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5-25 MSN Search Update

     
2:41 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing major movement in the serps. Nothing looks pretty at all. The authoriy knob just got turned off completely. I am seeing a new load of spam and overall lack of relevency.

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3:58 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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msndude

Top 3 things that need improving in the summer from where I sit.

1.Depth of Crawl.
2.Depth of Crawl.
3.Depth of Crawl.

How about a sitemap submission service?

Intresting Blade3 that you see inner pages ranking - one of the things MSN always seems to do for me is ranking homepages and sitemap type pages above the content pages.

4:21 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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City name sub-domain with a redirect to your hotel affiliate provider. Then watch the money roll in.
5:12 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSNdude

Where do you guys stand on the subdomain-spam issue? As you have probably seen, some searches are less than desirable. Thanks for the update.

6:05 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSNdude,
Thanks for the update. I appreciate the openness and straight nature of your posts.

Could you please enlighten us on one more thing that bugs great many of us. You must've heard of people on this and other forums complaining about home pages temporarily falling out of MSN and sites loosing rank as a result. Is it a bug of a feature? What can we, webmasters, possibly do to prevent this from happening?

Thank you in advance.

6:06 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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unrealted event earlier in the week allowed about 100M pages into the index without filtering.

The most important thing I believe MSN engineers can take from this is that webmaster and visitor trust in MSN search is compromised because of these kinds of problems. Not to pry, but one does need to ask how an issue like this even happens?

That being said, MSN search over the last few months shows sites in our sector - weddings - moving around daily. Its pretty hard to gain any trust over a search engine that arbitrarily chooses which site it trusts to provide the best results daily. Rectifying these types of issues will provide more incentive for both surfers and webmasters to us MSN search more often.

6:40 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As a matter of policy, I'm not going to preannounce anything, but obviously, things like index stability, subdomain spam, and crawl depth are very much on our radar. That said, the challenge is to improve in these areas without damaging total relevance. Contrary to what some people have said here, we do not ever release anything that we know will reduce relevance.
7:26 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've never seen MSN look so bad. A search for a popular financial product lists a german language site first and a religious site a little further down in the top 10. Neither site has any content or inbound links remotely related to the search terms. How does that happen?
4:13 am on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well I am really hoping that msn returns to what it was. Right now its really looking likes it fallen apart.
9:10 am on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSN look horrible to what I see!
msndude, that´s the opposite of what you said, you lifted some filters and relevance got back completly. Too many irrelevant results regardless what you search.

search.arabia.msn.com has the old results and looks a lot better!

10:26 am on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well its sunday. I hope monday is msn redeeming day because if this is the final results booo :/
1:05 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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yeah its looking very bad, a lot of autogenerated made for adsense sites and irrelevant sites
1:13 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Taking the long view of things, it looks to me like MSN has shown steady improvement in their serps.
1:48 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree, they are much better than yahoo and even in some ways much better than google but this looks like someone pressed the wrong button

i hope it gets sorted

4:17 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If they dont deep crawl then they wont get the content.

Ignore how poor the serps are currently, lets see if they can get the content first in order to then put some quality serps together.

Currently im not convinced they can get the content and thats simply due to the fact that despite previous promises of deep crawling im yet to see it.

One of our sites that has over 70,000 pages has 1100 in the msn index, another site of ours with 20,000 pages has 900 in the index, even some of the smaller sites we work on with say 1000 are lucky to see half the pages crawled.

Do the site: command on any site and see if msn has managed to spider an entire site - you will find that in almost EVERY case msn hasnt - Untill they fix the bot problem they wont get the content they need hence will never get quailty serps no matter how hard they try.

Any search in msn of more than two keywords is a dead loss

4:28 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What are the bots looking at now?

Is it the title tag?

4:39 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The search results are relevant. Do a search for "MSN Search Sucks" and you'll be convinced

Good one sahuman!
You get loads of subdomain spam, spammy titles, some with all caps and excessive use of punctuation or wierd symbols. Sort of an all-in-one example.

6:33 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSN should consider reducing the MFA spam as much as Google is driving it to other engines. It's obvious they're a pawn for Google as much as receptacle for a lot of that junk. That one tweak might catapult them in search engine usage. Once you’ve got a reputation for this junk its hard to recover.
6:43 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So this is it? Is the update done now and these are the final listings?

The results were way better before the update of a few days ago. In my opinion, with any change you make, you will get more spam there and less spam somewhere else. But I guess it will always be there. Especially on 'high revenue keywords'. The problem with this new update is that with 'normal searches' the results are way less relevant than before.

11:03 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In my sector, there has been a strong impact on the sub-domain spam we have seen rampant lately. The serps look a lot cleaner with better relevance.

Talk about a breath of fresh air! Keep up the good work MSN!

11:20 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The problem is they take out all sub-domains

They cant tell a quality sub-domain, ie a sub section of a large authority site that needs a few sub sections from a spammy subdomain designed to spam the index.

Today i noticed a sub-domain that was quailty dropped down from about 2 in the index to about position 30, yet the top five serps were real spammy junk, the number one was a five page junk site with the url string containing the keyword search.

Frankly we are not much better off but i guess at least most of the spam-spam-spam-kywords-subdomain-domain.com sites have been cleared out, some quality went with them but at least its a start.

Meanwhile, as for the new serps, they look a lot like the ones they rolled out a few months back that they then withdrew - currently msn search results are dire

11:31 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ok its not as bad as the time where they realy mest up with there search, BUT quickly got it fixed, but I do see some subdomains, blogs and a few scraper sites on topics I watch. Sad because they realy was on the right way.
3:53 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I see a significant reduction in subdomain spam. Still quite a bit remaining, though. Further, some good sites/pages are still MIA.
4:44 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSN is puzzling...

First, MSN crawler fell in love with my "Contact Us" page and made it the most frequently crawled page of my site (the page has never been updated since the first time it was created).

Now another bizzare behavior. There is one particular page on my site that ranks on 1st-2nd page for almost every word that has been mentioned on the page except the keyword that I really meant to optimize for. This page has no inbound links at all, and is not very relevant for most of the keywords it ranks for. It IS relevant for the keyword I had in mind, but for this keyword it is burried so deeply in the index, I can't even find it.

Is it possible they screw up with the upper limit for keyword density? The page certainly does not look spammed with the keyword though.

4:57 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Tomsey's comment: < yeah its looking very bad, a lot of autogenerated made for adsense sites and irrelevant sites >

Judging from results in the retail market in which I am interested, I agree. I know most of my competitors, and I see them listed well on Yahoo and Google, but not on MSN; what I do see on MSN is a lot of junky sites that run ADSENSE, or other ads, but not real retailers.

6:02 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Still lots of subdomain names listed..

What's going on?

Hopefully MSN gets it right as soon as possible..

6:14 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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msndude is the real net?
6:15 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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meant to say .. is this the new net?
8:11 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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2msndude
we have 5 domains with subdomain redirection service and free subdomain hosting, in last week msn drop 100-500 pages daily, when it will be return, and can we make this process more quickly?
10:47 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A significant amount of subdomain garbage definitely has been cleaned out. A lot hasn't though. (More than one blogspot result is usually one too many...)
10:59 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's not as bad as when they rolled out their incredibly wrong stuff a few months ago - some results are fine.

HOWEVER, from where I stand it seems even easier now to spam search results, quite a few websites (usually young sites, msn sandbox?) got dropped for not apparent reason (unique content, no spam whatsoever) which is a serious problem when keyword1-keyword2.com type of spammy site hit the top!

Either they are going to roll out this algo in multiple parts or they better revise the way they 'think' search relevancy seriously, worries me...

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