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MSN Search SERPs Latest Changes: What's Good and What's Bad?

     
12:20 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Never seen such garbled up nonsense, not "spammy" per say, but generally irrelavant and just bizarre. Someone pushed the wrong button over there.

Search for <snip> - 9 of the top 10 is <snip>.com....almost all serps seem to look pretty much this way...url only titles and just poorer than ever.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 7:34 pm (utc) on Feb. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] I bet even <snip> itself has bad results ;) [/edit]

5:57 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



In the limited searches I've tried, I'm seeing generally good results. Hadn't paid enough attention to what was there previously to compare to say definitively whether this is a rollback or more than a rollback. The ultra-long url that's returned on one search I noted is still #1, and it still breaks the table structure of the serps page.
6:04 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I see a rollback as well! Good work MSN!
6:24 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



Actually, whatever these SERP's are, they are not exactly what they were just prior to the mess. It's sorta hard to tell with MSN, since their SERP's bounce around daily, but there are some important changes, i.e., sites on page one I've never seen there before, others falling off that have been there for a while. The overall effect on our sites seems to be a wash (thru all three phases of this: pre-mess, mess, and post-mess), these results today look a little better and less spammy than we've seen before. Maybe what we witnessed was indeed an interum stage as fearless leader speculated.
6:28 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, I don't think this was a rollback actually now that I have checked my niche keywords. My sites are back to where they were but there are some new ones around mine now that are just as relevant as mine that were not there before. MSN must not have completed their new algo update before publicizing it and finally got it right. In my niche these serp's are better than Google's with respect to relevancy.
7:24 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There is a change or a rollback. Less based on keywords in domains. Domain name is less important comparing to used to be. Search.com & local.com are not at the top for search & local terms, respectively.
8:24 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



Utterly pathetic.

Create keywords subdomains, spam blogs, rule the pitiful MSN spam engine.

As god awful as those other results were, they were probably still superior to these roled back ones. At least those other ones seemed almost random. The rolled back ones remain universally miserable (if the terms are really targeted by anyone) in how one simpleton tactic works.

8:35 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Looks like changes have been made HOWEVER, for one of our sites, we noticed tha the first 9 results are all from one site.

The homepage is # 1, # 2-9 are all subdomains from the same site.

what the heck is going on?

11:31 am on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Did we speak too soon? I see a return of all those subdomains into the top 10 (finance sector).

C

4:05 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It has changed since yesterday. For one of my keywords the SERPS now look quite reasonable. For another it still shows the same mess of subdomains and other clutter.

Correction rolling out?

1:00 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Just a hunch but do you think the new rollout has to do with the US holiday and using this time in testing? Google is greatly known for testing over US holidays. You have to believe these results won't last. It almost entices me to get into Domain Spam. The only problem is, MSN has no real "click through" traffic in the organic SERPs to make it worth it.

If I may quote David Lee Roth: "Big Bad Bill (Gates) is sweet William now." These results spark zero fear in the industry.

Cheers,

CaboWabo

1:58 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's not a major holiday. Mostly banks and Federal Government Agencies. I doubt we even see a significant drop in traffic tomorrow. I think MSN is just a mess and they know it.
1:12 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Major holiday or not, I have the day off and I'm going boarding! MSN is a complete mess - you would think after a year they would get it. Unreal.

Cheers,

CaboWabo

5:34 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hello All,

We did roll out an improvement to RankNet just a few hours before the thread started (you guys are quick!), but the tests we used to qualify that net did show a small improvement. We saw the negative responses on WebmasterWorld almost immediately, but our own personal “sanity-test” queries (mostly technical and scientific) worked fine, so we assumed it was just a few people grousing about their over-optimized sites getting hit. However, as time passed and the thread continued to be a) very busy and b) nearly 100% negative, it became clear that something was wrong. Deeper evaluation revealed that the problem was in the qualification test itself.

We rolled back to the old net after only about 48 hours. The new one might have been up considerably longer if you guys hadn’t been so vocal so quickly.

So we’d like to thank all of you for your feedback – no matter how negative it was.

On another note we did roll out some other changes as part of the release and thankfully we have not had the need to roll those back :) Here is a summary of some of the more visible changes that we made or changes that you all would likely detect.

User Experience: We lightened up and streamlined the UX a bit. Thanks for the positive feedback on this: [#*$!.com...] Isn’t the super-sized search bar at search.msn.com also refreshing?! That is a big search bar and it makes a big difference :)

Snippets / Contextual Descriptions: We made some changes to how we create contextual descriptions / snippets for pages. One clearly visible change is that we are now doing hit-highlighting in the title. We also have more subtle improvements around using page structure to get a true summary of the page. A decent example of this at: [search.msn.com...] or [search.msn.com...] You will notice that the descriptions tend to read like real sentences. This was not always the case.

Depth of crawl: Over the past month or so we rolled out an improvement that will allow us to crawl high quality domains more deeply. We are generally pretty content with the improvements we have seen. We still have a lot of work we want to do to improve our selection, however, this is a step forward. If you have any feedback on this in terms of what you are seeing on your end we would love to hear it.

Keep the feedback coming.

- msndude(msd) with input from the techy RankNet folks

5:39 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks for coming in on the thread MSNDude.

Glad that depth of crawling is being addressed - hopefully improvements in this area will continue.

In another thread I pointed out that at the moment I cant get past page 25 of results - are you aware of this - or is it just me? Something to look at perhaps.

Another thing I cant understand is that pages that appear in a site:domain.com search dont appear in a normal serp search for the keyword - even if I go to the end of all results - as if the page disappears - would you like examples of this?

6:11 pm on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



msndude,
Thanks for updating.

One thing which is still bothering me most is that the first page in some finance searches contains only one site.
This can be done with a single entry and "More results from www.anysite.com"

This 150 message thread spans 10 pages: 150
 

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