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Strange Rankings

MSN search angine rankings.

4:41 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have this website that I have had going for about a year. The only search engine I submitted it to was Google. For months nothing really happened. Then one day I saw that my page was finally listed. It took about another month for Google to list my other pages. I started to get visitors from Google, but not really a whole lot. I never submitted to any other search engines. I was getting good business even without search engines. THEN... about 3 months ago, out of the blue, I see that I am getting all kinds of visitors on MSN and with very common keywords too. Over the next few weeks after that, I saw my site litrally jump to the front page and climbing. It was even ranking higher than other sites that have been around for years! That is also strange.... They even built their websites with complex programs an' stuff. Had excellent meta info, the works. Me, I usually do everything by hand as I do not like to use web page making programs. Well, unless I am installing order forms or something. So I wonder, how is my site doing this on MSN? I mean you can type in "ONLINE DOCTORS" and I get on the first page. It is the same also, when people type in just the name of some of the most popular meds bought online. If I could figure out how my "handmade" site is ranking higher and higher on MSN and above all the sinority sites, I would be a very wealthy woman. Can anyone tell me how I lucked out like this on MSN? I have never paid ANY search engine to list my site. I only submitted to Google and now I am ALL OVER MSN and I am also getting visitors from search engines I have never heard of. This is kinda weird. Anyone with any info, that would be GREAT! Thanks, ~Doc
10:08 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Submit or not to submit, tis the question!
Actually - you can't hide from any search engine. They will eventually find you. Even if someone posted your URL on message boards or what have you, that's how MSN found you and listed you.

As for why you are ranking high on msn, I have no idea either nad have been working on getting rank for my site for several months. I finally acheived page 1 status on msn by just stumbling into it really. I wasnt complete with my gateway page which was basically a doorway page that sends users to an online store. The second I 'finished' it by adding a brief about us toward the bottom and used proper headings etc , plus several articles of interest - the website went KABOOM OFF of MSN totally in less than 24 hours. I went from page 20 or so to page 1 to page nothing in less than a weeks time.

I suspect your competition is rather slim for your chosen keyword phrase but am not sure however. If you do have a competitive keyword of say 200,000 or more then the following holds true: now this is just my experience, others may differ but from what I see it doesn't by much.

-Your title is very short (less than 5 words..or less, and includes your keyword phrase foward or backwards.
-the word online and doctor are used a few times throughout the first page
-the intial amount of text on your site is pretty slim. Maybe less than 100 words, or even 75.
-you possibly used h1 tags

Metas really dont mean much anymore other than the 'title'. Keywords are useless and when used incorrectly can only hurt you.
Description tags are still used but should be followed carefully as to no keyword stuff. A natural description of your site with a few keywords in it works best.

Yes if you could figure out what puts you in the top ratings, properly worked out you could be doing much better. Alas, the quandry of most. You can change ONE word on that site and it might throw it down to completely off of the website. No joke. While keeping it stale might also make your ranking slip. I'd think about the changes you made and when you started seeing better results.


9:48 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i think i am in the same boat as cyber physician. I have almost minimal link building and i haev one site in the top 5 and another in the top 20 for a 40million result keyword. I noticed the same increase in traffic also a few months ago when msn beta kicked into high gear. Not sure what is going on with the msn algo, but i am loving it.
12:56 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

One thing that I noticed is that MSN likes a "flat" website. Many of the smaller websites with 100 or less pages can afford to link all of this pages directly from their main page or one level down.

I see the same thing too on my site, but I do not rank as well as I think I should. When I run an article on the front page, it ranks quite well even though there is only a short paragraph describing the article. Later, when it is moved off the main page it disappears from the SERPs.

I an happy for those that are benefiting from this, but I would think this is a short term problem at MSN.

10:25 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

I wouldn't call it "flat". I'd call it "shallow". MSN doesn't like deep content domains. It likes index pages, and subdomain index pages, plus things linked off such pages.

The type of thing that MSN would not like at all is a domain devoted to every baseball player that ever played, that was organized by team and by decade. It would dig down to the team level, but it would drastically devalue the next level, even if the structure was like bigbaseballauthoritydomain.com/yankees/babe-ruth/, and the title of the page was "Babe Ruth". Such a page would lose out to loads of the babe-ruth.tripod.com type sites most every time.

1:17 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

The type of thing that MSN would not like at all is a domain devoted to every baseball player that ever played, that was organized by team and by decade.

I agree. Right now this is what I am seeing in MSN. I would hope they eventually tweak this a bit to favor sites attempting to be comprehensive and organized.

9:48 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yea all search engines are frustrating me at this point. We were top ranked on msn after I made major changes to our site and moved our store to another area and create nothing but a splash page with links to inside the store and hardly any alttextover images. Then I added an about us statement toward the bottom and BAM we were off MSN TOTALLY.
SO I replace everything to where it was and we still have no ranking what so ever after 5 days. :(

Google has websites located in China asking you to download a language pack only because they have a bazillion links that are mostly scam websites with spyware/popups etc or adult sites, or financial sites that provide no services etc.

Ridiculous. I know searching for things myself I am finding it harder and harder to find what I am looking for lately...we sit on the middle of the high road with proper seo and good products / services for a good price- and have 0 links in google/yahoo and now, completely gone from msn.

The internet is turning into a pool of poo where porn is god.


9:39 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i wuold disagree. I have a "tree" type structure where only a few pages are linked from the home page like categories with subcategories etc. One site has 15000+ pages indexed while the other bouces between 40000-55000 pages indexed, although I have more like 300,000 possible pages.Although I use a tree/category linking structure, I keep the crawlers busy by randomly linking to 5 other pages anywhere on the website from any given page.
10:34 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Crawling isn't the main issue, although their crawl is not very good (seemingly only getting half or 2/3s of sites under 1000 pages).

Ranking is the issue. They may crawl that babe Ruth page, but they'll rank it below reams of lightweight index pages.

7:02 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

steveb is right.

Mind you, I can't get the ****ing thing to index the whole site OR to get where I think the site should be in the rankings. On my main keyphrase the (UK) site is #1 of 60m on .co.uk, which is nice, and we are fortunate enough to have a similar position on Google.co.uk.

However on Google we have 100k+ pages indexed, all delivering top-#5 positions on a massive range of relevant keyphrases. On MSN it fluctuates between 600 and 3k pages, and the referrals from other than the keyphrase and sitename searches are pathetic.

I know that the bot prefers fresh content and have put up a "Yesterday's Widgets" page (of internal links to fresh content) linked from the home page to encourage it to include this in the shallow scoop crawl that it seems to favour. This stuff seems to be picked up, but the deeper hierarchical pages that do so well on Google are being ignored, and the fresh stuff gets dropped after a short while anyhow.

Can anyone who has done well on indexing, and more importantly referrals, on a large db-driven dynamic site pass on any hints about their site structure?

Are internal links the answer, and has anyone done well with great categorisation/taxonomy approaches? (My "indexable" pages aren't much more than hierarchical links to content).



10:13 am on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

the strange thing for me as i have some pages optizmised for phrases and MSN has listed me high for these phrases but not the actual page itself but one of the pages that links to it. Its not even the home page. Whats that all about?
11:10 am on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Yep, I've seen this and have posted before on the subject.

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