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Microsoft Leaks Live Search Plans

Blog post spilled the beans a week early

   
8:43 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



"In a blog posting on Thursday, Windows Live program manager Akram Hussein demonstrated how the revamped Live Search handles searches for digital cameras, showing not just product details, but also reviews. The new search scrapes details from other sites that have user reviews and other information and presents it from within the search engine."

[news.zdnet.com...]

9:01 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think Akram should be focusing on better organic results instead of adding more "bells & whistles" to Live.com.
9:09 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Isn't that a copyright breach? I mean, using a snippet can be called fair use, but a whole review seems to push the limits.
9:28 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Correct me if I am wrong, but don't these people sign a confidentiality agreement with MS? That being the case, could there be an "ulterior motive" for the post and might it not, in fact, have been semi-approved to throw off the competition? Just a thought.

Marshall

9:55 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Whenever I see an apparent slip-up like this, I always wonder if it might have been intentional to generate some advance buzz. You rarely find out the truth, though.
10:17 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft live search - is this the worse search engine on the planet?

Why don't they focus on giving a balanced set of search results instead of 10 pages of sub-domains for the same search term - just check out a search for the term "cats" on msn.co.uk and you will see what I mean. The same domain highlighted with sub-domains for page on page.

The same is true for other search terms.

Microsoft live - a waste of time (in my opinion)

10:30 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Woah,
The new search scrapes details from other sites that have user reviews and other information and presents it from within the search engine.

Two Points:
1. I'm glad we will be allowing user product reviews on our up and coming revised site. (I'm not leaking a story but the release date is 10-04-07)

2. What affect, if any, will "Optimized Product/User Reviews" have to do with SERP positioning?

[edited by: Propools at 10:33 pm (utc) on Sep. 24, 2007]

11:41 pm on Sep 24, 2007 (gmt 0)



IMHO, a lot can be done in terms of GUI.

Since MS has low market share in search, it has the opportunity to innovate in terms of the interface that renders search results.

Google could run into problems if it changes a lot the way it renders its SERPs. Google users might not like a drastic change.

Hence, MS has an outstanding opportunity to gain new users if it provides a good reason to change. A great GUI could be that great reason.

Also, since the EU Court didn't approve Microsoft's antitrust appeal and the decision could be used against companies such as Google (search) and Apple (iPod), it's a great time for MS to fight for market share in the search business.

We'll see...

9:14 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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More important that additional useless features is availablity and stability... I just tried to go to live.com and got a 'connection reset' message.

Google realises that people actually use their service and need it to work all the time and produce good results, thats why they spend a lot of time on page load times and accuracy of results.

Searching for 'cats' is terrible... I dont think Ill be selling those google shares just yet....

M$ is just trying to f**king kill google... Ignore them, everyone else does

Search for cats, related searches = caterpillar... right because cats and caterpillars are totally related arent they?

9:17 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



The plans DO sound good. They sound like you'll be able to see non-commercial content in major commerical terms. Just what most searchers want to see.
9:18 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Are you satisfied with Live Search? Tell us about it.

Just told them about our cat search dissatisfaction. :)

[edited by: Habtom at 9:19 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]

9:24 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You could also mention the 'ebay are up to their old tricks' problem, but I expect they are more interested in taking peoples money rather than actually providing good search results.

Search for dogs and you get the old faithful ebay ads

#the dogs Sale
Great deals on the dogs. Shop on eBay and Save!
eBay.co.uk/buy

Something has gone to the dogs anyway...

At least the calculator works though :D

[search.live.com...]

9:37 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



The changes come as Microsoft is struggling to make headway against market leaders Google and Yahoo.

demonstrating how a query of "Brad Pitt" includes a rating system of how popular he is at the moment, dubbed his "celebrity xRank."

That'll catapult them straight to number one; when ideas fail, reach for the lame gimmick. You couldn't make it up. Even Ask haven't fallen that far.

9:41 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Even Ask haven't fallen that far.

How are we comparing the search engines here? It certainly is the truth that the search results in Google are by far much more relevant than Yahoo or Live.

But are they really that bad? How are you comparing them? I know quite a few of the problems related with Live for example ignoring the robots.txt, crawling much more frequently than necessary and this kind of related problems.

But are they that far from the other search engines?

9:51 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



At least the calculator works though :D

Really? [search.live.com...]
Oh? [search.live.com...]

[edited by: vincevincevince at 9:53 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]

9:52 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But are they really that bad? How are you comparing them? I know quite a few of the problems related with Live for example ignoring the robots.txt, crawling much more frequently than necessary and this kind of related problems.

Yes msnbot is stupid, I also have seen dumb and disrespectful crawling from msnbot. I have more requests from googlebot but they are more spread out and are normally for correct pages.

But are they that far from the other search engines?

