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Until I stopped looking for my pages and really started looking at the results I was getting for my keywords...NOT EVEN CLOSE. Little to No relevance.
Looking for blue widgets in North Shores Florida...getting used car lots in North Chicago, or pet grooming in North Carolina.
So, if you've lost pages or placement...relax (it's probably not your site) and wait for the bugs to get worked out.
Surely MSN is working on this...
If you are experiencing the same or have comments, please post.
I'd like to know it's not just me... :-) Fish
Seriously, my sales have dropped off the map, but hopefully it won't last long...MSN are good folks and I believe they are working hard to perfect their new baby.
MSN has a great future for us all (not as fickle as G & Y!). We just have to be patient.
Perhaps MSN Dude can give us a word of encouragemant...while we wait.
How about it MSN Dude?
I cant say as i have done ANY search in msn and had results that are anything like relevent. In fact the results were far better at the launch of the search than they are now!
Bottom line however is that they are still working on it - its effectively still a beta search without the beta tag on it, so you just need to give them time to work it out. They may have to just scrap what they have produced so far and start again.
The serps are so poor they are a waste of time unless you are looking for "Blue Widgets" and forgot about www.bluewidgets.com. if you can add .com to the end of your search string the site will be listed but if the sites an authority about "blue widgets" and called something different not containing the keywords like "sunshine site" then it wont be listed, well not for "blue widgets" anyway - msn search can not currently associate a site with its content correctly unless its in the domain name.
Also, once they get the search bot deep indexing all sites (which they still cant do!) and start collecting more data they may then be able to deliver half relevent serps but until then they are still playing at it.
[edited by: RichTC at 9:59 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2006]
There was indeed a software update on Thursday night last week, aimed at reducing spam, and given the timing and the symptoms you guys report, I'm betting that's the cause of your troubles. Any change we make has some negative impact, unfortunately, but(compared to updates in the past) the negative feedback from this one has been very, very mild, so it's not likely we'd consider undoing it.
I'm not going to tell you how to SEO your sites, but I'll offer some advice that might help with this particular update, since I think this is good advice in general.
1) Make your page(s) more "user-friendly." Think hard about whether it looks like something a customer would find easy to use.
2) Note that sometimes Less is More.
Remember that webmasters are our partners, not our customers. We expect our partners to have the same concern for pleasing the customer that we do. That should help you understand what we're trying to accomplish in the long term, and if you optimize for that, you won't go wrong.
>1) Make your page(s) more "user-friendly."
>2) Note that sometimes Less is More.
to mean something like:
1) Do not provide a complete menu for navigation.
2) Do not expose your visitors (or the search engine robot) to your categories and ontology.
Is that getting close?
Put differently, don't make your site look like a spam site. I'm not sure why so many people seem to think the "spam look" is in this year (maybe it's a fashion statement -- like torn jeans or something) but it's a fact that it can hurt you.
My site is over 7 years old, has a natural yahoo directory listing (not paid), is listed several times in dmoz, is referenced by wikipedia, is fully crawlable, and the msn link: command shows over 11,500 back links. My site is not fully indexed by msn and currently does not show up for any msn searches except url searches and the exact title in quotes. The site: command shows about 70 pages out of 1000.
I don't think I have the "spam look" but what exactly is the spam look anyway...what are some things that give a spam look that someone like me may not be aware of.
Like the other day I learned not to store documents in folders on your server that you don't link to because a search engine might think they are "doorway pages", stuff like that...but I suppose msn can't give us a clue anyway because then the real spammers will use it against them and yadda yadda yadda...
What I'd like to hear, though, is how many people really don't know what's meant by this. Conversely, I'd like to hear people speak up who agree that you can generally spot a spam page with at least fair accuracy purely from visual inspection.
Just because a site has a "spam look," doesn't guarantee that it's spam.
And vice versa. Alot of the time you can tell by just looking but other times you can't. Like how do you know if a site just stole all of its content from some other site or if it is on a mini network.
I just found a site like that the other day. It had a pr 5 but it was one of several identical sites that were part of a network of hundreds of sites all owned by the same person (some, maybe all, of them with stolen content) and all interlinking. I think that is spam but I would never have known without doing some digging. Only reason I found out was that he stole some of my content :)
Just because a site has a "spam look," doesn't guarantee that it's spam, even though that's the way to bet.
Incidentally, even though there are IR purists who swear that KWD is a complete non-issue, as a point of interest I ran some homepages through the WebmasterWorld Keyword Density Checker (the only one I've used for almost 6 years), and the pages of my own that dropped down some have a considerably higher KWD than my pages that stayed stable where they've been.
I only wish that MSN used conversion factors in scoring, because my personal pages that have moved down are ones that convert like crazy for the MSN demographic and have a 15-20% bookmark rate - and I consider that a very rational metric for what's quality from the users' viewpoint.
Is that so? - Here is the problem at msn.
Whilst, you can establish a site is spammy from visiting the site and reviewing it and maybe you can pick up spam from urls alone that read sub-sub-sub-sub-domain etc etc i dont buy the fact that your algo can pick up spam from automation and believe that is why so many sites are missing from your index.
Are you intending to hand edit every site? - If not, its a pointless comment imo - The real spamming networks are ahead of the game imo.
Earlier on in previous threads we discussed "Spam" V "Junk" - Your search should not be just about Spam, dont get so hung up on it - imo their is probably five times as much "junk" on the internet as their is "Spam" this should have at least equal priority.
Regarding the "less is more" point - I find it hard to believe what im reading. If a site is an authority on a subject or it is a site in a large topic area, it is going to have a lot of content. It is going to have a lot of pages and its likely to have more than one site map. Meanwhile a junk site might be a few pages, sub 100 pages - what do msn do? reward the junk and bash the authority, less is more after all!
Also, it looks to me that in view of a lack of any comment regarding deep indexing, that simply msn bot cant cut it and because you cant get the data you need you are maintaining this push for top skimming a site, less is more - another daft idea.
The real issue as i see it now is "how long will it take for the penny to drop at msn that this method of producing quailty serps is a lost cause?". When this day arrives imo you will either scrap the whole search concept you have established so far and a start a new algo from fresh that has been thought out properly - or most likely msn will cut their losses on the existing search and buy the likes of Yahoo who have a least a half decent search facility already established.
This thread has been educational, i have to say - im almost speachless over some of the comments made - truely amazing!
I refused to lower my standards and optimize for MSN because it would have destroyed the "quality" of traffic I receive from Google.
With this latest round of spam fighting, I think MSN are finally on target and are quickly gaining on Google in the arena of quality.
I know what the spam "look" is and quite frankly, its about time the search engines targeted them. You all know the look too!
Good job MSN Dude ... Keep it up! But these are the easy targets. You still have a lot more culling to do of the more insidious forms of spam. ;)
<added>Oh yeah - let's not forget Wikipedia pages
[edited by: Liane at 11:30 am (utc) on Aug. 10, 2006]
[edited by: Marcia at 12:13 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2006]
I'm seeing pages that have dropped down quite a bit that are not in the least bit "spammy."
Yeah ... me too. Collateral damage I suppose. Some of my pages fell prey to this as well, but as MSN Dude said:
Any change we make has some negative impact, unfortunately, but(compared to updates in the past) the negative feedback from this one has been very, very mild, so it's not likely we'd consider undoing it.
We just have to wait and hope they get it right at some point. But I think they are definitely headed in the right direction!
[edited by: Marcia at 12:17 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2006]