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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)
In case it didn't come across well in my post above, I think it's great that MSN is launching this new look at their technology preview. The search geek in me really enjoys horsing around with a new search engine, and it also helps to raise the awareness of how important search is in everyday life these days.
I'm getting "google.com" as a result on obscure searches like "wholesale conchos" in quotes..
What's up with that?
That's really interesting. As a matter of point, it seems like a really arcane search term. Could it be that Google.com is the most "heavily weighted" website on the Internet and is being pushed ahead of a bunch of sites that really aren't relevant, considering that nothing really is?
That wouldn't be an option except that hindsight should be 20/20.
I somehow find this "dialog" (albeit one-way) between GoogleGuy and MSNDude intriguing. I must say, it isn't as if GoogleGuy couldn't have just checked with the guy who analyzes the log files (they have a guy who only does that) and asked him if MSNBot was crawling them :)
Talk about a jab in the ribs!
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.
With my limited knowledge of Alexa, it seems that soley based on one person using the toolbar and visiting your site fairly regulary (e.g. once per day) would bump you up into the ~100,000 region.
Is this the case?
With this update, the sliders are working now in Firefox (thanks msndude), and it seems that if I make the popularity 100% as well as the freshness, I can get Google.com to come up for a lot of product related seaches in the top 5.
Something is awry with their LSI (no more rhymes now, and I mean it).
...or perhaps GG has been doing some surreptitious optimization ...I'm going to go check for anchor text bombing in the MSN Search blogs. ;)
if I make the popularity 100% as well as the freshness, I can get Google.com to come up for a lot of product related seaches in the top 5
Still, I am sorry to say this, but msn beta is junk. The results arent good, and there are tons of elementary stuff that seems to be neglected. Duplicate pages in the index, page title being given too much importance; and I noticed that in only 2 searches.
Cry havoc! And let loose the bots of search!
I also find GoogleGuy's comments quite telling. It is obvious MSN is the biggest threat to Google and the fact that MSN is this ahead of schedule must really have them worrying.
Google relies completely on search and having users type Google.com into their browser. MSN has the beauty of their site loading up immediately for many users. They will also have much more traffic with longhorn being implemented.
With that said, Google must have the best search results to compete. By looking at the two, Google is just too stale. I'm tired of looking for recent happenings or new websites and finding them buried 50 pages deep behind forum posts and blogs.
MSN has made the first strike, and I think it is just the beginning. I have a feeling in a year or two we'll be talking about msndude and googleguy will be just another member.
Hmmm, there is a lot I can agree with in your post.
Google appear (as I have no concrete proof) to be playing with the results and shifting who gets where in the SERPs on an arbitary basis.
If I were MSN I would allow people to "game" my results and get SEO's to focus on my search engine - for the obvious financial beniefits.
Then when the competiton is wiped out slam them with expensive PFI/PPC programs when they have no other options.
Paranoid? - probably!
Agreed. I would like nothing better than to have one of the "others" come up in quality. But from the searches I ran tonight on the beta, one thing is very clear. The microsoft SE is not particularly adept at excluding link schemes. In one niche area, I saw one fellow's sites, on the same subject matter, appear on the first four pages of the serps. And the content on nearly every one of these sites is nearly identical. If this is the best that MS can do, Google doesn't have to worry. MS can run as many butterfly commercials as they want--hype doesn't replace results.
They'd be stupid not to worry. They took down Netscape and the browser was a freebie. Imagine with the money being made on text ads on searches now. Microsoft has over $30 Billion in cash (after giving back about 30 more to the shareholders) and adds billions more each quarter.
They can hire pretty much whoever they want, license whatever technology that is needed and play dirty. Sue them after they drive you outa business....10 years later you'll settle for $500 mil or so and the lawyers already ate half.
I bet you that Google will not keep decent (but new) sites ranked #24656544 for a year or so anymore and sites will not move from #1 to page 450 within days.
[edited by: walkman at 5:09 am (utc) on Nov. 12, 2004]
As for fighting spam, google has taken it to the extreme where one little mistake can wipe an entire site out in one day.
I had a site that suddenly got indexed really well one day and got a huge amount of traffic from google which used up all my bandwidth. So my host replaced all my pages with a page that said "This customer exceded it's bandwith limit" And in one day that site was completely dropped from the google index.
I had the bandwidth upgraded so that it would handle all the traffic google sent it which cost about $160 extra a month and the next day the site was dropped from google. Talk about upset!
That site never got reindexed. Why? Was the "bandwidth pages" considered spam? Yahoo didn't ban the site? It's crazyness.
From then on, I use dedicated servers for all my sites. Just in case google get's a wild hair and likes me again.
New black hat sites are doing well in both Google and MSN. Cloaking was a result of being messed around by google. If you cant get an "organic site" to rank well then go for cloaking.