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Does anybody actually use MSN by choice? or are all their users just forwarded via MSN and Windows.
From what I have seen there really isn't much point in taking these guys seriously yet!
Im not sure why they had to make such a change, but ok not my problem.
sums it up.
The uk serps have been truely amazing for some time, with each update the quality gets worse, you couldnt make it up. They have a less is more policy and very thin content sites and junk sites clean up whilst the quality authority sites either dont rank or only get a fraction of their pages indexed.
I think because the search bot technology is next to useless the harsh truth of it is that they cant get the data from sites that they would need to build a half respectable set of serps from. I also think they are keeping vey quiet on this issue as im yet to see ANY site on the net get fully indexed by msn search bot - i just dont think they can deep crawl a site and this is the problem.
The results for one or two string keywords are at best a joke and when you move to four or five keyword strings you can forget it altogether. They dont have the data available to deliver good serps.
Currently, I cant see any point to msn search at all in its current format either. The only thing im currently amazed at is that the staff at msn cant see how bad the results are - that i just dont get at all.
In all i agree with the o/p. Currently you cant take msn seriously for quaility serps but how long it will take them gawd knows. They need to scrap the algo they currently have, improve the depth of crawl technology and start again. imo the sooner they wake up to that the sooner they can advance with search
In the meantime, perhaps look in again in another six months?
Looking at our logs, MSNbot has a very shallow harvest and seems not to even see our sitemaps page - this would at least give it something easy to work on.
While we have dynamic sites, we only have 1-2 parameters and have 0 problems with any other Bot. MSN seems to barf on just about anything.
One of my sites was doing OK for it's keywords up until June / July, then something changed in the UK algo and all these spammy low content sites have taken the top 50 all summer.
I don't think they handle 301 redirects very well either.
Credit where credit is due - they do seem to pick up new pages faster in the index. But what good does it do when they don't show up for ANY conceivable search, and these garbage sites do?
Currently the serps for this search term return not one authority site in the top 20 and are absolutely dire. I stress this is a popular two string search term. Results were:-
result 1 = www.keywordsdomain.com
result 2 = sub-domain spam
result 3+4 a USA non relevent site
result 5 = sub-domain australian site
result 6 = non relevent Australian .gov site
result 7 = Thin content Junk site
result 8 = sub-domain non relevent
result 9 = sub-domain non relevent (not even close)
result 10 = sub-domain non relevent
result 11 = WOW 1st result thats on topic/relevent Amazing! but it is the subdomain of the main site thats relevent!
result 12 = Repeat of 3+4 only different sub domain page
result 13 = weak affiliate site with some content 2/10 but is a little relevent to the search string and more relevent that 1-10 are.
result 14 = spam junk mirror site sub-domain of 2
result 15 = ok site, on topic not authority but at least on topic
result 16+17 = ok site, weak content but you could call it a match
result 18+19 = Not bad, a leading well known site.
reslt 20 = junk
So on a two string they are about 5% relevent for this term. Try a three/four or five string in this sector and the results are utter cr@p. Unless the keyword is in the domain you can forget it. Google meanwhile are about 80% spot on for this as a UK search.
msn are a standing joke in our office everyone i talk to has virtualy written them off as just playing at search and no one is even likely to change from using google search due to the results being so bad. If i ask a member of staff if they have used msn search recently they laugh!, im not joking!
As for cleaning up spam and junk from its index i can knock a spammy site together with my team and have it rank 1 in msn for almost any search term!. If i can do it so can millions of others hence why the rsults are so bad and frankly the spam hasnt started to hit them yet fully due to the fact that their reach is so poor that most spamming teams dont have msn on the radar yet.
If msn increase their reach some how thats when the fun will start, but if they cant get search right at this stage they are going struggle like hell in the future imo.
Best policy i think is to check again in another six months
It's the usual suspects, blog spam, keyword.com domains, huge affiliates, one page about keyword on otherwise unrelated sites, and even a one page site that just says click here to get to our other site that is actually open; it's listed on page 1 and page 2.
"one page about keyword on otherwise unrelated sites"
I see that problem a lot in the msn serps - but remember "less is more"!
Joking apart, on a search test i did about three weeks back i was trying to work out why a page on a specific subject matter website ie dedicated to "brown Widgets" had a page about something totally alien and this page was ranking top 5 serp position in a the msn serps for this subject well ahead of authority and detailed sites about that subject yet all this site offered was a single page of limited information that was of no use to the end user.
They have serious quality and data gathering issues and this wont be fixed overnight.
In regards to less is more, the site I mentioned that redirects to another site has nothing as the content. The site has a graphic that says basically, "If you are looking for "keyword" please try our other site (link to other site) for all your keyword needs". It's a PR2 page with 17 google backlinks, zero SE readable content and ranks 6th AND 19th for the main two word phrase for a market that does millions of dollars a month in online sales. MSN lists it as URL only(since there's nothing else to list)but they've listed it as URL only for months now and it continues to rank.
[edited by: WebPixie at 6:43 pm (utc) on Sep. 27, 2006]
I'm not siding with MSN -- can't stand the SEARCH or PPC, but I do find it interesting just how much abuse the people must have to take over there.
Any idea what the turnover rate is?