MSN Search testing the waters

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grelmar
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MSN Search testing the waters

Post by grelmar » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:33 pm

As of this morning, as small percentage of the queries being made at msn.com search are returning the results from beta.search.msn.com

Until now, msn searches have been using the Overture results (the same results as Yahoo). msn beta has been in the works for a while, and you can still go to the beta URL if you want to see how your site is doing.

Rumors are begining to fly about when MSN is going to "flip the switch" and move completely over to the new in-house search engine. Some of the insiders at Webmasterworld are hinting that the full switch is going to be made as soon as this weekend, with the possibility that they're going to switch back and forth for up to a week. The "outside" end for the full switch is the end of the month.

The most informed people there (based on things they've said in the past that have proven eerily accurate), is that the switch is pretty much in progress, with full implementation by monday or tuesday. They also indicate that they'll run with the new results for a few weeks, and then do a full court press blitz on the changes at the end of the month or for the 1st of Feb.

What does this mean for you

Lots.

first, right now, there are effectively only two major players in the Search engine game. Google and Overture, who between them power the searches at all the major players (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and pretty much all the major portals rely on one of the two for their search results). With MSN moving in, there's going to be some shifting around, and I wouldn't be surprised to see MS use it's clout to push their search results into some of the major ISPs and portals. Instead of a two player game, we will now have a 3 player game.

Second, and perhaps more important for the people here, is that MSN's new search is a new database, and isn't weighted down by the "old site" favoritism displayed by Google and Overture. As much as the people at both engines deny it, if you really do an analyses of the results of both engines, there is a definite value in having an "old domain." Heavy testing on the MSN beta results indicate that, likely because their database is so new, the "old domain" bias doesn't exist. So, people with new domains are fairing far better in MSN results than they are in the other two engines.

Good news for the new guy.

Some of the "old domain" owners are complaining bitterly about this.

And me.... As much as MS ticks me off 9 days out of 10, I'm going to have to say that I'm loving their results. My site is showing up very high for exactly the search terms I'm after. On 1 keyphrase, my site is the #1 result, and it just happens to be the main keyphrase I was targetting.

To check out how you're doing in their new results now:

http://beta.search.msn.com

Or wait a week. I'll update this thread when I find out more.

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Post by braveheart007 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:28 pm

Thanks for the heads up Grelmar,
I checked my site with it's primary key words and it came top of the list too where as it's only 3rd in google,
The results seem to be differant too with a load of newer sites being ranked higher, have to wait see how all this pans out though, but I do like being ranked number one :)
Ian

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grelmar
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Post by grelmar » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:21 am

For the obsessive compulsives in the audience:

http://blogs.msdn.com/msnsearch/

Interestingly, they admit as far back as the 8th that they've been sneaking the beta results onto the main page off and on.

Still seeing mostly Overture results here in canada when using the official MSN search.

Still wanting Beta to go ahead and go live. For purely altruistic reasons, of course :D Nothing to do with how I place in the results, really ;)

Side note: After a major redesign at the end of November, obeying the guidelines I posted in the "Google Friendly" articles, my own site has been doing a hard steady climb up the ranks in Google and Yahoo (Overture). Seeing a rise in traffic as a result.

And I didn't have to resort to "dirty tricks" that a lot of other people use.

Folks, keep that in mind the next time you're tempeted by the Dark Side. You don't have to link spam and cloak to get decent results. Good clean "on page" techniques and solid content will work.

In the long run, they'll work even better than the spammy techniques.

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Post by grelmar » Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:56 am

Just a quick update here.

Yesterday, (Monday) started seeing the Beta results pretty consistantly when doing a search off the MSN site. Aparently, they've been doing a roll-out, data center by data center, so it has hit different regions at different times. (I'm in western Canada, BTW).

From the peanut gallery at WMW, it would appear that MSN had finished rolling out the new search results for North America by 2pm EST (Yes, there are guys who have flat tunnels into every data center, and watch them like hawks).

Effectively, there are now 3 major players in search, instead of two. MS plans on keeping the "beta" tag on the results until the end of the month, so they can back out if something goes disastrously wrong.

At the end of the month, expect some fanfare from Redmond.

What do I think of all this? Grinning from ear to ear. My site traffic today beat my all time record by a hefty margin.

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Re: MSN Search testing the waters

Post by Gleedaniel13 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:11 am

"Just a quick update here.

Yesterday, (Monday) started seeing the Beta results pretty consistantly when doing a search off the MSN site. Aparently, they've been doing a roll-out, data center by data center, so it has hit different regions at different times. (I'm in western Canada, BTW).

From the peanut gallery at WMW, it would appear that MSN had finished rolling out the new search results for North America by 2pm EST (Yes, there are guys who have flat tunnels into every data center, and watch them like hawks).

Effectively, there are now 3 major players in search, instead of two. MS plans on keeping the "beta" tag on the results until the end of the month, so they can back out if something goes disastrously wrong.

At the end of the month, expect some fanfare from Redmond.

What do I think of all this? Grinning from ear to ear. My site traffic today beat my all time record by a hefty margin."

I think MSN are doing their best to provide us a good result.
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