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Looks like the top 3 ppc ads are MSN supplied, with Overture taking up the 4th and ads on the right side. Not very wise since I see the same site listed twice in the 3rd and 4th spots.
The rest is Ink.
I am searching for a keyword "american widgets" (with no quotes). MSN tells me: "your spelling was corrected to 'americanwidgets'", and first 3 SERPs(!) filled with pages from our main competitor's site americanwidgets.com. Obviously, when you click "do not correct my spelling" link, you get a lot better SERPs with only 3 links pointing to AmericanWidgets.com and the rest to major competitor sites.
How is that not the same what Verisign did in the not so distant past?
"american widgets" is not a real keyword in this example
If we knew that M$ cared mainly about quality, then it would be a surer bet that they would soon go 100% INK ... but since M$ is M$, who knows.
Maybe they will, despite their general bias, still come to figure out what G seemed to forget not long ago...that quality actually does matter.
It always amazes me how companies need to learn that lesson over and over and over again. ;-)
Well that is part of the point. A year of Ink is not an option. Adding L$ is an improvement, but without the Zeal/free listings still basically surrendering the battlefield. Put the free/Zeal listings back in and they'll be where they were last year, which was at least not embarrassing.
Looksmart has as much spam/junk in it as anything else out there.
I would agree that more edu/gov sites come to the top of the SERP's in LS than in INK on average ... but in a way that seems quite similar to the current G. In other words, LS SERP's are an odd mixture of mega non-profit sites, legit sites, and very spammy sites. Who needs another post Florida G?
At least where I look, INK is a lot closer to G's pre Florida SERP's, and whether one thinks that that is a good thing or not, it seemed to work for G, and the majority of surfers.
Perhaps it's true that just like the current G, the current LS SERP's are better in some of the non-competitive categories, when you actually want a .gov site. ;-)
I had the same thing happen with seeing directory results until I cleared my cache and reloaded the msn pages and then the directory results were gone. Try it - afterburner
Just loading [search.msn.com...] displays the Directory. Those that say it isn't there must be referring to something entirely different.
Whether it's beta search, the search at MSN homepage, or any other MS Search, they all give Look$mart Directory results. Some search terms return less of the Directory, but from the region I'm at, none of what's being reported in this thread is happening.
Believe me, I'm the first person who wants MSN to dump the L$ Directory. 4 years ago, I paid to be included and the first thing they did was hack my site description to pieces so that it rarely matched search terms.