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Answer me this question will you?
Good in msn.com poor in msn uk

 2:52 pm on Sep 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a new site that I have been working on for justunder a month. Sells widgets, and widgets from about 12 famous widget maufacturers.
The market is very competitive and staurated. I have taken my time and done it well, and it tops MSN.com for just about any widet+ derivate+ sale(s). ( yahoo is performing .com and .uk)

I am based in the UK, and the site doesn't rank very well on MSN.co.uk.

OK, the server for the site is in Texus. Is that why, or what am I missing here, or is it just that msn.co.uk is slower at backlinks than the .com?

One puzzled dude ValleyC



 3:27 pm on Sep 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

is it a .com or .net or any other international tld?


 11:15 pm on Sep 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it isn't a co.uk, and the server is in Texas, you won't rank (competitively) in msn.co.uk.

And yes, MSN's geolocation is that dumb.


 11:52 pm on Sep 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

steveb hit the nail on the head.

A .com hosted in the USA to all intents and purposes (to a search engine) is a USA site in every way.
However, a .co.uk site Hosted in the USA will be ranked geographically as a UK site targeted at the UK.


 3:31 pm on Sep 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Piskie is correct -- for now, anyway. The missing element is that the neural net "decides" how seriously to take this geolocal information, and this weighting is different from one market to the next. It also changes every time we train a new net.

If the geolocal feature were a poor guide to what customers want on a page, then the net would learn that the feature was just as worthless as steveb has always claimed it was. :-) This doesn't happen, though, because it turns out that the feature is usually a good guide. Although it is true that a US customer might want to see a page hosted in Japan, that is not the way to bet. At training time, the net "sees" thousands of examples where it works and dozens where it doesn't. (Of course this will only be as good as the data used to train it, but that's another discussion.)

Since the net weighs this together with hundreds of other features, it's quite possible to rank even if you are in a different country, but for highly-competitive keywords it's not likely.

I realize this doesn't help you much if your site happens to be one of the exceptions, and we are working on this. I don't have anything concrete to tell you right now though.


 6:37 pm on Sep 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks MSNdude for answering that in plain english.

I see a lot of people asking questions about this here.

Now why can't the GoogleGuy be as straightfowward..?


 10:38 pm on Sep 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Although it is true that a US customer might want to see a page hosted in Japan, that is not the way to bet."

In tht specific case you are less wrong than in general, but for the vast majority of searches a user could not care one tiny little bit if a site is hosted in the UK, Canada, the US or Australia.

The fact that the net hasn't figured that out yet is a problem with machine thinking to start with, but mostly MSN clinging to a really dumb idea long past the point that its dumbness is self-evident.

MSN needs to get it in its head to serve up the best search results as its default. If a user searching for "neptune" wants to choose to geolocate his search, then give him the *option* to do so. The default should be "best results", not "poorly done, badly conceived randomness". Build an engine for the 99.8%, not the 0.2% who sit around caring where a server is located.

It appears like this won't change any time soon, which is good for me personally since it kills my competitors not hosted in the US, but if MSN ever were to get some market share it would lead to an explosion of bogus semi-duplicate sites from companies with co.uk and other tlds created just to rank in MSN. MSN should not encourage this noise pollution


 12:39 am on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the balance of what we're saying is that the use of localised tlds is an unmistakeable signal of a websites intended audience

we also hearing that geolocation of the server IP is given some weighting by the ai/net,,

I very much doubt that any human construct at this time can identify what human beings believe to be the best of anything,,

hey, if you gather 1000 webbie people an ask them to vote for the best publisher, would any publisher get more than 10% of the vote?
I doubt that.

So when folk talk about "serve the best results", what they really mean is,,

"Park my site on page one, above the fold, then a few of the sites I like"

Msn, what i would like from you chaps is something like

the 2 other biggies site explorers an tools


could you do more to bring new users into the usage off search,
new users means more business for everyone, :-)



 2:11 am on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Park my site on page one, above the fold, then a few of the sites I like"

No, actually it means serve up the best results for the user they can.


 10:49 am on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


Our problem cetainly touches on geo-location issues. We have 4 large, B2B sites that have 1,000s of news items, journalist articles, research etc. Most sites have > 40% of visitors from the USA. These are all PR6 sites and have been going 6 years.

Sites are clean CSS, unique content changed hourly with good intra-site linking, sitemaps etc.

Because the sites are hosted in the UK but are .COM, we have virtualy no pages listed in your .com engines and very shallow crawl depths. All other SEs have no problems at all.

Might you have general suggestions how can we go about fixing this (short of relocating servers - and that is technically not feasible currently).


 4:56 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

a .co.uk site Hosted in the USA will be ranked geographically as a UK site targeted at the UK

what happens to a .com site hosted in the UK?

which would be more powerful if you're targetting the UK:

- a .com hosted in the UK
- a .co.uk hosted in the US

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