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google vs live.com - live traffic increasing, better results
anyone else seeing this?
nippi




msg:3285777
 9:41 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm noticing live.com traffic is starting to eat into Google traffic across the board on my sites. Appears that with the Vista rollout, more and more people are using "live" for search? Anyone else seeing this?

Also, I have found myself using it when I need to locate a business in particular, I use live.com.

For example, I was looking for #name# modeling agency in Brisbane. Google returns results on and sites with high pr, and some relevance to the terms, without actually showing the site itself.

Live.com, returned the site at No.1, further inspection showed they were likely both sandboxed, and penalized, though for what I could not see, nothing intentionally bad as far as I could tell... though they did have some issues, duplicate description tags, accidental overoptimisation and they had few incoming links.
Point is, I am a full time SEO, and now find myself using live.com to find businesses(though I don't use it for information searches) instead of Google. I think with many users now installing Vista, and getting live as the default search engine, ... that many people are going to start using Live.com, that would not have.

Once they also see(as in my case) that it is better than google for finding a particular company(no sandbox, seemingly no penalties applying to a business name) I would also expect many of them to keep using it.

My traffic across the board (200+ sites) has swung by 9% to live in the last 2 months. Anyone else seeing live taking up a greater % of their traffic?

 

kidder




msg:3286056
 9:31 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

100% spot on - I am seeing more and more traffic from Live / MSN over the last month. The results look more rational overall - Whatever is going on it does seem to like our site in terms of content and structure as we are picking up plenty of long tail and index page search reults. I am not complaining at all and to me it represents some light at the end of the tunnel.

cleanup




msg:3286058
 9:48 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am sure that the gap is slowly closing.
alexa [alexa.com]

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 11:59 am (utc) on Mar. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] fixed url [/edit]

300m




msg:3286104
 10:50 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have not really been watching that, but I think an increase would make sense. Mostly because of Vista having live as the default. I researched that to a certain degree and personally think it will be a boost in MSN's favor. Think of all of the Dell's, Hp's etc that are selling new PC's, with that kind of base, Live will initially get what would normally be Google traffic. If they can consistently convert Google users over to live for the long term will dictate an increase in market share. Only time will tell. I would even think MSN Spaces will get some people that use MySpace, Facebook, or blogger.

farrell




msg:3286129
 11:31 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

If Windows Live is catching up on Google it is worrying, because its search engine produces some dramatically less accurate results than Google or Yahoo for non-commercial "librarian"-type information searches.

My site is probably the most comprehensive serious factual site on < a particular > subject. It has 2,500 pages, updated regularly, gets 5,000 visits a day, and has for many years appeared at number 1, 2 or 3 in results for a search on < its main keyword phrase > on Google, Yahoo and many other engines.

And yet the same search on live.com brings my site in at number 31. Ahead of it are one or two sleazy "adult" sites but also, for instance, a one-page essay by a schoolboy, written 10 years ago. And several other pages which, though legitimate answers to the query, are plainly far less significant, comprehensive and widely-linked-to than my site. How can this be? Is there anything I can do about it?

<Sorry, no specifics.
See Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 12:13 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2007]

BillyS




msg:3286136
 11:36 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with farrell - live.com is horrible for some searches. I'm talking not even close.

Bewenched




msg:3286210
 1:01 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Live may not the greatest results, but the referrals we get from live.com or msn.com result in much MUCH higher conversions (nearly 4 times more). Now the question is .. how do we get more pages in them?

pxc433




msg:3286212
 1:03 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've also noticed an increase.

And guess what - for my keywords the results are looking good. They used to have a bunch of spam in there, and now the front page is good in all cases, and quite a lot like Googles it has to be said.

Any one of the front page companies on Live could do a job for you.

We are ranking about the same on Live as Google, pretty good in both cases.

momogi




msg:3286312
 2:40 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

After reading this post, I try to do some query on my keywords in Live.

Turn out all the keywords are in very good position on #1 result, all of them in the range of no.1-3.

I also noticed that the quantity of search result is not so huge compare to Google/Yahoo.

For example: single keyword search result from Live is about 10% compare to Google & Yahoo.

Is that mean Live database is not as big as those two above?

calumniate




msg:3286317
 2:47 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

i like this trend. right now we're ranking better on live than on msn so it's nice to feel 'liked' once in a while :)

for business and commerce searches 'live' seems ok but i've never had the need or desire to try it for anything else.

trinorthlighting




msg:3286329
 3:07 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep, we are seeing it on the Windows Vista computers. Microsoft was smart, they made it a bit more difficult to change up the homepage settings on their browser this time around.

A slight increase, but not significant.

SEOPTI




msg:3286460
 5:05 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good News! Hopefully live.com will kick Googles a**.

maha




msg:3286519
 5:55 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Improving, but Live/MSN still drop in a bucket compare to the Google traffic.

BigDave




msg:3286555
 6:22 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Live.com is only above 1% of my SE referrals on one site. I guess live just doesn't like me.

nippi




msg:3287770
 10:14 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

BigDave.

I've been reading your posts for some years, and figure your low traffic from live, is because of your "make sites for people" philiosophy... works for google better than MSN which requires a little bit of "make sites for search engines".

By making sites for people, you;ve invariably not tripped any problems with google for overoptimisation, link building etc, so your sites have high trust factors, whereas on MSN, its more likely your sites are seen as not clear enough about the topic you are covering.

I think people who have moved to live, may well stay there

simey




msg:3287788
 10:35 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

IMO the one thing MSN had over G and Y was that they indexed new sites faster.
But the last few sites I have put up, MSN has been the last to index.

nonni




msg:3287800
 10:44 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure that 'making sites for people' means ranking better on one search engine than another. I write for people, and find that my sites do well on MSN. They also do ok on Google, but it takes longer, and they don't rise as high. Usually, the mature sites get more traffic from Google, but it is long tail traffic and a reflection of the fact that Google has a larger market share.

