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Live Search Webmaster Portal (Beta) Reviews

     
2:40 am on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Got my access to the beta webmaster portal today. I won't go into details, but does the basics one would expect including support for standard protocols.

As MSN/Live has never indexed more than 5-7% of my website, I'll be curious to see if their crawler makes full use of the capabilities.

4:18 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Was this an invitation only beta testing? I logged into my MSN/Live account, but do not see any way to access their portal, with the exception of an FAQ explaining a number of typical indexing questions. If there is a link to the tools that I'm missing, please let us know. Thanks...

...........................

5:28 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I, too, just got mine and logged in and set up my sites. Should be interesting to see what info it displays. As far as the domain rank, it looks like PR blocks, not quite sure what they mean, 10/10 on google is easy to understand, but I have 5 green boxes, whats that mean? heeh.
6:54 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Reno

Yes a private beta, though based on the original blog post they expect to release by end of year.

<link>http://blogs.msdn.com/livesearch/archive/2007/08/22/our-new-webmaster-portal-and-an-invitation-to-the-private-beta.aspx</link>

7:12 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I also got access today. Let's see if my ranking in MSN will affect anyway.
12:18 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was invited too. Very basic information so far. The number of pages indexed is way off - MSN stating 7,300 when I've only got around 1,200.

I also see that the documents (.doc, .xls) that I reference in articles as back up materials are the highest ranking pages on many search terms.

Not good.

2:24 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Until they reindex my site it is virtually useless.
3:58 am on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks JonW for the info. The article says that anyone can apply to participate, so I'll think about it. I'd do that in a heartbeat if I thought it would get their indexing spider to behave again, but truthfully, I have my doubts.

Will be eager to hear everyone's feedback as the weeks pass.....

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2:41 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My initial feedback: (I have only been using the system for a few hours)

I was really looking forward to the old “linkdomain:” info.

I really like the use of an XML file for verification. I have seen too many strange errors with the .html versions of Google and Yahoo. I also noticed the future meta tag option.

The top ten link info is cool so far, but all the info there would be helpful.

That is it so far…

3:08 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't invited to try the Beta but someone posted a link to the site somewhere, I tried it, and it let me in using my MSN login.

If you want to see if you can get it go to:
[webmaster.live.com...]

3:42 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, apparently if you go to that link and you have an MSN ID you can login. I was able to login with different windows Live ID's even though they stated that you needed to use the ID that the invitation was originally sent to.
3:57 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks incrediBILL. I also got in without any problem and was able to start adding sites, along with their xml verification files, so now I'll monitor the situation and will report back if anything improves.

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4:09 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Nothing interesting for the moment.

A funny thing with their robots.txt validation tool. It doesn't understand "Crawl-delay". At least, that's what it tells you. :)

4:33 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What are the green boxes marked "rank"? Everything in my profile that has them has five boxes. Is that good? bad? indifferent?

Also, maybe it's just me, but I found the links terminology a little confusing at first. Top Links From I would think of as being incoming, but they're outgoing, and vice versa.

Still, any communication is better than no communication.

5:48 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I like the way they have it set up. It is VERY basic at this point. I wish they would show more than 10 links, etc. I was wondering about those green boxes as well. Says rank, but ALL of ours have 5 green boxes. So, I reckon that means we doing good, LOL. I tried to click on the link in the e-mail they sent asking for feedback and how I liked it and it would say:

Page Not Found

The content that you requested cannot be found or you do not have permission to view it.

so maybe they were afraid what I was going to say? LOL. It's a good start though looks like.

6:33 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well I put one of my own sites in there, plus three client sites. So far, it reports greatly inflated page counts for my site and two of the client sites, and the one site that DOES have well over 2000 pages, it only reports 81 pages. That one is also the only one that shows three green boxes on some pages as well (it's a very heavily modified so as to be almost unrecognizable oscommerce site).

Interesting. We'll see how it goes.

