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Microsoft's New Internet Search Software Is Officially Launched

Live.com is now live

     
11:43 am on Sep 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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er..was this really not posted? (I must be blind..no wayI'm first) :/

Microsoft's unleashes new Internet search software [news.yahoo.com]

Microsoft officially started its new Internet search engine crafted to compete with offerings from rival online powerhouses Google and Yahoo.

Microsoft announced that its "Live Search" online portal was opened in 47 markets worldwide to complement MSN and Windows Live Internet-scouring services that attract an estimated 465 million visitors monthly....

9:28 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks OK from here, nice and clean, the local search feature is interesting. However right now I get the exact same results as MSN, perhaps there are different results on the way?

All I can say is whatever their doing I hope it catches fire as we really need some parity in this game and its getting clearer by the day itís not going to come from Yahoo. This looks good but now they have to get people (and lots of them) to use it.

10:23 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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love the live.com

I think the formats great, nice simple search, clean - over all i love it - 10/10 for format, its great!

Quality of data on the other hand 0/10 - results are absolutely cr@p at all levels of search. The problem with deep crawling is killing them.

Now if they could deliver live.com with quality serps they would have something. Currently i fear they have made a big mistake rolling this out with the current serps this early. Users will try it, find the results dire, write them off and stay with Google.

wake up msn, dump your current algo, start a fresh, improve your crawl technology and start delivering results in line with the search requests. Until then search will remain an expensive hobby for bill gates imo.

1:33 am on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>results are absolutely cr@p

I read that review often; but in many areas of my, and my clients business, the serps closely match Y!. I can't say they are bad at all. They have respectable serps from my narrow view.

12:18 pm on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks a tad better than what I'm seeing on MSN.com, but still waaaay to much weight is placed on keywords in the domain name causing many keyword-keyword.com sites to rank about authority (real) websites.

But def. a step forward. :-)

Now to market it MS...

1:14 pm on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I hope Msn keeps it portal going strong cos I spend a lotta time skiming thru it for lots of stuff,,

I am not a great fan of the google uncluttered look for everything

Me, I like portals , they're friendly places

Mind you. Live looks kool, search results are same as msn, same engine anyway

And SERPs are as good as any i've seen where I have checked

4:04 pm on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSNDude

Please keep up the really great work, it goes a long way these days with Google so mucked up with a garbage look and feel and quality of results and all around theme. (Just junk)

MSN live really has promise, I love it, spending a lot of time today looking at this, I do think you should find a way to capture more upon the myspace ideas and partner with that stuff or at least ad a plug in option or such.

I really love the organization of Live.com and the look and feel more than anything, being able to add in additional options would be key to organizing everyones favorite stuff into one place.

I'm in. - Again great stuff!

Hollywood

10:14 pm on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's not a new search engine. The search engine results are the same as on msn.com.

In Australia I see slightly to completely different results in

  • www.live.com
  • search.ninemsn.com.au (global results)
  • search.msn.com

depending on what the term is.
1:05 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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steveb "Results are the normal poor MSN ones here. "

etc. etc. etc. etc.

From all your posts it doesn't take a genius to say your aren't an MSN search fan. Or anyone someone that knows a damn thing about the connection between MSN search and live.com. Guess you couldn't be bothered to look at previous posts about the relationship between the two:

If you had you would have noticed that they both eventually use the same index - that is not what this launch is about (if you had not noticed from absolutely every other person's post).

I would love to summarise my post with someting constructive but can't be bothered - no point, just so much spam in live.com, MSN blah blah blah and ......

....oh yes.... sod off out of this discussion it isn't about the rankings that you haven't got.

1:12 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am sorry but has anyone noticed that I am really obnoxious sometimes - sorry about that!

steveb. live.com results will get better as MSN search technology gets better - as Google has a 6-7 year technology advantage you can expect that the catch up process will mean you will see changes on a regular basis - and to get close or beat the competition takes a bit longer that a year or so.

1:24 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The way I like to look at it coming from the UK is in football (soccer for you non-normal people).

Theo Walcott is a 17 year old talented individual that could turn out to be the best player in the world - but the leader at the moment is Tierry Henry who is in his late twenties.

