SteveWh - 8:18 am on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0) I admit to not having followed closely discussions about what factors are used in G or MS algorithms, but something I do seem to detect -- can it be? -- is that people now seem to care more about the MS algo and how they rank in Live Search than they did even a few months ago.
if the algorithm ranks a page simply because it is smaller (perhaps making it "user friendly"), then the language hasn't truely been analyzed (has it?);
The "user friendly" part might be a bit of an over-reach... or maybe not?: Consider the target audience. What if MS considers that topic to be primarily of interest to school kids doing research for a paper? I'm not really suggesting that's the case, but your questions about why shorter could ever be considered better brought to mind the idea that there might be in some cases logical reasons for it. Most of those reasons, like the one above, assume a greater amount of page analysis that it seems likely anyone does. How "concisely" a page treats a topic, while retaining the same quality, would take a pretty advanced analysis(!).
I am simply trying to understand why preference may be given to smaller documents, all things considered equal.
I have some very long articles on my site, pages 30 to 70 KB, all text, that rank higher than I would expect for some keyword searches (they have to be fairly specific to get them to turn up, but not so specific as to eliminate similar pages from other sites). But the page that ranks highest, for a slightly less specific keyword search, is the index page to those pages, which is short and doesn't really address the topic at all, being a summary and index page. One reason it rates higher in this case might be that it was detected as an index page, which will lead to all the others when followed.
The fact that an explicit test brought that result is most interesting.
Again, this has been my observation over the past year and I have seen it work when tested.
I admit to not having followed closely discussions about what factors are used in G or MS algorithms, but something I do seem to detect -- can it be? -- is that people now seem to care more about the MS algo and how they rank in Live Search than they did even a few months ago.