Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: mack

Message Too Old, No Replies

Microsoft MSN Search: New SERPs Sat 8th July

I thought MSN didnt update on weekends!

5:18 pm on Jul 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Looking at MSN today and i see a complete change of the SERPs since yesterday.

The baby has been well and truely chucked out with the bathwater and im not convinced all these filters are doing them any good at all.

Certainly in the sectors we follow the serps are a mess, but its what i expect from msn to be honest and as they still have next to zero pull in the uk i cant say im that concerned.

It looks like if you have a basic static driven site bluewidget.com and get a few links to it that say blue widget you rank top of the tree. You can do this with a five page site, its very simple. The moment however you add any real content or have any dynamic pages or volume content you start tripping a few filters here and there and get knocked back in the serps.

Out of the sites we work on the detailed authority sites struggle to rank in msn meanwhile the low quality basic end rank superb. The only exception is .gov or uni .ac sites which for some reason rank for no matter what so i guess the filters dont apply to those.

I guess they still have a lot of fixing to do

Finally, i thought msn didnt update on a weekend on the basis they couldnt fix it if it went pear shaped - obviously this is no longer the case.

8:28 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

MSNdude- i can see that some modifications were made to how MSN follows 301 permanent redirects, thank you.

however, after looking further, deep 301'd pages are still not being indexed appropriately.


using a site query function

site:www.abc.com = 104,735 search results

whereas Google and Yahoo are boasting a million plus, using their own site: function.

Am I missing something here?

9:53 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

search.msn.co.in , brazil, singapore, ninemsn ( Australia ) all have good clear results, and it doesn't matter where in the world you are searching, I am repeating myself but if you use msn.co.in, singapore, brazil etc and do a search for something whether in Canada, South America or wherever you get good clean results, this also applies to local versions of Y just the same.
I don't think it takes a genious to figure out why!
10:52 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Update seems to drop our site from the index. I see MSBOT visiting our site every day but using the site: I only see a few pages where we used to have 100's. Ranking is completly gone while again we used to do fairly well...

What's up? MSNDude...

1:06 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can confirm that the new serp's look good. I see several spammy sites (some of which were mine) have dropped out and true authoritative sites have moved up into respectable positions.

Keep up the good work.

4:49 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

asiaseo: Okay, I must not be a genius, but I'll bite. Tell me why.
3:27 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Could you tell us why there are very different results showing on search.msn.com vs live.com? And assuming that eventually they will both show the same results, could you tell us which results will proliferate?



3:33 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've explained this one elsewhere, I think, but the reason for the difference is that the live.com beta has the adult content filter set to "strict," while search.msn.com uses the moderate setting. Once the beta actually offers a control to let users change the setting, it will produce results identical to search.msn.com. That should be soon.

But it really is the same search engine behind both of them.

3:38 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the info.Even thought it will resolve itself in a few weeks, it still makes me curious why the filter has such a huge impact on a non-adult part of the web. The area we compete in has no adult content at all.


5:31 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I don't know what criteria the strict adult filter is using, but I have a web hosting review site that goes from page 3 to page 6 in results with the filter set to strict! And there's not one 'adult' phrase in the whole site.
7:53 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you think you have an example that was demoted -- not removed entirely -- send me a sticky with the particulars and I'll check it out.
3:48 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

msndude, actually 'I' don't know why!

What I really meant was that at your end there must be something different that creates these different results whether it is filter or something different that generates those results. I honestly feel and I know many others have said this that brazil, singapore, arabia etc show good results, perhaps it is a filter?
Could it be, and I am wild guessing here, those results either include or exclude certain websites or get some kind of different ranking.
It cannot be geographical location because brazil gives good Asia results, Australia gives good South America results.
I am not suggesting you need to tell us but if someone could spend a short time to check what is 'behind' the different generation of results that might be of great interest. Perhaps someone could do a random sample of test queries and see what comes up.
I cannot figure out why brazil results show me far better results for Asia than the main .com

7:52 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The results look better in my area. One interesting thing, all of my main sites are at #1 for their most important and competitive two word search, apart from one site.

The only site not #1 is in fact the best and strongest and probably deserves to be #1 (without wanting to sound arrogant)

The others, whilst solid, deserve to be roughly in the top 3.
Incidently, the reason I find my sector telling is because there is very little spam or seo so results are more transparent and easier to read

5:22 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You know what? I think many of us really do appreciate you being on here talking with us. We are a little let down by other SE companies just not communicating with us. Somtimes we just need a real face to shell out our feedback and experiences. A once great search engine used to be quite active in the forums now they are nowhere to be seen. There was a time where good constructive feedback was given now I don't see much quality feedback as there once was. Go and look at the Google thread and you can see what I mean.

