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In specialized areas, MSN has a long, long way to go if they want to catch up on Google.
My guess is that MSN are working hard at the high demand / popular search term end to ensure that spammy results do not get through. This might indeed be dampening niche phrases, but that may also be a function of MSNBot just not being around long enough yet to understand the good niche sites.
I guess if you are seeing that Spica, it may also suggest that MSN are using a theming algorithms - like Latent Semantic Indexing and Inverse Document Frequency [webmasterworld.com] which may not pick up the relationship between, say, Benzene Rings and Ferrous Oxide (or weirder relationships) and thus cannot theme quality sites of a reference nature?
Just me thinking allowed - I haven't tested the theory or anything.
What I did notice in a specialized search (although it was not up long enough for me to fully test) was that large sites with flat URLs fair well - didn't see anything with a query in the URL, but the first seven or eight were all clearly database driven sites.
[edited by: engine at 10:44 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2004]
[edit reason] fixed url [/edit]
I like the results, however, I do have one complaint. It seems that the search results are not THAT accurate. For example, lets say that I am creating a site about The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Well, when I do a search about that, I get Alamo car rentals, Alamo Draft Cinema, and PC Alamo, a computer company. The only real result about the alamo is like 5 results down.
This is not very accurate.
Other than that, I am happy with it.
Uggh. They better address the domain keyword weighting at the least! Also, there seems to be no way to distinguish one link as more valuable than another. 500 Incoming sitewide links from an external domain seem to weigh as much as 500 incoming links from different domains.
Then they can try and lure a Google Engineer to learn how to block the subdomain spamming and extensive crosslinking on the same IP address.
After that, they will be ready to take on Google.
Even Yahoo properly implements incoming anchor text links from different domains as the #1 ranking factor, but haven't addressed dupe content or subdomaining/crosslinking as effectively.
Just one point.
There seems to be a duplicate issue. I have a .net and .com domain both pointing to the same place and results were displayed for both, Google took a while to get on top of that as I recall I hope MSN can sort it out with less fuss/collateral damage.
Let me guess... your pages must rank horribly in MSN, but their algorithm is still great, right?
(you need to relax... I'm working on an enormous new site so I've seen no results on Goosandbox, Yahoo or MSN yet. either way, it's nice to be ranked #1 on an SE, but that does not make that SE a relevant search engine)
[edited by: airpal at 4:24 pm (utc) on Oct. 5, 2004]
And yours bomb on Yahoo! I asume.
I like the results
1)because they return Google-like results (and I always use Google)
2)because they return more results, so for obscure searches where say Google only returns 2 pages MSN is returning 3 or 4 pages of SERPS.
I have actually gone to the new MSN twice today to look for "people names" I was researching and found one that I could not find on Google. Needless to say I do not bother with Y!
[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 5:52 pm (utc) on Oct. 5, 2004]
[edit reason] keep it polite please [/edit]
A search for the word "the" or "http" on techpreview comes up with 2,000,000,000 pages. This is obviously a capped figure. I would think that at the rate msnbot appears to be crawling, it will have indexed a much greater number of pages than Google by the time it goes live (and probably already has).
I spent the majority of last night putting msn search preview #2 through it's paces and it is far more accurate than Google for both specific and general searches, particularly searching by location.
IMHO results are so much better it will only take searchers a couple of visits to the new msn search to think about making a switch.
I have noticed that a list of websites in my industry targeting different destinations are coming up on top in msn beta version. These search terms are highly competitive in my industry.
The funny thing is these sites have no Page Rank (PR is Zero) in Google. Also they are not content rich websites.
I have following questions for you guys
What does this mean?
Why these sites ranking wel in msn beta version?
What would be the ranking criteria in msn?
Checked one of our clients main keywords and the #1 site listed is still the same one I mentioned from preview #1 -- a page made up of one huge image and no text other than a copyright notice at the bottom. The only thing possibly justifying the page's top position is that it was created with Front Page. (That's how you optimize for MSN Search -- build it with Front Page, submit it from a Hotmail address, etc.) :)
Admittedly, some test searches I've done yesterday and today are an improvement over the summer, but this is far from being ready for launch.
Books - No Amazon
Suits me! :)