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MSN doen't seem to like older sites

I have older sites that are disappearing in serps



5:35 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I noticed that many of my newer sites rank well dispite only having a limited number of links. Where as my older sites are gradually fade and even are losing pages from the serps. I think there is a stale factor that requires constant updates in order to stay highly ranked.

Some of my observations about MSN rankings:
Title tag not as important
Exact anchor text very important
Page content very important
Links semi-important
Freshness extremely important

I wonder if people have determined the weights for the typical SEO factors.


11:50 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many people seem to be having trouble with older sites, including some of mine, but I do not think it is that MSN doesn't like old site, rather than it doesn't treat "age" as a factor (or at least, if it does, it only started counting "age" from when MSN beta went live).

Freshness extremely important

It is quite possible I guess for them to also use the logic that new pages are more relevent than old pages - much like "freshbot", but built into the main algo. I think you are right.

Title tag not as important
. Here I am not so sure I agree. I have found that Exact match title tags are very effective, but partial match are way off target. Time to drop "brand" from every title page?

I wonder if people have determined the weights for the typical SEO factors.

If MSN are actively using LSI (latent semantic indexing) in the algo, then weightings of these factors will change from keyword to keyword which is going to pretty much kill the idea of some magic formula for weighting. Essex_boy is looking at keyword density in this forum and suggeting 6% - and I have no reason to disagree, but he may be right in his sector, but very wrong in another sector, where there may be more (or less) synonyms for a given word, which would massively affect the algorithm.

Has anyone really got their head around LSI? and do you think it plays a part in the MSN algo at the moment?


3:14 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you think about it, if "Freshness" is a factor what a superb idea!

Just because a site is of a certain age doesnt mean that its any good. In fact you could argue that if a sites page is say over 5 years old and the page has not been updated then it may well be out of date information!

Could be another reason why MSNs results are so much more relevent than Googles. Interesting


3:36 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>I have found that Exact match title tags are very effective, but partial match are way off target.

I've noticed this since the beta, especially for subpages. Odd that many others are saying just the opposite. Perhaps there's less weight given to the homepage's title.

>>Just because a site is of a certain age doesnt mean that its any good.

Just because a page is fresh doesn't mean it's any good either.


5:07 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I find when I do a search that many of the titles have little correspondance to my search query. Both my new and old sites use the same format for their title tags and the new sites are doing better. I have been going back to my older sites and making large updates to them to see what effect it has. Strangely on both Google and MSN it makes a big difference. Actually on Google one site went from #100 to top 10 because of a change that really shouldn't have affected the SEO and only affected the freshness.


9:55 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My Sites are old (1996,1998 etc) and rank very well.

Freshness? well two of the four I keep very fresh the other two once in a while.

So I would say no big issue with either old or not fresh sites.


11:20 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interesting... I see different for the sites I administer. The newer sites have slightly better SEO but the older sites have more links. However, still the newer sites rank better. Also, I'm seeing newly launched sites rank well quickly.


8:02 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I dont like the age factor one bite alot of sites which are not updated have great content, like planet jupiter is so and so big, bla,bla that important content which does not need any update or a site full of pictures. I have also seen alot of big site mostly non php sites have bad ranking and almost non pages indexed.


6:11 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lack of "freshness" is not hurting my site. I have a number of top rankings (#1-3) for very competitive terms. Some of these pages haven't been updated in a year or more.


7:20 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just an FYI to everyone, I am starting to think "Freshness" is one of the key factors of the new engine.

Someone I know coincidentally redid their entire site right around the time MSN released its new engine, and they went skyrocketing to #1 out of over 8 million results. We were #5 before the new MSN and got kicked to page 4. I have a very well established site but we had not updated our home page in quite some time.

The only difference here is that he did a complete revamp of his old site and home page... so MSN see's him as "new". All the content is old, its just a new site so everything is moved around and structured differently, therefore "new".

This is just a guess, but ... we are # 1 on google out of 8 million results ... we should not be on page 4 of MSN... period.

~ Long


7:20 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I see a lot of old sites ranking, too.I pretty much work on one timeline (meaning I only know about the relative age of sites in my kw range). Is there some enormous advantage to old sites in Google that isn't just attributable to links and number of pages? "Old" doesn't mean pre-sandbox, we're talking sites dating to 90's and stuff like that?

LongView, I hear what you are saying. I know a site that just did a complete redesign and they had an improvement but they had already achieved great position shortly after MSN's launch and then lost it and have now regained it. Truth is I see a lot of sites oscillating between first page and results 30-50 in my kw range.

I don't see a lot of logic to that except doing comparison tests between different ranking algorithms.


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