Yes. Search is HARD and they are a long long way behind if the cats search is anything to go by. The algorithms that are used in search take years and years of work by seriously clever people. Microsoft (as per normal) are trying to use brawn over brains and adding cheap and tacky 'personality rankings' is not going to make people ignore the fact that their search results are very basic.

Just by looking at their search results, it looks easy to game their algorithm but nobody cares because even if you get to the top spot, it will not bring in any business.

9:56 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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vincevincevince

Should you not buy your own calculator? ;)

9:58 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Don't ask me to read the entire forums on WW, but except the kind of differences I mentioned above, I would appreciate if somebody tells me why they think Ms search is as bad as everyone seems to say here.

[edited by: Habtom at 9:59 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]

10:04 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Habtom: Search live.com for 'cats' look at the results (in particular the domain name)

Tell me that that is not worrying...

As vince points out, even the calculator cannot get basic maths right.

As I said search is very very hard and there is no way that they can be anywhere near google or yahoo who both have around 10 years experience in this business.

All of these new features are part of the plan to 'f**king kill google' (as laid out by Sweaty Balmer), they just want to appear to be better to take googles oxygen away. If they succeed then search will fall into the same black hole that web did for the last 5 years.

Google is fighting back by trying to take money away from their office operations, without the profit from office and windows, ms would crumble very quickly.

[google.com...]

or if you prefer ;)

[search.live.com...]

10:38 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Should you not buy your own calculator? ;)

You should write to microsoft, they are obviously missing out on a good revenue stream here.. When someone types in a calculation, it could just say 'it looks like you need a calculator, see below for great offers on 2 * 2 at ebay and msn shops!'

11:46 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well at least everyone got a laugh at the Cats live search - what is sad is that they had a dog website of mine on page one / two for months and now you can't even find it!

Still what really ticks me of with live and other search engines is listing websites (with a high page rank) when the domain and the sub-domains have been dead for at least 5 months!

I use live simply to check if my sites are listed, I never use it for real - Yahoo tends to be better, Google still outmatches both of them in terms of keeping up to date with changes in a website.

11:50 am on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was just thinking a bit more on the Live listing of dozens of sub-domains for a single website against a single keyword search - what would be a better solution is to have the website in question listed (first) with say 5 sub-domains listed below - indented, similar to google with a link to "see all"

At least in this way other websites would get a chance of being listed and found by the average user.

.... at least in the Live search on "cats" wiki is not first!

12:33 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



Don't ask me to read the entire forums on WW, but except the kind of differences I mentioned above, I would appreciate if somebody tells me why they think Ms search is as bad as everyone seems to say here.

The frustration comes from how easily MS Live is gamed by dishonest webmasters and how quality sites are sometimes banned from their index.

I gave MSNdude an example about a year ago where one webmaster had about six of the top ten results for a phrase (identical pages with a variety of domain names - all supplying useless data pointing back to a primary domain). The problem was fixed (manually) but that fix was only temporary.

If you ask MSN why you're banned they are clueless. I posted my experience with MSN which was extremely frustrating and dead-ended. To this day I only get that stupid quality check robot which doesn't do anything to get a site un-banned.

MS can add all the bells and whistles they want, the SE's overall quality is poor.

12:49 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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



How are we comparing the search engines here?

If you go back to the original post, this thread is not about 'search quality alone' - it's much more a matter of 'presentation'; more marketing than technology. The leak wasn't about a technical development by Live Search - but some of the choices apparently being made by MS to improve their 'competitive position'.

And therein lies the problem. All the majors do other things besides search, and that's not about to change, but if you look at their attitudes to search itself, Google has always gone for plain vanilla; Yahoo! has traditionally gone for the portal approach (but straight down the line), while MS seems to reposition itself every year or so.

In my view, what they are proposing is the equivalent of Wall Street Journal becoming a red top, with lurid front page headlines about Britney and Paris - the content may or may not be the same, but the presentation (celebrity popularity scales!) is being changed for purely marketing reasons.

Hence general anti MS comments, and, in particular, my comparison with Ask, who seem to have given up competing on search results, with their CEO on record as saying 'we don't need to take the number one spot from Google, but a few percentage pints would be good'. It's a paraphrase from memory, and I apologize if I'm being less than fair to Ask - but evidence is that all their 'focus' is on marketing gimmicks, with no evidence of any interest in developing the product.

a query of "Brad Pitt" includes a rating system of how popular ... dubbed his "celebrity xRank."

This suggests to me that MS has caught 'Ask disease'

[edited by: Quadrille at 12:51 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]

1:57 pm on Sep 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This suggests to me that MS has caught 'Ask disease'

Maybe they have seen the future and are preparing for it ;)

[imdb.com...]

Brand new! Ow my balls! Coming soon on MSNTV (sponsored by ebay - best prices on balls!)... All your favorite xRank 1 celebs - kicked in the nuts!

Actually that doesn't sound too bad...

11:13 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here's the "official" announcement:

[washingtonpost.com...]