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how to rank better with MSN
Phaedrus




msg:1533486
 11:45 pm on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I get the bulk of my traffic from google - any tips on how to rank better with MSN?

 

seoArt




msg:1533487
 12:36 am on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I rank very well in Google for all of my target keyword phrases, but my MSN rankings have dropped badly the past 6 mos.

My site is well optimized:

on-page, with original content, keyword rich and relevant text, h1 and h2 tags for section headings;

and

off-page, with natural and relevant links in the field, from both high and low pagerank sites, no link exchanges, and relevant directory links as well. I even have a few text link ads from relevant sites, but I'm not sure if I even need them. In Yahoo I show about 1500 backlinks, my site is PR7 in Google, and it has been around for 3 years.

Now on MSN I'm nowhere!

Here's what I see on MSN-

The sites at the top of the results in my field are well optimized as far as on-page factors go. Some appear over-optimized (for Google's eyes) with huge h1 text at the top of the page and very long pages with a lot of text. When examining off-page factors, the sites at the top do not seem to have very relevant links, or nearly as many as some of the authoritative sites in the field.

So based on my observations, on-page factors seem to dominate msn results, and off page factors aren't as important.

I'd hate to screw up my excellent Google rankings by experimenting to please MSN, but maybe I'll try increasing the point size of one of my page headers a tiny bit and see what happens.

willybfriendly




msg:1533488
 1:33 am on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Domain seems to mean a lot, at least in my niche.

www.example.com/example,htm
example.example.com
etc.

Also seeing the above with lots of questionable links, like sitewide footer links in a phony directory.

Throw the keyword in the title and description and you should be pretty well set.

MS has a way to go still...

WBF

seoArt




msg:1533489
 2:27 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

willybfriendly,

I agree; I also see a lot of keywords in the domain names of top sites on MSN. It seems more heavily wieghted here than anywhere else.

Liane




msg:1533490
 2:29 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Before changing anything on your sites, I'd wait a while. MSN know there are problems and MSNdude has said things will be changing over the summer. I'd wait for the next couple of updates before making any plans to target MSN.

adamovic




msg:1533491
 6:28 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Keywords in domain seems to work for MSN.
Try to seek for "search".

One of my sites rank better in MSN than in other search engines. I don't know why, but I think it is due to links from DMOZ and Wikipedia.

timon




msg:1533492
 5:44 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anchor text and keyword in domain name are very important for MSN.

MSN is poor in analysing the quality of links to a page. So on-page optimization effects search results predominantly.

CainIV




msg:1533493
 6:14 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately I would say that creating a domain with keywords seperated by dashes is working quite well in some of the sectors I watch.

msndude




msg:1533494
 2:15 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thing is, we can't just automatically call a site spam because it has a url with a lot of hyphens in it.

Are other people seeing a lot of spammy hyphenated domains getting ranked by us? I know we used to have a bad problem with that, but lately I haven't seen it so much. Am I just looking in the wrong places?

willybfriendly




msg:1533495
 5:46 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

msndude, this goes back to your thread about quality, authority and spam.

Just because a site is not spam does not mean that it deserves to rank highly. I have seen many sites that simply lack quality information (or any information) that rank top 10, while more comprehensive sites rank far lower. The result is that one often has to go several pages deep to find what they are looking for.

WBF

zeus




msg:1533496
 12:29 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I like on MSN is that they dont just relay on links to a site like google, they also put other factors into place and you see different results then on google, If I dont find what im looking for there is aleways the option MSN/google be cause they dont have the same results.

OK with the late update there is a little to much blogs and subdomains, but I bet that is not the case after next update.

About spammy hyphenated I also dont see that anymore for maybe 6 month, but we also have to think about, there are not many domains left so sometimes its a must to have maybe 2 hyphens in a domain, but as soon we talk 4 its getting spammy.

msndude




msg:1533497
 1:57 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

willybfriendly: feel free to send me a sticky with your favorite examples. We do study them, and we've already learned some valuable things from WebmasterWorld feedback, so I promise we'll take it seriously.

Halfdeck




msg:1533498
 3:43 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hope this isn't way off topic, but MSN dropped a few hundred pages a month or two ago and I'm not sure exactly why (it's a legit site, no spam involved). Does MSN have a quality guideline page of some sort so I can diagnose my domain and hopefully get more pages back in MSN?

msndude




msg:1533499
 3:46 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Halfdeck: Not at the level you'd like, no. Remember that the system is under active development, and so pages can come and go for reasons that have little to do with anything you're doing on your end.

The best advice (as always) is to design your sites for your customers, not for the search engine. The engine may change at any time without notice; if you have heavily optimized for some quirk in the current engine, you might be wiped out by a future change, even though that change was a net positive for most users.

crobb305




msg:1533500
 4:53 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good tips MSNdude. I am struggling with how much content is acceptable for a single page. I have a lot of content on my homepage, and the homepage size is up to about 70k (75% of that is text). This, compared to other pages I see ranking well, is very large. But, it's information that I find valuable and that my visitors also find useful. So, its hard to know where to draw the line.

zillans




msg:1533501
 5:51 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

MSNdude- How well are you guys following 301 permanent redirects these days?

Example:

After 301 permanent redirecting and old url structure to a more friendly URL structure, should I expect any detrimental ramifications to my rankings? If so, how long should one expect this suppression to last in MSN? Days, weeks, months?