Assuming that a search engine prefers stuff 'written for people', wouldn't it still have biases and preferences for different writing styles? Would essays on a topic rank higher than monographs? What grade level would it prefer? Would slang help or hurt? Would a page with a narrowly defined topic push some keyword counts so high that it doesn't rank well, even if it is more relevant to a search than a more general essay?

europeforvisitors




msg:3287808
 10:49 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

My Live.com rankings are good to excellent, but referrals are still a trickle compared to Google's.

dcheney




msg:3287816
 10:57 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This month to date: Google 81%; M$ 6%
Last month, final: Google 80%; M$ 7%

I'm continuing to see horrid results on live (non-commercial niches).

goubarev




msg:3287829
 10:59 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see the increase in MSN traffic on my main site.
Here are the numbers for the last 6 days (by Google Analytics):

Google: 2025 - pages per visit 18.15 - conversion 11.51%
MSN: 459 - pages per visit 38.29 - conversion 17.21%
Yahoo: 2753 - pages per visit 23.51 - conversion 9.73%

It seems the MSN traffic is the "most human" - i.e. longer stays, better conversion...

Lately, Yahoo was very "favoriable" to my site and Google has one of its "algo changes" again...

MSN "link:" went down within the last month almost 30%
MSN "site:" went down within the last month almost 50%
MSN traffic remain unchanged.

kidder




msg:3287849
 11:29 pm on Mar 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thing with Live is that they don't have the search volume yet to give a true indication of how good their "engine" is. We have some good days on Live and it is on the rise. It will be interesting to see just how good or bad they are as they pickup more of the search volume. I don't think there is any doubt they are gaining ground due to Vista, the question is how far will it eat into G's share of search - Bill may have done us all a favour so maybe it's time to read up on MSN SEO....

SEOPTI




msg:3287870
 12:07 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks Bill!

ALbino




msg:3287931
 1:51 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We rank significantly better on live.com than on G because of the 950+ problem, and yet even still Google out performs them in terms of overall traffic at almost 1000:1. Traffic may be increasing, but certainly not enough to matter at this point (at least for our site).

europeforvisitors




msg:3287933
 1:53 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bill may have done us all a favour so maybe it's time to read up on MSN SEO....

One thing that I find interesting is how similar MSN's results are to Google's for some of the competitive (even "commercial") keywords that I follow. When I reviewed MSN's SERPs earlier today, I thought for a moment that I'd navigated to Google by mistake.

adessa




msg:3287943
 2:04 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like Live better because my website is always in 1-3 in my keywords. I hate google because of these giant websites which targeted all places their keywords ranks ahead of my website because of this Pagerank thing. These sites are not informative but MFA's

I conclude that Live is better.

BigDave




msg:3288022
 4:53 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I actually do fairly well with MSN results, averaging between 5 and 11% of my SE referrals. Even though msn is now showing "live" results, it is still the same MSN searchers, and they are bringing in 10-20 times the traffic as live.

Bewenched




msg:3288041
 5:21 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep, we are seeing it on the Windows Vista computers. Microsoft was smart, they made it a bit more difficult to change up the homepage settings on their browser this time around.

Didn't Microsoft get in trouble for doing this once before ... where you couldn't remove IE from the machine. I believe it was an antitrust suit that they lost on this matter. humm...

I do have one machine with vista and I'm still trying to decide whether or not to keep it on there. keeps blue screening every once in a while.

kidder




msg:3288069
 6:44 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors - I am with you on the look and feel thing with the Live results, at least on the verticals that I monitor. It seems to be a fairly recent development however. I've never had any volume to speak of with Live but now they are coming in I take the time to back track them and look. There is a lot to be said for a smaller cleaner index. Google could do this if they stopped with the maths and got down and dirty with the hand edits. I will probably get flamed for that one...

Martin40




msg:3288685
 5:52 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing that I find interesting is how similar MSN's results are to Google's for some of the competitive (even "commercial") keywords that I follow. When I reviewed MSN's SERPs earlier today, I thought for a moment that I'd navigated to Google by mistake.

MSN was more relevant before last summer's anti-spam update. Before that it was better than Google on high volume key-phrases, but since the update it has become somewhat Googlish indeed. Now it's better than Google just because it's more stable.

Google's search knowledge is considerable, which becomes noticable by performing long tail searches and or browse beyond page 1 on higher volume key-phrases. But it undoes much of it's relevance by it's high emphasis on PR, so that on page 1 of high volume key-phrases Live is better, and isn't that the bulk of the search market?

Last summer msndude said he was on a 3 year schedule, which is how Microsoft works. Nothing spectacular, just get a solid product out there and as it turns out Microsoft can wait for the competition to shoot itself in the foot. I think it's remarkable that Microsoft now dominates so many ICT related fields, even the instant messenger. Has Google ever been able to really venture outside of it's core business?

hutcheson




msg:3288756
 7:01 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

>I think it's remarkable that Microsoft now dominates so many ICT related fields, even the instant messenger. Has Google ever been able to really venture outside of it's core business?

Welcome to planet Earth. On this planet, everything MS does except MS-Windows and MS-Office loses money, does not dominate instant messaging, dominates browsers only by virtue of illegal acts, failed utterly to tackle reference content (encarta? making wikipedia look positively omniscient!) failed utterly to use its desktop monopoly to make a dent in the personal financial racket owned by Intuit, is losing ground on servers to Linux (and on web servers Apache rules even on Windows systems) ...

What does that leave? Microsoft Bob (alone in its class!), Flight Simulator, and stupid temper tantrums -- but even in the last, I think Hillary will pass the Ballmerator before the year is out.

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