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Old 02-03-2005, 05:56 PM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Posts: 3,015
Default Early impressions of MSN Search

A lot of webmasters have judged MSN Search based upon how their site(s) rank for certain keywords.

If they rank higher in MSN Search than Google or Yahoo, they will say that MSN Search is better. If it ranks better in Google or Yahoo, they will say whichever one ranks them the best is the best search engine.

This probably isn't the best way to test or to judge a search engine.

I've been doing some search testing with MSN Search, now that it is out of beta. I didn't do searches that were related to any of my web ventures. I wanted to do searches that were not connected with anything that I would show up on in the results.

Actually I wasn't all that impressed. I think MSN has some work to do. Some results were good and some produced a lot of spam. Google is my favorite search engine and I've seen nothing with MSN Search that would make it become my favorite.

It gave some nice instant answers with Encarta and MSN Music. But still both gave me the impression that they were really interested in making sales.

The Encarta instant answers were good in some cases. But, too much is devoted to trying to sell subscriptions to Encarta which they help encourage with the 2 hours free Encarta browsing after a search is found with the instant answers from MSN Search.

The same is basically true with the MSN Music, in my opinion. I felt while it did in many cases provide good instant answers it was very much a sales pitch for MSN Music.

The local results were very bad. I'm being kind with that statement. I wasn't at all impressed with that feature and I would say they really need to do some work on it.

I did do some searches later for keywords involving a site of mine and I was pleased with the results for some keywords. But, still how it performs for keywords related to a site of mine is by no means a good test.

Testing a lot of terms that would be used by the general public is a better test and I think MSN has some work to do to improve the search results.

It is good to have another major search engine in MSN Search. They are new and as time passes they will probably improve. There certainly are a lot of search engines that are worse than MSN Search, in my opinion.

From my testing I came to the conclusion that there also are some search engines that are better. I would say both Google and Yahoo are better. But, again, this is still the early stage for MSN.

I would expect that some people aren't going to agree with me and will think that MSN is the best in the world, especially if their keywords do well in MSN Search. Probably some people would agree with me.

What is your early impression of MSN Search?

Last edited by Larwee; 02-03-2005 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:04 PM   #2
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I like it, brings me more customers and gives me a higher sale rate per 1000 visitors. Also brings me more adsense money. As far as it being accurate on searches it seems to work just as well, but some dont like change so google may remain dominant forever.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:55 PM   #3

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e_d, I am in the same situation as you. It does bring me more visitors and it helps increase my earnings. Obviously I like that.

However I was talking about MSN Search as a search engine rather than what is does or doesn't do for me personally in relation to by website ventures.

While MSN Seach does help some webmasters and perhaps a lot of webmasters, still many get more traffic from Google than MSN Search. But, this isn't the case with everyone. Some might get more from MSN or Yahoo.

I was simply wondering if MSN Search is good enough to make enough people want to switch to it from what they are now using.

It is good when one search engine doesn't dominate. But with so many people still using Google and so much traffic still coming from Google for many webmasters, it would be nice if the major search engines were more equal.

Let's say for some reason your site(s) drop a lot in Google and traffic from Google goes way down. If other search engines are about equal with Google it might not hurt as bad if they continue to bring good traffic. That is why I would like to see the search engines more equal in their use.

For this to happen a lot of people are going to need to change to MSN, and a few more to Yahoo.

What I was saying is that based upon the searching and testing I was doing I couldn't see any reason MSN Search would make a large number of people want to switch to it from Google. As time passes that might change.

I love Google and what it has done for me. I love what Yahoo has done and I like what MSN Search is doing. I would simply not like to see one search engine dominate or be the major source of searches and search engine traffic.

Last edited by Larwee; 02-03-2005 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:08 PM   #4
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My sites do well also. But my sites are high quality, industry leading sites in their fields. They should do well, and the fact that they don't in Google lowers my opinion of that search engine.

Some MSN SERPS give 0 results when there obviously should be some matches. However, I have found that in niches I search, MSN gives me more relevent information in the first few pages than Google does. I think so many people are trying to beat Google that their SERPS are beginning to suffer badly.

I will definately be using MSN at least some of the time - although Google is still my favorite by a narrow margin.
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