engines totally suck at what Conan Doyle said:

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."

High quality sites, especially ON THE TOPIC, recognize the authority of the other highest quality sites. These authorities in turn tend to recognize the other authorities (the cool guys hang with the cool guys). They don't all recognize all the the others, but the "web" of sites that know what they are talking about interweaves with other sites that know what they are talking about ON THE TOPIC.

blogspot.com is authority on nothing, other than how to provide free blog space.

Liane




msg:1533897
 6:33 am on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Based on your clarification of what it is you are trying to achieve:

Anyway, this complaint that we "lost all/most of the quality/authority sites" is common enough that I think it's important to really understand it. That's all I'm trying to do here.

... I decided to use my own list of questions to evaluate the top listed site for the search I performed yesterday on MSN to see if the list was complete or not. I discovered it isn't.

1) Were all or most of your questions answered by visiting this site? No
2) Was the information provided clear and concise? No (The site is impossible to navigate)
3) Were photographs or images provided to assist you to better understand the topic? Yes
4) Were the photographs or images of reasonable quality? No (Too small and blurred)
5) Do you consider this an important site to the topic? Yes
6) Do you believe this site offers up-to-date and accurate information? Yes
7) Was the site easy to navigate and find the information you required? No
8) Was the site easy to read? Yes
9) Was the information provided "complete"? No
10) If you had to pick 10 sites to recommend to your friends on this topic, would this site be included? Yes

If "Yes", how would you rate this site on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being best)? 10

Note: The only reason I would include it is because it is the manufacturer's site! Believe me when I say it is one of the worst sites I have ever seen!

I would add the following questions to the above.

11) Were you able to find what you consider to be the best site on this topic in the first 10 MSN results? No

12) Did you go past the first ten results on MSN to find more information on this topic? No (Granted ... I am the impatient type.)

a) If "Yes", how many search results did it take to find the answers you were looking for? ____
b) If "No", did you give up your search? No
c) If "No", did you go elsewhere to find the information? Yes
d) Were you successful in finding the information elsewhere? Yes (not me but the fellow I hired and who will be installing the equipment was successful in finding the info)
e) If you were ultimately successful in finding the information, where did you find it? Google - first result!

msndude




msg:1533898
 2:53 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in interested that an authority site could have such low quality as to be unusable. Since we're in business to serve our customers, it's hard to justify making much of an effort to find or serve that kind of authority though. In fact, the Japanese-language site for an automobile might be a great authority, but we still don't want to serve it to our US customers. Perhaps we need an independent category "authoritative but useless."

I'm also interested in SteveB's implication that a quality site could be off-topic. Do you (any of you) think that quality is query-independent? I've been thinking of both quality and authority as a property of results, not just a property of a site.

It makes the discussion a lot easier, though, if authority depends on the query but quality does not. So webmasterworld would be a quality site, and would be an authority for queries like "webmaster information" but not for queries on medical issues.

Or is that not how people really use the terms?

stever




msg:1533899
 3:09 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting conversation, msndude...

I would have thought it was self-evident that a quality site may not be authoritative and vice versa.

Of course, it depends on your definition of quality, and I find the discussion of things like usability interesting in this sense, since so much depends then on personal taste/prejudice (do you go for w3c standards/accessibility/latest fads?).

As usual, my close-named neighbour steveb hits it near the head when he talks about quality as we here tend to understand it in the sense of govt./newspaper/prestigious independent. The Economist or NYT or Lonely Planet may have quality coverage of the areas that they cover but they are not necessarily an authority on the subject.

Wikipedia (for example) may have authoritative coverage in many subject areas (for example, tiny towns) where virtually no other information is available but their content in general is often far from quality.

>>In fact, the Japanese-language site for an automobile might be a great authority, but we still don't want to serve it to our US customers.
The point that most here would make, I presume, is that it wouldn't be an authority for the US consumer but it would be for the Japanese consumer. If you are meaning that the work involved in identifying the difference is too difficult or time-consuming for your engine, then that is giving the discussion parameters which you didn't define earlier...

artdog




msg:1533900
 3:59 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

It makes the discussion a lot easier, though, if authority depends on the query but quality does not.

