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MSN Update, November 3

     
3:13 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Serps are massively different today then they were last night across a ton of sectors. Looks like they did a big one. Anyone seeing any trends? I'm seeing massive ranks for authority sites where I'm looking - sites like CNN ranking for big terms that make you scratch your head, lots of wikipedia and google groups esque items ranking for huge, huge terms.

I would have posted this in the Oct. 23 update thread - but this isn't the minor shuffle that occured a week or so ago - I'm seeing a whole new set of serps.

3:22 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is interesting. I was going to put up a different post along similar lines.

The problem that I have is that we have seen a massive down in SERP on MSN since July. The other to main SES have gone the opposite direction, luckily.

My question is what are MSN up to. Why am I seeing great improvements on Google, Yahoo and even ASK but not on MSN. I know I shouldn't be greedy but why the drop on MSN?

Anyone got any ideas of what may have caused this. What changes have happenend since the summer?

3:24 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You might be right, but with the two phrases I just tested, I'm not seeing any progress. Including the one I mentioned in the October thread.

lloyd - join the club. We've experienced 20% + increase since August in Ask, Y! and Google. But are nowhere to be found in MSN - even for our own unique domain name. And with 1,200 pages of content, it's pretty hard to believe we can't rank for something in MSN.

[edited by: BillyS at 3:27 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2006]

3:29 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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heh, A website I created last week ranks for a big two word term. Page 1 of 2,452,364 results

I see msn is still putting a LOT of weight in the domain name...

3:52 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This certainly is a big shake up.
3:55 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In my area I am seeing the same mess thats been there for the last few months.
4:24 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Serps are massively different today"

Looks like the same old Junk and bloggs sites ranking to me - perhaps it hasnt filtered in fully yet?

I dont see any changes for now anyway thats for sure

4:36 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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gee if they would only filter blogspot ....

naaa....i'm sure they have to do it "the right way" ....

4:42 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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MSN DUDE

Results were better last week before this update, looks like someone inched up the domain keyword match.
1 step backward on this.

4:49 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing some real crap ranking as well in one competitive area where I play in!
4:50 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lloyd ... glad you said that. We experienced the same thing. We were doing really well in MSN for quite a lot of phrases, then literally over night we dropped down a few pages.

It seemed strange because we've steadily improved on Google and Yahoo for the last few months.

I'll be checking tonight to see if our listing has improved with this possible update.

4:50 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For one popular keyword, the whole first page has the same site listed with lots of differnt sub-domains in it. Man, they just love those sub-domains.... especially from the same site. Not a pretty sight.
4:51 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Finally found the new(ish) pages on my site. Position is fine on key arguements.
4:55 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Actually, make that about 10 different competitive areas where MSN is displaying poor content I watch closely.
5:14 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have to say that this looks like a big improvement, even though it hasn't been kind to my sites.
Most of the first 10 results for the terms that I monitor are very relevant. It's nice to see an alternative set of good results to Google's.

I had a quick look at the .co.uk results, but they look like the same bizarre stuff as before.

5:53 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Geezopete, I had one site where 13 out of my top 14 very competitive search phrases are now on the first page; some of 'em were buried as low as #200 yesterday. Hope this lasts a while. Now if I could just get some more *traffic* out of it...
6:01 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Darn, this is bad, the first page for main KW I see is on page 29 (this is from drifting between page 1 and 4 on a squeaky-white ecomm site), and it ain't main page, but "shipping information"...and main page is nowhere to be found
6:13 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would have to agree that I think quality actually notched a bit downward with the greater emphasis on KW usage in title and URL -- if anything, more blogspot and other subdomain spam. Though I certainly don't make the decisions, I'd be in favor of a rollback until you can figure out a way to get rid of the obvious crap.

Cygnus

6:32 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My rankings in MSN are looking an awful lot like Google, which is a good thing. Seems like most sites above mine are about the same in Google as well.
6:59 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looking a bit better, but still way to much emphasis placed on the keyword in the domain name, or worse yet - subdomain.