Yes webmasters are confused and this may be good, but how can any webmaster provide correct quality without knowing what that expected quality is. Especially when I have seen many quality sites abiding by guidelines who have been adversly affected by many hiccups Google has been experiencing. I don't mean Google should give away their algo, but I do expect that when there are guidelines that those guidelines be honored both ways.

I guess what I am saying is that you guys are doing exaclty what used to make Google so great simply by providing a way to communicate between webmaster and SE. Giving us clarification on many of the problems we see and letting us voice our opinion to benefit MSN search as well as ourselves. It is in my opinion that you do need us webmasters on your side. We are the ones that most help you to grow as a search engine. We are the ones who will point our visitors and friends to use your search. Just as we did with google.

To simplify: We really do appreciate you just being here.

8:12 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I see the world searches are all getting worse, Brazil is going downhill, so is arabic one.
I only found 1 which has good results now.

It looks like your new filters are being put to use worldwide now and bring down the results. Is this your plan?

Anyways can we just have latin america results filters put on the US and solve everyones problems. If not then I don't understand what MSN is doing?

10:30 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have to smile when i see a couple of posters here that claim that the msn serps are good just because their own sites rank well, when the msn serps are absolutely dire and everyone knows it. This is not helping msn improve matters and as ive already posted gawd knows we need a serious player in the market as an alternative to Googles strong hold.

Anyone who doubts that msns serps are dire, take it from me, i can get a couple of members of my team to knock together a 100 page site and IT WILL rank TOP of the msn serps very quickly for ANY keywords required. Its very simple to do and whilst msn claim to be reducing spam and Junk sites, in effect they have a search engine that is still in beta mode, thats full of junk and spam sites and that needs a hell of a lot of work doing with it before they can produce anything half respectable from it.

We can only hope that they learn to improve the search engine and that in a couple of years time they will have made good progress and have something reasonable to offer.

In the meantime we need to give msn feedback where they are going wrong for them to improve matters. For msn to produce a quailty search its going to take time, a lot longer than Bill Gates 6 months claim from about 9mths ago?.

A quick look at any search request in msn proves how far away they are currently from producing anything even remotely relevent to the search string request.

[edited by: RichTC at 10:33 pm (utc) on July 12, 2006]

1:14 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Rich: We appreciate you (and so many other people) sticking with us. We actually are watching the feedback from here closely; some things just take more time than people expect them to. However, we hope you'll be happier with our results sooner than "in a couple of years"

Garya: It's not filters. I know you really want to believe this, but it's not. Each Market has its own net customized for that market. Obviously we don't test how well Japanese queries work on the Arabic net, but it's hard to believe they're really better there.

The reason we don't use the Latin American Net in the US is that *we* don't measure it as being better. If we did, we'd do exactly as you suggest. Remember that every change makes some things better and makes other things worse. The change you propose (as far as we can tell) creates more problems than it solves. It just happens to solve a few of your favorite problems.

We appreciate the fact that you and a few others have sent us specific examples that perform better on these other-market nets, and we're looking at those to try to see if we can somehow capture the benefit without breaking anything else. Please try to be patient.

1:44 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Arubicus: Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate them.

Something we do care a lot about is clearing up misinformation that might lead someone to massively rearrange his/her site in hopes of better SERPS. It seems like the least we can do. That's rather different from telling you how to SEO MSN Search, of course! :-)

I'm starting to get more sticky mail here, and I'm forced to delete most pure SEO requests without any response now, but I do want to give an answer that would help a lot of people: things on your site that annoy a human being tend to annoy our our Neural Net too. I don't know how many sites I've looked at that could get themselves into the top 10 simply by making their site more human-friendly. Granted, that's not always the problem, but (at this point) it's the most common one.

Remember that we think the end-user is our customer; we're trying to build a system that returns results that please the end-user. Whatever you think of our success at this :-) we will get better and better at it over time. Make this your aim -- try to design pages that please the end-user, not just pages that make money -- and you won't go wrong.