There's the rub for every search engine, for each niche query, what comprises authority and quality can change.

buckworks




msg:1533901
 4:03 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let's not confuse "the official site" for something with a true "authority". A site might be both but those two concepts are nowhere near the same thing.

I just visited Dictionary.com to look up "authority". Some of the definitions are not relevant here, but these are:

"An accepted source of expert information or advice..."
"A quotation or citation from such a source..."
"Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience..."

Note the recurring emphasis on expertise and knowledge. You can't be an authority in the scholarly sense unless you truly know what you're talking about. Quality comes first!

"Authority" in the scholarly sense is an endorsement granted by others who recognize the quality of what you present. One cannot simply claim "authority" for oneself ... it has to be earned through the informed judgements of others. Those judgements might be nudged along by self-promotion, but that's a different discussion. This is much more than just a popularity contest.

I'm sitting here wondering how a search engine could discern between a site that is a true authority and one that is merely popular.

This all leads to the age-old question, "What is truth?"

RichTC




msg:1533902
 4:42 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Authority on a basic level imo is about content and links to that content.

A site with a high volume of pages about the subject matter - not auto generated junk but unique content perhaps static pages written about the subject. Depth of content and volume has to be relevent imo.

Links to the site, lots of them over a period of time. If sites are linking to it then in most cases the site adds value. A link in a way is a vote of confidence, if other sites are voting for that site its more likely to be an authority on the subject or adds value.

As a general rule authority sites imo should only link out (if at all) to sites on the subject matter or related that may benefit the end user not to any old site - whilst we may see exceptions generally an authority site gets far more one way links and doesnt link out to off toppic sites imo

Also, a quick way to improve your index is to not list sites with less than 10 pages or bloggs unless you have reviewed them. Sorry but imo this would eliminate self generated sites designed to spam your index and the poor low quality end of the market.

One thought, i dont know if this is possible or viable but you could charge say $600 (300)for sites to be listed in your OWN directory and use that data for your serps quality - Thats one true way of ensuring you have quality control. If your own staff have been to a site and confirmed its a quality site of benefit to the end user you know its ok to list! - spammers imo will not pay a few hundred pounds a time for sites to be listed and reviewed they tend to have lots of autogenerated sites linked from networks.

Final point - dont go down the route of using DMOZ data, i know your team have looked at this but even an idiot can tell from close check that a lot of the listed sites are from biased editors, some of its fine but a lot of its junk - if you want directory data you need to use your own not coppy some one elses.

Garya




msg:1533903
 6:43 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I will try and keep this simple.
The user expects certain sites or a good search engine should offer good results.
example when you type in (auctions) you would expect Ebay and yahoo as the top 2.
on Msn I can't find it. On yahoo and google they are 1 &2

msndude




msg:1533904
 7:53 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If I can paraphrase a bit, this is saying that an authority is a site that users expect to see in response to a query. That means it has to be well-known -- at least to people who issue that kind of query. "Authority" in this sense implies (to me) that a site already has a reputation with a significant fraction of users. The actual page, though, might be so recondite as to be useless to any but the most expert user.

Given that definition of Authority, it would seem that Quality would be about accuracy and completeness of the result. A quality result would be complete, accurate, and useful to an average user -- even if most users had never heard of the site before.

This makes for a very clean split between the two terms (which is nice), if I've interpreted your posting correctly. It's a bit different from most of the other ideas, though.

Garya




msg:1533905
 8:16 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If I was msn I would take the results from google and yahoo an tweak them. Then you would be the best.
Google has many good sites but they are missing alot of fresh content because of there age factor and to many filters.
Yahoo has a mix of google and yahoo but have a lot of penalized sites have never came back.
This leave room for a combination of the two to deliver ther best with a small improvment.
I would leave room on each first page for one or two new listing.
The brazil results is like a mix of the two but need to test it somemore, now all you need to do
is fine adjustments, I am free for consultations for a price regards to Bill Gates.

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