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Live Search MSN Update

Mar 24 2008



2:22 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see that MSN has done another update and they now have HORRIBLE results. It's ALMOST as bad as Yahoo's now and that's bad! They have some of the weirdest results coming up for searches now. Seems as if BAD sites are ruling the roost now on MSN Live. Anyone else see how bad it is?


10:49 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Quick reminder not to post specifics on the thread as per the Terms of service [webmasterworld.com]. I'm not going to ruin the good thread, but if you can sticky MSNDude on specifics rather than put them here, that will save me doing load of editing. :)


2:22 pm on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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correct, their bots were consuming tons of bandwidth but not sending any traffic to a site with loads of Google page listings. Also MSN webmaster section looks like what open source kids come up with at early development stages.

MSN is not even able to send mails that look like corporate mails.

But perhaps Billy Boy is mentally back to his gararge days when there was no Google around. Someone should show and explain to him what Google has come up with since then.

Perhaps he will realize that his engeneers are not in touch with today.


7:36 pm on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Compared to Top 20 results in Google, I see the following in Live's Top 20:

1. Longtime number one Web site in Google is number six in Live.

2. Six Top 20 Web sites in Google show in Live's Top 20 in different positions.

One of my sites is present in Live's Top 20. The same site is 50+ in Google.

So far, I like Live's results. It's nice to have a second view of the Web. Sometime is tiresome to see the same ole results a la Google.

It's been 4 years since Microsoft made a $100 million investment to deliver a significant upgrade to its search services, see [microsoft.com...]

Consequently, Google has a 6-year lead.

Ballmer's 'one-trick pony' should learn other tricks pretty soon. Otherwise, it will miss the lead.


12:48 am on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Does anyone know if MSN offers paid inclusion? I am having trouble getting one of my websites indexed. If so, can you please provide me the link. Thanks!


4:30 am on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just took a look at the results based on a search phrase I wrote about in #:3614881 . What a change from a few days ago!


7:54 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

zafile: are things better or worse?


8:51 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just checked the results and found things similar as to my #:3614881 report.

Basically, compared to Top 20 results in Google, I see the following in Live's Top 20:

1. Longtime number one Web site in Google is number six in Live.

2. A few Top 20 Web sites in Google do show in Live's Top 20 in different positions.

What I saw when I posted #:3617782 seemed awkward. For instance, I wasn't able to spot longtime number one Web site in Google within Live's top 50.

I should also mention that my current Web site in Live's Top 20 showed number 3 when I posted #:3617782 . Now is back to 10+. That's where it should be. Longtime number one Web site in Google is more relevant than mine in terms of content.

To describe what I see now in a different way, for someone used to Google search results, the current results in Live seem perhaps more appealing...


9:05 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Finally, some newer Web sites that I think have been in Google's sandbox, do show in Live's top 20.

If a Web site is relevant and well built, why should it be kept in a search engine's sandbox? Of course, to make the owner pay the engine for exposure via paid results!

This is the case of a competitor of mine. Newer URL, well built, relevant content, top real estate franchise, no black hat tactics. The site is no where to be seen in Google. Surfers can access it via Live. I think that's cool.


6:56 pm on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

<rant on>

Live search blows. We're pretty much fed up with their performance. We used to rank #1 for a 50 million search return. Now our site is completely gone. Google and yahoo have us ranked #1 among 118 million sites.

Live is definitely not so live. Microsoft needs to get their crap straight before they release it to the public.

</rant off>


3:51 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't post much on here but I have to say that I think Microsoft is doing much better.

We do not need another Google clone and it is good to see that a well built site can get ranked on LIVE without having to spend a grand or so a month on paid links to be competitive like in the Google serps.

I do have one pet peeve in that since I live outside the USA I have to use a proxy service to see the "real" .com results, but this is the same for Google and Yahoo as well as they all deliver filtered results based on your location, this can't be good for the end user in my eyes.


9:40 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Not sure what's up with MSN, but they are dropping numerous well established sites for no reason that have been placing well on MSN for a long time.

These are good quality site, well built with a good link profile that have been around since 96, now just gone.

So, I would say live search pretty much blows with this latest screwup that they call an update.


4:13 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


sorry but I have to take back everything good I said about msn, woke up today to find their results are a mess? Not sure what happened but tons of spam sites are now on the top spots.


1:52 pm on Apr 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well it looks like the results are back to what they were when I first posted on April 8th, does that mean the awful update is over and the good results stay? Anyone else see the update rolled back?


6:49 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

"Anyone else see the update rolled back?"

No I see a shake up going on right now


7:31 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you want good results on MSN SEARCH use

10 times better results then the US search.


8:20 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think I have never seen such an awful SERPS in my life. It's a total disaster now. Lot of widget-in-domain.com, shopzillas, and spammy junk.

