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The business sites are in a particular, academic/professional niche. I produce a continuous stream of longish articles. They have a good audience but most webmasters would find it boring to build sites in this area. Apart from a 3-week hit earlier this year, these sites seem to glide through most Google updates (so far). 80-90% of the search engine traffic comes from Google with MSN at around 5%.
My 'fun' sites are in areas that have major competition. For example, travel. Again, I've written fairly long, original articles about locations I have visited or researched - complete with original photos. Google - apart from Google images, that is - ignores most of these, preferring large machine-produced websites, sometimes with pages having no content at all. MSN, on the other hand, picks up my material with no problem and produces about 45% of the SE traffic for these sites, with most of the rest coming from Yahoo and Ask.
The last one has top place in google for a number of searches.
I hadn't noticed it before, but what is interesting here is the very high proportion for other search engines, direct referrals etc -the top 3 search engines accounting for 74% in the best case and 48% in worst. The sites are all hand crafted and together get around 60,000 individual visitors per month.
Pretty bad, eh? I just got a message from MSN telling me that they do not know why my site is not in their search results except for one page that is url only (not the home page). Up until some time last summer, I ranked very well in MSN, although I can't say it ever provided many visits (about 5%). Then my site just disappeared except for one url-only page. My site was not penalized, according to MSN. They said they would re-include it back in August but never have, and new requests for inclusion have brought the response that they don't know why it isn't in the results.
I really am pretty amazed that they are here asking for advice about tweaking their ad program when they still have such massive problems with their search that they can't even include a perfectly ordinary site in their results after crawling it and can't explain why. First get the search engine working properly, then worry about the ad program. Worrying about the ad program now is like putting a billboard up on a hole in the ground that will be a building someday.