For this talented (with potential) youngster to get to Tierry's stage would take ten years of training in football terms. Of course he may not make it as so many youngsters don't!

So why is search so different to life - well it isn't, it is just accelerated by having a team behind it. But the simple fact is that a team that has more experience is ahead of the other teams (when the skills are equal) - so the fact that MSN are even on the search landscape should be a minor miracle.

You can have all the eyeballs in the world (Windows etc) but if your product is poor then that is just another failed experiment.

The fact that MSN are now in Google's territory after a ridiculously short time should make us all excited for the future?

Well it should. MSN is going to be the only realistic alternative in the near future, because their strategy is aggressive.

The future of search is not just "web search" just look at what Google is trying to get into. The point is that as soon as Google gets out of it's comfort zone then brands like MSN and Yahoo can really take them on.

I'm lovin' it!

[edited by: Swanson at 1:27 am (utc) on Sep. 14, 2006]

1:39 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"live.com results will get better as MSN search technology gets better"

Um, obviously. Thanks for that news breaker.

Back on earth, the live interface is pretty darn poorly concieved, as I doubt 95% of the users will even find the hidden drop down, nor then know what to do with the obscurely named links on it.

In terms of a launch, I've done loads of laundry with more fanfare, but this is something like the third time MSN has "launched" an interface, which is like "launching" the color of paint on a car. Hardly any users use advanced features, but they are very nice to have. More to the point though, few people will ever use advanced features for a product that they sample once and view as inferior to other similar products. MSN's previous publicty about their search engine backfired in a huge way as it got people to look at the product and they rejected en masse.

MSN is clearly improving, much more so this summer than in its entire previous history, but launching a new paint job without a good "engine" is likely not going to help.

Then more to the point, the interface still displays the idiotic geolocated results as the default whereever you are, rather than making that one of the *options*. The one thing the interface should have done was not done, so there isn't anything to see here. As the engine gets better, presumably, in the coming months, hopefully we really will have a full blown competitor for Google, but there isn't anything here yet.

4:10 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Windows Live Search looks interesting for the new functionalities, but the search engine database seems to be the same as MSN Search.

The big problem with this search engine (IMO) is that it doesn't index enough pages. I can see many quality sites have 100 times less indexed pages on MSN than on Google or even Yahoo ... It seems that MSN has problems to index dynamic urls that have too many parameters, or static urls with too many hyphens.

So MSN/Live is relevant for a very general search, but for a more specific search, the results are poor. Live Image Search doesn't seem to have a big database either.

I really hope Live Search gets better. But for now I am a little disappointed :( Live Search is user-friendly, has a great design, but the search results should be much more complete in my opinion.

4:12 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks great! Much more professional (in terms of appearance). Can't wait until some more improvements in search relevance come along :)

C

5:03 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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is it just me, or does the new engine not show up in my environmental referer variable (using php)

looking at HTTP_REFERER.

is there a fix for this, or just microsofts way of messing with us non .NET people?

6:11 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ok ... checked php environmental variables, server logs, even checked a couple of really really big hit counter web services...(you know which one...the really really big one) ... msn serp results are not passing the referer variable...

...what this means is that a website is not able to know the different between a direct "type-the-domain-into-the-browser" hit and a hit from msn including what keywords were used. (which is passed in the referral string)

data junkies like me will wake up tomorrow saying..."what happened to my msn traffic?"

sucks for me because I am JUST finishing up a major rewrite to my personal seo rank/tracking executive dashboard....

8:27 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"msn serp results are not passing the referer variable"

it's not very serious coming from microsoft!

9:02 am on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed any traffic changes from MSN?
7:42 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No, we always rank good in msn. We have not noticed a difference at all since live was launched. I do like the look of live though.

You have to realize why google has such a hold on their market, their home page is simple..... People like simple and easy things!

8:19 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can't believe that MSN is not longer passing referrer info!
Now I can't see what keywords my msn visitors used to see my sites :(
10:30 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah it's true, no data. My log shows only 3 hits today (16 hours) from MSN, and rankings are fine, no change.
10:32 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Steveb

I like the look of live.com in so much that its at least less cluttered than the previous offering and sets its stall out as a search engine rather than a page full of news, entertainment gossip and links to advertising in some format - For me live is a big step forward for msn.

