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What is the beta? As WebGuerilla has pointed out the beta is an evolution of our Technology Preview. As you can tell we made major enhancements to the user interface and added a bunch of new features. We still have work to do, however, to get [search.msn.com...] to be able to use our new algorithmic search results that are available at [beta.search.msn.com...] .
How does one get into the results? All of our web results are generated algorithmically so you cannot buy your way into the index. We will not try and teach site optimization to you guys – assume you have that covered :) If you want to submit your URL to us you can do that at [beta.search.msn.com...] .
Also regarding relevance, there has been some speculation on some online forums about MSNBot using Google search result pages to build our index. Let us set the record straight – that is simply not true. We respect robots.txt and as a result we will not crawl Google’s search result pages.
With regards to site availability that is something we are continuously working on. Oshoma Momoh, a General Manager in the MSN Search team, posted a blurb about this on the MSN Search blog -- [blogs.msdn.com...] .
Finally some folks have asked why we don’t just turn this on for all users right now? We love the words of encouragement, however, we have a number of bugs that we need to fix and we need to make sure that we can run the service with great performance and deliver high quality results. We will get there.
Please keep the feedback and constructive criticism coming – we appreciate all of it.
- msndude (msd)
I would say it's great. I also tried results for "prescription drugs" and it all shows great here.
Things that are obvious weaknesses:
1 - over-reliance on domain names in results.
2 - server keeps stalling or failing, sure Windows can handle the load once it goes live? It's having trouble with low level beta testing already. Beta version is significantly slower to serve 'next' in list of results than google is. Acts like it's on windows. My condolences to the server farm team.
3 - since I haven't actively tried to manipulate MSN yet, I'm not going to say it's easy to manipulate. But it does seem that the potential is there, as steveb points out. But I'm not sure how much of that comes from not relying on the age of the site.
1:50 PM, click 'next', read this: This site is temporarily unavailable, please check back soon.
I've seen that a lot, are you sure this is a beta test and not an alpha?
i tried a history of keword1 keyword2 search and got lightweight keyword1 keyword2 sites....i did not get sites with the history of the keywords....
on the plus side the move to user interactive sliders is something ive been waiting for a long time...it looks good too...spidering is good....
[edited by: soapystar at 10:20 pm (utc) on Nov. 17, 2004]
My site can be in any of the top three positions, however the sites that appear around it are rarely the same.
Question is what am I doing right? or why is this happening to others and not me?
I think it depends on the terms, and whether that specific phrase is actually relevant, in the case I tested it is, that's what the page is about. The site in question is pretty relevant for keyword1 keyword2, MSN seemed able to take that into account. That's what I liked about the result, for a page on that topic, MSN wasn't confused by a simple rearranging of the terms.
I like how my site is in top 100,000 according to Alexa and when I try to find my site in the new search I only get the sites that link to mine.
I noticed that too. In fact, my keyword rich high traffic flagship website is no where to be seen in the first several pages of results when searching for the exact 3 words in the beta version, but lots of other sites are there.
Oddly a number of smaller lesser known sites which link to me are listed well, occupying all the top positions. In fact, for some odd reason 100% of the sites in the first several pages I looked at do in fact link to me?
Another oddity is my flagship web-site always ranks #1 in Google so those results from beta are unusual.
Getting even wierder is the fact when searching for those 3 words in my url from the IE6 Browser address bar window it gets redirected of course to search.msn.com and guess what, there is my web-site #-1, just like it is in Google. Very odd!
its hard to understand those findings
Its not empirical analysis, its observed analysis, not based on where any particular site is in either SE. New Scientist are a respected authority in the field of science and technology in the UK, and I believe their findings 100%.
The experts gave MSN Search high marks for quick retrieval of data, for the quality of hits, the ability to respond to natural-language questions and possibility of finetuning the search.
This is what I too have found with the new MSN search.
its observed analysis
So now that the M$ beta reveals just how dishonest the G$ SERPs are -- as many white hat G$-stripped sites are now appearing in the M$ beta SERPs where they should be -- does it seem that those mocking accusers are now the real whiners? In the face of actual HONEST SERPs, are they now the ones who are they epitome of what they had arrogantly enjoyed mocking?
Maybe someone should do like they did and arrogantly tell them to "stop whining and just buck up" to go figure out their SEO for better placement in the (currently) HONEST SERPs of the M$ beta. Or, just tell them some other similarly and extremely insulting statement, just like they've often used against the G$- victims.
And it could be very sweet justice when this M$ beta -- with its currently HONEST SERPs -- gives G$ the thrashing with a splintery two-by-four on its raw flesh that the betraying G$ so deserves.
<Moderated by Dixon - changed use of language>
[edited by: Receptional at 5:02 pm (utc) on Nov. 24, 2004]
Hard because its obfuscated by technical language, or hard because you don't want to understand them soapystar?
lol! only two choices? i think we can see where you are coming from. But on the offchance that its a serious question then:
Hard to understand the finding since the MSN results are not anywhere near on a par with google for deep content searches imho. Niether does the infrstucture see able to cope with beta traffic levels. Filtering is someway behind. Little concept of networks. Fine its clearly all in beta stage but that begs the question how anyone can find a beta msn search on par with Google.
"New Scientist asked software engineers to test an early version of Microsoft's MSN Search service, which was released last week.
The experts (i.e those employed and chosen by New Scientist and now given a label of experts wich is open to a large amount of subjective reasoning and is a marketing term in this context) gave MSN Search high marks (is any scienitific study ever actually presented as high or low marks?) for quick retrieval of data, for the quality of hits (based on what parameters?), the ability to respond to natural-language questions and possibility of finetuning the search. (possibility? ok you mean a this stage the promise of what it might achieve)
"The differences between the search engines are now so slight, it's going to be hard for any company to differentiate on technical grounds," (i thought it was users who decided on the basis of the quality of sites found, how many every day users use Google because it scores on technical grounds?) Chris Sherman of SearchEngineWatch website in Darien, Connecticut, told New Scientist.
New Scientist asked software engineers to test an early version of Microsoft's MSN Search service, which was released last week. "
and you accept the findings because you believe in New Scientist 100%? Oh, ok then.
btw...i like MSN but to suggest its on a par with Google at this stage is silly.
However, this is why G$ will get a trashing, because MS will scoop up all that commercial money, which is where the strength of the internet lies.
Google will always be good for finding documents that are specific, but i dont think this necessarily will bring them money.
I use G$ very easily for finding documents for programming etc. , but definetly think that MSN, Yahoo and ASK have always been on par if not better / more relevant when I have wanted to buy something and think this will only increase in the future.
New scientist software engineers commenting with observed, rather than empirical analysis (I'm sure theres an oxymoron waiting to spring out there!)
I believe that the 'experts' believe that msn is on a par with google, I even believe that my sites do better in msn than google (empirically), however, I have enormous contradictions in my mind when I wish success to msn (my primary email server is @ f**********t).
Multiman, a monolithic approach to the google 'rape' as you term it, will do you no good, yes, I had many sites kicked into obscurity, yes, my income has reduced by a magnitude of 10. I understand your frustration, but frustration breeds frustration.
Its Friday POETS
this post has been optimised for the words frustration and empirical ;)