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I'm wondering if MSN is testing, or implementing, a new filter/algo on top of the INK index...
However, at least in the category we stare at most of the time, these SERP's are *not* at all like those that were there right before the changeover to INK. We have the benefit of a snapshot of M$S just before the changeover. (We're thorough that way, but we did it to compare the two indexes, not because we anticipated a rollback... :-) ).
Instead, what I'm looking at in this one category, is a new Googlesque set of SERP's, meaning that I see more corporate sites, big directories, and edu/org sites than were there for the same two word competitive search, just prior to the very recent changeover.
Could it be that M$N is testing a filter or algo on top of the old LS index, since that index is well known to them? Hmmm. Maybe that makes no sense. I think this will take someone who sees what I see, and has far more knowledge than I in this area.
This looks like the December batch of Looksmart results though... very few non-paid/Zeal results, if any.
steveb, not sure I see this as the Dec. LS...in my catgegory there are definitely new sites in the top ten that were never there before. We moved up too, higher than we'd ever been (except for the last few days when it was INK).
Mainly a bunch of drek, indeed (my site excluded of course). So far, 2004 is prooving to be an interesting year...as in the Chinese curse: "May you lead an interesting life."
There's no redirect tracking link. Mouse over the link, and you'll see a clean link with no redirect to count it.
Sunday night I deleted my L$ listings entirely. L$ was still debiting the few dollars remaining in my account (at the rate of $0.15 per MSN click) even though their directory listings were no longer in MSN. Turns out their tracking links were showing up on the INK MSN listings (i.e. that's the 'Web Pages' section). You could see a L$ redirect tracking link when you moused over my INK listing in the MSN 'Web Pages' listings (which is all they were showing until yesterday).
Now the L$ directory listings are back in MSN. No L$ redirect tracking links are showing for either the L$ listings or INK listings.
The A/B split testing theory makes sense, except there are no redirect tracking links, so I doubt that's what they are doing.
I am not sure what's up. Fortunately I rank well in both INK and L$.
Or, maybe someone just leaned back on a switch and no one noticed for a day or so.
Whatever ... life goes on ... confusion reigns, at least inside my head.