It looks like link quantity rules, and link quality doesn't matter. I can see websites that have nothing but 1,000s of links from article directories and spammy blogs ranking 1st to 3rd in a quite competitive niches.

What's going on?


3:01 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had a look at [latam.msn.com...] and they looked very spammy compared to the live.com results. I search mostly in the financial area'a and the results do not look to bad to me now, guess it must be just certain area's that look bad as I tried many searches and could easily find what I was looking for on live.com but the latam.msn.com looked like it puts too much weight on the domain name in the surps.


4:45 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I get the opposite, to much weight on the domain name on live.com.
on [latam.msn.com...] less weight on domain some results are closer to Google.


4:41 pm on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

tons of redirects off of spam filled pages.

me thinks somebody turned off a filter or two (or all)


2:38 pm on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday the number of results in my category was 20,400,000. Today it's 122,000,000! Prior to that it hadn't changed since 4/7. Wow. Wonder what the count will be tomorrow!


7:14 pm on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ome of my sites went from page 1 to page 5 to dropped out of the index entirely for certain keywords, meanwhile it's moving up in Google. Maybe MSN deliberately does the opposite of google.

Robert Charlton

2:50 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

IMO, MSN still hasn't come close to sorting out quality issues.

I'm seeing a site ranking #3 and #4 for a moderately contested two-word phrase, where its only inbound links appear to be 500 site-wide banner links that appear on a partner site on the same IP. The search phrase is the anchor text on the banner ads.

The ranking site doesn't show up in the top 1,000 for the same search on Google.


3:38 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Does anyone have any good ideas of how to get MSN's attention to look at a website? It does seem as if they are nowhere to be found as far as indexing new or updated websites.


12:47 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

" I get the opposite, to much weight on the domain name on live.com.
on [latam.msn.com...] less weight on domain some results are closer to Google."

This relates to different data centers in Europe too as these results are similar but different to UK and USA.

Here was my original question,




6:58 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mark, the reason is money, MSN think if the results are worse in your country, more people will pay for Pay per click to get higher results for the better website. But in the end the results are just bad and less people use MSN.


1:10 am on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In addition to 5, 6, 7, 8, there is also 10, 16, 21, 22!



3:16 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Many webmasters gave up on msn due to the low reach it has, the fact that the results have always been unusable and the lack of interaction by msn with the webmaster community.

Currently, for the first time in years it looks like real improvements are being made.

I agree that its not perfect or of the quality of Yahoo or Google but to be fair they dont have the link history or search engine experience of the other two more established players. Heck, they still cant index a number of sites, deep crawl them and still have authority sites missing from their index but this is due to resources being wasted on junk sites being serviced and included that we dont want in their index because they still struggle to know what is good from the junk. If they could channel their energy towards indexing quality the results would be better, but that being said their serps are getting better and they can still improve.

The link and site history issue is something that they cant have and no matter what shifts they make to their algo they will always have problems due to this because of the amount of spam, junk and garbage sites on the internet that they still struggle with whilst ignoring sites they should be including.

Having given this lots of thought rather than moaning about how bad they are we should help look for solutions. We need a strong alternative to google, its good for all of us.

i genuninely think that one way they could improve results in the UK is by setting up a live site directory. Charge a site an annual fee for a review. Those webmasters with quality sites would pay, the spammers and garbage wouldnt. Those in the directory would be msn verified sites they could give weight to in their live serps - this is a sure way to provide serps quality.

I know directory sites are old hat now but you cant re-invent the wheel. msn need a stable set of own trusted data to pull from and the only way to get this is by site review. In an ideal world if they hand reviewed every site and graded them they would have the best search engine results anywhere, obviously this cant be done but even if they had 10% of trusted data their results would be superb.

Its not just about reviewing and listing a specific site. If the site is known to be quality by msn and "trusted" the links to other sites from it would also likely to be good and this is more data they can use. Quality sites dont link to garbage. If the site did it could be removed at the following years review renewal.

If you think about this Yahoo have the best directory in the market and use this data in their serps. Google meanwhile dont have their own directory but have a long history of sites, they know what the original authority sites are and part of their algo imo includes a factor for links from "trusted sites" so they can rate a site better, no doubt Yahoo directory is a google trusted site!.

I wouldnt use Third party data from an independent directory like dmoz or another due to corruption risks they could suffer but a good quality own build directory, staff only verified could really help msn improve their offering imo - just a thought anyway



4:19 pm on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'll second that directory idea, plus it would be nice if the webmaster accounts could be developed more extensively

Granny Grunt

1:21 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am not a Microsoft hater, I wish they would build a great search engine but I don't see any improvements they recently dropped my non profit local history site for a adult content site which now occupy's its position, I wouldn't mind if it was replaced by something even slightly relevant, every other search engine gets it right so why cant the software giant Microsoft?
</rant over>
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