TIA

asiaseo




msg:1533502
 6:51 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

We have domains with hyphens in them, why not! They are location specific. Also there are plenty of business and location names that need to be hypernated, making just long one world would confuse people, also complex spellings justify making the words individual.

Why search engines hold on to the idea that 50,000 inbound links make a website great is beyond me, when you see where those links are from.

In many areas I can pretty much 'guess' those websites that will be in the top 10 because in certain areas they come up all the time, little if any content.

gdawg




msg:1533503
 8:20 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

MSNdude- How well are you guys following 301 permanent redirects these days?
Example:

After 301 permanent redirecting and old url structure to a more friendly URL structure, should I expect any detrimental ramifications to my rankings? If so, how long should one expect this suppression to last in MSN? Days, weeks, months?

Zillans from my recent experience MSN is not handling them very well at all in regards to transferring rankings from your old urls to the new ones you implement 301's to. I just completed a major redesign (mid-March 2006)in which we changed our entire file structure and naming convention to make them more seo and user friendly. We implemented url rewrites on our new dynamic urls to achieve this. Google picked up all of these relatively quickly and a majority of the rankings transferred. Yahoo did an ok job and probably transferred around 50% of the rankings. MSN did a terrible job and did not transfer any of our old rankings via 301s. So I would be cautious if you are targetting MSN.

gdawg




msg:1533504
 8:51 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

As far as ranking well in MSN here is what I see in my industry. First off my site ranks very well in Google using all white hat optimization. After my recent redesign in which I changed the entire sites file and naming structure almost all of my traffic from MSN has stopped. The two main issues is their inability to transfer rankings via 301 redirects and indexing new pages. MSN has only indexed 200 pages out of the approximately 40,000 pages on my site. Google had no problem indexing all of the new pages (40,000+) on the redesigned site.

It seems that MSN is putting alot of weight on the keyword phrase in the domains, hyphenated or not. I am even seeing alot of .info and .us domains ranking very well even though they are not "authoritative sites". So this points to MSN not putting much value on the "age" of a domain either.

Praxus




msg:1533505
 9:27 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't see a problem with .info and .us sites ranking well. There's not many decent .com, .org. .net etc left and new sites often use the newer suffixes. They shouldn't be penalized just for that.

I'd rather see a new, relevant .info site with good content than some stale .edu site thats halfheartedly updated once a year if you're lucky.

crobb305




msg:1533506
 12:09 am on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't see a problem with .info and .us sites ranking well

I agree. In terms of organizing and indexing the world's content, this content will come in many forms with many different filenames and file extensions. We have to start thinking outside of the .com box and get used to the fact that many other file types will be indexed, provided they are useful, and worthy of being indexed.

If I am looking for information on dog rescues, I couldn't care less if it has a bunch of numbers in the domain, .info, .edu, .blahblah, as long as it is insightful and leads me to what I want to find.

And of course, we have to be on the look out for the domains with billions of subs. That is just autogenerated garbage.

C

adamovic




msg:1533507
 1:47 pm on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)


If I am looking for information on dog rescues, I couldn't care less if it has a bunch of numbers in the domain, .info, .edu, .blahblah, as long as it is insightful and leads me to what I want to find.

The problem is that using backlinks to value the page/site is easily to fake with link spam (blogs, forums, mailing lists, etc.). So, search engines seems to have to value separatly links from blogs, forums, etc. But software cannot automaticly detect all different blog and forum software. There would always be new software which SE don't know how to handle about backlinks.

So, SE seems to must use on-site factors, and one factor is keywords in domain/urls. Afterwards keywords in title.

I think that backlinks from authority sites and keywords in domain names play the major influence on nowadays MSN results, although I'm not sure.

msndude




msg:1533508
 2:11 pm on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Note, however, that a very large site (e.g. a Newspaper) might legitimately have "billions of subs". There is a danger in any "hard rule" because it inevitably discards some number of legitimate sites if it affects more than a trivial number of sites in the first place. If you build a system using many hard rules, each new rule you add causes you to lose an additional fraction of good sites, which you can never recover. Eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns where you cannot move forward and you cannot move back.

That's why systems like ours are not, in general, built using hard rules, and that's why discussions that assume a site can run afoul of some rule like "no more than three hyphens in the domain name" are really barking up the wrong tree.

outland88




msg:1533509
 7:05 pm on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

One thing I would do is add a filter like (Age of Site + Google Adsense = Ranking or Sandbox of 25-100% of site). Many variations of this could be utilized so as not to harm quality sites. The primary purpose being to decrease the churning out of this junk. There’s way to many sites with incredibly low quality reworded fluff trying to garner Adsense clicks in MSN. Convince me something simple like that wouldn't elevate the status of MSN among search engines.

zillans




msg:1533510
 12:10 am on Jul 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

MSNdude- Your thoughts on the previous 301 permanent redirect post?

MSNdude- How well are you guys following 301 permanent redirects these days?

Example:

After 301 permanent redirecting and old url structure to a more friendly URL structure, should I expect any detrimental ramifications to my rankings? If so, how long should one expect this suppression to last in MSN? Days, weeks, months?

TIA

Thanks,
Zillans

arubicus




msg:3001436
 4:56 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

" MSNdude- Your thoughts on the previous 301 permanent redirect post?"

Actually I would like some insight on this myself as we made some changes (simple extension changes) that has adverse effects even though the actual pages have not changed.

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