6:00 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I will just throw this out there.
I did a backlink search for a #1 site on Msn for a very hard key phrase 8 mil results.
I checked there 1000+ backlinks and the key phrase is not listed one time.
It makes you think?
They are not listed on yahoo and google first 10 pages.
If MSN is using this formula that would explain some of the bad results.
They are not on the latin america site also? MSN DUDE how do you explain that?
7:41 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just checked the #2 and #3 site for the same phrase as above.
Both don't have the key phrase in there backlinks. This explains the difference from the latin american msn search. Looks like you need to fix this or manuel check each page for relevancy other wise you have no way to tell if the site belongs on the first page, its like a shot in the dark.
7:47 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Remember that we think the end-user is our customer; we're trying to build a system that returns results that please the end-user. Whatever you think of our success at this :-) we will get better and better at it over time. Make this your aim -- try to design pages that please the end-user, not just pages that make money -- and you won't go wrong. "


I am a firm believer in what you just said. Many webmasters should simply view all of this as being able to exchange value that benefits all parties involved. We allow you to spider and index our content so that you may sort it all out and give your customers the best value for their search. In order for you to please your customers you must be able to sort out and display the most valuable content related to their search but you are severly limitied by the value webmasters can provide. Webmasters should always consistantly increase value to their visitors in some way thus increasing the value of their niche/industry as a whole. As search engines work to increase value through their indexing process most webmasters who create and increase value tend to rise to the top.


I notice that most webmasters treat the serps as a zero sum game perception. Yes you can look at it as if one site gets thrown out of the serps another will take it's place. But to me this is an oversimplification. It is a value game plain and simple. YOU MUST PROVIDE THE VALUE SEARCH ENGINES ARE LOOKING FOR IN ORDER TO GAIN POSITION. If a site overtakes your site in the SERPS more than like there was a value change. That site now provides a seemingly greater value in the search engine's eyes. They didn't "take" your position. They simple provide the "greater" value. Since value consistantly changes you are not denied any postion. You just must simply provide the greatest of value or create NEW value through innovation.

Looking at it as a value game will greatly change anyone's perception of the process. SEO is a way to "increase value" by aligning your site to the aspects the search engines are looking for. As search engines get smarter we will start to see more business and site owners compete on a value level rather than the SEO manipulation level, where the game should be played. Who can provide/become the site/company of greatest value.

Just thought I would toss that out there as I see search engines trying desperately to take this value direction and getting webmasters to follow. Something to keep in mind as msndude is giving this same advice almost as a fair warning.

11:11 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It's not a good idea to compare every query with google. Google is often wrong.

In the end I hope msn will stay unique like they have been, and doesn't look at others too much while changing things. All the negative talking here is a bit too much. I believe it's a nice portal and if they would stop modifying their search algorithm now, it would already be better than Yahoo's.

They shouldn't hurry things but should just take it easy, do it like they want to do it, and try not to copy Google. If you try to copy something it will never be as good as the original, so I hope msn will stay original with their results and let others copy them ;-)

3:05 pm on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I think your finding is pretty interesting. I didn't know that MSN search places sooo little value on anchortext.


As a suggestion, perhaps it would be better to place (considerably) more weight on anchortext? In that case, a search for "search engine" would return MSN Search, Google and Yahoo Search and not some not-really-relevant pages.

6:18 pm on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

If I take a look in my category under the top 10 search results, I will not call it spam, but just sites that dont belong there if you take the search as no.1 is the best results we have for that keyword.

I see 2 blog sites with very little content for that category only one page, 2 sites again with only 2 pages with content related to the search keyword, all in all there is one site that fits the keyword where the whole site is about the keyword.

6:36 pm on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

By MSN going against all SEO principles they are trying to defeat spam thus creating poor search results because they are missing the answer on how to have good quality sites on there serach engine. There formula does not work as yet.
They are not looking at content as i see a lot of site #1 with no content nor keywords, Some just domain name and titles which will give you junkkkkk.
9:36 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

Garya - i think they are close to a good SE, but they just need a little more work, as said before I liked the results for about 3 month ago and now some on the singapore results.

Another ting today I could not seach for some keywords, it said no results as all the mill. of sites where gone, what that means I dont know.

10:00 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Indeed, it only shows about 10 results now for every query.. odd.
2:00 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


In one of the forums you said that your sticky box was full and you had to erase some of your emails because your cannot answer all of them.

That's understandable.

But I had raised an issue regarding to MSN News Search and you wanted me to sticky you an example. Which I did, but never heard back from you. I am wondering if you have seen my sticky?

Thank you so much.

1:06 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Angelo: But if we stopped changing the engine now, we'd never be able to fix all the bugs you guys have told me about!

ashot: Don't believe everything you read.

Garya: We're really not trying to go against all SEO principles. ARE there SEO principles? :-) We're interesting in pleasing our customers -- and by that we mean the ordinary computer users who use our search engine.

Erku: We have not forgotten you. Be patient just a little bit longer. :-)

5:33 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


How pleasing it is to hear "we have not forgotten you."


I think if you guys keep working with webmasters in this manner, I see the day you becoming number one search engine.

thank you msn

10:07 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Lots of doorway pages in top results. I reported them all, I hope something will be done.

This 86 message thread spans 3 pages: 86