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give some examples and lets see if others can confirm similarities.
i seem to remember seeing some "strange" referrers from MSN at times in the past. dont remember the details though. maybe if we cross-compare what we're seeing, we can get a general theory on what's happening, and potentially have something to go to Overture with...
from what i've figured out, MSN listings are basically coming from the native search feature in the browser - NOT from the MSN.com website. of course, given that IE dominates the marketplace now, this still means that MSN was our biggest referrer (prior to yahoo getting in the game). are others seeing the same?
the problem is that there's no way for you to separate out MSN clicks from other clicks anyway, so in evaluating traffic you're forced to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" - ie. its all overture affiliates or nothing.
Paid Overture words: religion, spirituality, truth, freedom
Charged MSN words: karma, reincarnation
However, I first noticed these oddities because the spurious search terms were actually converting -- and as long as the ROI is decent (and so far it is) I ain't complaining. It is more than a little bit funky, however.
<added> My thought was that these clicks may be coming from people who use MSN as their ISP, and get a proprietary search page, not the standard msn.com page.</added>