My feeling is that keyword in the domain should have NO weight in ranking.

9 times out of 10 its a crap directory (ad) site using a www.keyword-keyword.com domain. Real sites with real content, products and services don't use these kind of domains, so if anything it should have a negative weight.

Just my 2 cents for MSN Dude.

7:18 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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5 of the top 10 are b*spot on one of the phrases I saw vast improvements on over the summer. Things getting worse now, not better.
8:13 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You know...

i haven't heard from msndude in weeks...

msn duuuude......where are you?

8:37 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"9 times out of 10 its a crap directory (ad) site using a www.keyword-keyword.com domain. Real sites with real content, products and services don't use these kind of domains, so if anything it should have a negative weight"

So we penalize the sites that were able to get the keyword in their subdomain 3 years ago when it was possible?

Not a very good solution to me...

8:52 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In one of my sectors it looks like blogspot.com is still an authority :P

I did notice a shift both last month, I guess on the 23rd and then another early this morning. One of our sites popped to #2 last month and then got to #1, all without any rhyme or reason.

I would agree that the SERPS look better when my site is on the top of them, other then that it looks like they are still "spammy".

9:15 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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penalize the sites that were able to get the keyword in their subdomain 3 years ago when it was possible

I don't think anyone is suggesting that they be 'penalized', but rather not rewarded simply because they have the keywords stuffed into the domain/url.

In one of my sectors it looks like blogspot.com is still an authority :P

Yep. Thought it was changing, but it hasn't.

9:58 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I don't think anyone is suggesting that they be 'penalized', but rather not rewarded simply because they have the keywords stuffed into the domain/url."

This I completely agree on and it seems to me not a tough one to fix as there are several ways to keep this from becoming A "REWARD"

I assume stuffed means multiple times.

10:08 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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greater emphasis on KW usage in title and URL

Yes and repeated keywords in the title seem to be rewarded. I'd rewrite my home page title with it's top keyword repeated 2 or 3 times but it would mess me up with Google who has me #3 on the word right now.

(added) Good Grief! some in the top 20 have the key word repeated 4 times. Really spammy looking. My page used to be in the top 10 and is now at 40. I may have hurt myself by changing my title to only have the keyword once instead of twice. But than maybe it helped in Google as I just popped up from 4th to 3rd. Can't make them all happy I guess.

10:34 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Root domain authority also seems to have nudged upwards in importance; I spent a few minutes this afternoon looking into the sites which weren't obvious subdomain spamming, to see why they'd suddently rank, and the examples seem to be of a more authority nature.

I'm all for authority sites ranking, if they can truly be considered authorities -- my fear is that in an attempt to promote authority sites, MSN has in effect pushed false authorities higher (blog engines notably).

If I were a betting man, I'd say we could probably expect a part II type of shakeup in the next few weeks.

Cygnus

1:25 am on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<long time coming>

Massive improvement, for multiple word searches at least. Single word is still not good.

One very troubling problem though seems to be gaping holes in the index. When I search for a term that a page of mine basically has to be #1 for, not only isn't it #1 but it isn't ranked at all, with my site map and another page that just list the title of the page as a link appearing as the top results. The troubling part is the page that should rank is indexed. I can force it to show via quoting a long bit of text, but it never ranks above pages on my own domain it has no business losing to. I've seen this phenomenon for three pages so far.

Key problems still keyword in the subdomain is viewed as gold, blogspot is still loved, sensless showing of multiple results from the same domain shown via subdomains, and for reasons unknown to me MSN continues to virtually ignore page title in its rankings.

</long time coming>

Two years and counting, MSN finally unveils a beta searc engine. Great news. Now lets look forward to seeing it improve.

1:55 am on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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blogspot is still loved

Yup...

Seems I don't need to search anymore, just have to type 1stkeyword-2ndkeyword.blogspot.com

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