6:53 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our site has only had maybe 200 of over 70k pages in msn/live for so long I hope that this helps to get more in their system. (crossing fingers)
10:07 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My site to has about 10% page indexed, this is why i NEVER use this search engine because I know it misses most of the pages of most sites.
10:38 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Also, maybe it's just me, but I found the links terminology a little confusing at first. Top Links From I would think of as being incoming, but they're outgoing, and vice versa.

It's not just you -- it IS backwards! Oh well, at least they are finally getting this thing off the ground. I just hope it does some good sooner rather than later.

......................

1:00 am on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I did determine that 5 green boxes is the max, as I have one of my domains which is only 1 green box, the other 4 are white.
Whats odd about the robots.txt validator is that it gives errors, when every other place says it passes fine

User-agent: Slurp
User-agent: Googlebot
User-agent: msnbot
User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
User-agent: Adsbot-Google
User-agent: Googlebot-Image
User-agent: Googlebot-Mobile
User-agent: Teoma
User-agent: ia_archiver-web.archive.org
Disallow: /keepout/
Disallow: /goaway/

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

not that complex of a file but for what ever reason, but i get this error...


Error: MSNBOT isn't allowed to crawl the site.
**************************************************
Line #2: User-agent: Googlebot
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #3: User-agent: msnbot
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #4: User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #5: User-agent: Adsbot-Google
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #6: User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #7: User-agent: Googlebot-Mobile
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #8: User-agent: Teoma
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Line #9: User-agent: ia_archiver-web.archive.org
Error: 'user-agent' tag should be followed by a different tag.
**************************************************
Warning: 'sitemap' - tag isn't specified.
**************************************************

Possible problem with their validator?
Because i do see them crawling and indexing my sites.

5:13 am on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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my sites been double the size it should be in Msn's index for an age.

if any of you guys that are indexed with a fraction of your page total want some of my inflated figures your welcome to have some of mine ;)

the size of my site suggests to me they are indexing both sets of pages some how even tho i've had a site wide 301 redirect from non to www. for years....

Vimes.

<added>
yep the links thing confused me for while silly terminology that....
</added>

[edited by: Vimes at 5:15 am (utc) on Nov. 16, 2007]

7:30 am on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In addition to the robots.txt error, I can not validate my sites. It is not reading the meta info. :)
12:52 am on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing anything here that is overly useful at the moment.

Validating my robots.txt works great on paper in Live search, but doesn't work live with hundreds of pages that are listed in robots.txt still indexed after months.

11:06 pm on Nov 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thank you MS! My site jumped from 23 to no 9 after submitting sitemap for one of the main keyword.
3:11 am on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Host: 65.55.230.35
/LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 18 17:28:12 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 93
Referer: -
Agent: MSIE6.0


Sure wish Microsoft would use an agent we recognize when accessing the site....

IP address nslookup info is for phx.gbl which I guess is related to MSN.

10:17 am on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know if LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml can be removed from a site as soon as authentication is complete with the webmaster tools?

(Side note: and how is this handled with google's webmaster tools? At one point I had to redeploy the .html files)

10:25 am on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Static auth file names are crap, although there's not much to reveal, ATM. Next they're loaded from an IP blocked due to the huge load of referrer spam it sends out. Makes the whole thingy totally and utterly useless.
11:39 am on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but that ain't answer my question(s) :)
12:26 pm on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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@eRAZOR

First the easy part of your question. Google frequently checks for the auth files, hence it's a bad idea to remove them after verification. They are, however, not site specific, that means once you've a file for your Google account you can upload it to all your client's sites and verify them.

As for MSN, they create different auth codes based on server names. They even go so far to generate different strings for www.domain.tld and domain.tld. I tried to verify a site redirecting to the www-version first without the www prefix, now both server names don't verify. On a verified site the /LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml was requested only once so far. Sorry, I can't tell whether you can delete the auth file or not. Time will tell, if MSNdude doesn't pick up your question.

12:37 pm on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks that was quite helpful.
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