I agree with you regarding the extra features of live, not many are going to be bothered with them imo. They will just go straight to a search keyword. It will be interesting to see what the take up of the extra services are as a percentage to those that want pure search- my moneys on the take up being low due to joe public being lazy, but msn obviously think its worth the effort to roll these add ons out. Frankly, i would rather msn invest 100% of their time in improving search quaility - the add on services are currently just a nice outfit on a pig as i see it.

As for msn improving search the jury is out, but i dont think the technology is up to much, msn still cant deep crawl ANY site, it has no link or site history behind it, it cant tell a junk site, a spam site or an authority site from each other. Over all it cant cut it.

I have posted many times here about msns search bot technology and until it improves this area it wont be able to collect the data required to deliver quailty serps.

It cant possibly roll out Any improvement to the serps quality what so ever until it has the data available- without deep crawling data it has nothing behind it. All it can do is re-hash the data it has so far giving weight to keywords in the domain name and having sites missing left right and centre that should be in its index.

I would like msn to offer a quality alternative but its currently floored due to its poor search bot technology.

Rich

P.S we have a number of sites that rank well in msn and others that dont but if the ones that feature are surrounded by junk as is currently the case they wont take customers off google.

10:52 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Today's update looks like it improved the results a little bit.
11:08 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For me live is a big step forward for msn.

Looks like their branding efforts aren't working as well as planned. You used the term "MSN" several times in your post.

It ain't MSN. It's Windows Live.

At some point, MSN is supposed to disappear.

11:55 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The results look better to me as well, searches seem to be more on target. However best results seem to be keyword domain name loaded.
6:17 am on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I can't believe that MSN is not longer passing referrer info!"

So far that is the biggest change, and it sure is an unwelcome one. What can be the point of that, besides the obvious of trying to hide their relative popularity versus their competitors?

8:40 am on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"So far that is the biggest change, and it sure is an unwelcome one."

Agreed. I do hope msndude (who I have developed a huge amount of respect for this last year) comments on this one.

The cost of data it seems has gone up. I do think this is an unfair move for webmasters on msn's part, we have little to work with as it is.

12:05 pm on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I can't believe that MSN is not longer passing referrer info!"
So far that is the biggest change, and it sure is an unwelcome one. What can be the point of that, besides the obvious of trying to hide their relative popularity versus their competitors?

A good way for them to minimize the effect of users (SEO's and Spammers) manipulating the results, I think.

You can see where your pages are being displayed on which keywords however you can't get any feedback from them how MANY visitors you get and on what keywords thus minizing our feedback and making our work harder :-)

Especially if you have a lot of keywords. You also need to rely on data from other SE's for keywordoptimizing.

1:43 pm on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When I open a result in a new tab or window the refferrer is passed, also if I disable javascript everything works fine. Only when I open a result in the same window the refferrer is empty?

Looks like some kind of ugly javascript, a bug perhaps?

[edited by: NedProf at 1:45 pm (utc) on Sep. 15, 2006]

2:02 pm on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it is MSN not passing referrer information as much as it is most stats packages not yet having been switched over from MSN to Live. I noticed that both Smarterstats and Awstats (sorry if I'm not allowed to comment on the specific packages) report the accurate count of visitors and traffic flows, but didn't equate do the ol'
live.com == msn.com;

I'm sure a lot of updates from the packages will be coming. From the Microsoft camp, leaving the msn referrer in instead of live until the switch is made might be helpful.

Cygnus

4:04 pm on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am not convinced of that yet. It is a strange one though and I haven't heard any reasonable exlainations...

I sure hope they're not alienating the SEO set, it's not like they are below a 10% share as it is ot anything. Seems like it wouldn't be the wisest move.

I look forward to some form of answer. This would even affect conversion packages that have little to do with SPAMMING the engines. It is for tracking a visitor from a certain referrer for sales purposes (you know, what they say we SHOULD be doing? working on our sites and conversions)

ugh

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