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Old 07-01-2004   #1
Lex
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MSN Backend Sneak Peek

Check out the progress on the new algo here. Gotta be quick though!
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Old 07-01-2004   #2
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I was looking at the "look before it is gone" page and saw that they claim to have 1 billion pages in the index already on this page. They also claim that it will grow very quickly. I will buy that, the MSNbot is everywhere.

A few samplings have been very favorable (for me anyway). So far I am liking what I am seeing. Although there are a lot of results from one domain flooding the results. The As Seen on TV seems to be pretty prevalent over here too.

These pages are showing the handiwork of the MSNbot's crawls. There are tons of pages in there. More than what Slurp is picking up on three new sites that were started around March.
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Old 07-01-2004   #3
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Finally after I was able to get in (very difficult), tried to submit my post for 3 times because IE was crashing, this is what I got.

I searched for one of our keywords, and I saw that we were ranked for it on the #2 and #3 listings.

The strange listing was #3, since it was refering to a link from our (old) banner management system that (which was replaced by a new one 3 weeks ago). Somehow it is giving it some type of high popularity score (not "link popularity") for being shown all over the site. Then adding the title and product description snippet of the landing page.

Why would it do something like this
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Old 07-01-2004   #4
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I found a result that mentioned a product just once in a page of about 450 words total. There is a link on that page that goes to another site where that product is sold, the link does not contain the term in its anchor text.

That page has nothing to do with the term, it is just mentioned in passing as a "we also carry" type of item on the page. It is in close proximity to the outbound link though.

Probably just a bad algo, but it ranked number one for it.

Depending on your viewpoint I guess, some people are going to really love MSN.
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Old 07-01-2004   #5
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I liked what I saw!! But it looks like they have pulled the tech preview for now. I see this:
Quote:
We are sorry, the web site for MSN Search Technology Preview is currently unavailable. Please try again later.
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Old 07-01-2004   #6
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Keep an eye on the MSN Sandbox. They have links to the US, UK and some other versions of their new search engine. The UK link is working for me, at the moment.

For those coming into this thread, be aware that the new search engine Microsoft released is not being used to power the results at the non-beta MSN Search that ordinary people use. That site has had some cosmetic changes, and this thread describes them more.

I also posted a SearchDay story here: MSN Search Gets New Look; Microsoft Gets New Search Engine.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 07-01-2004 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-01-2004   #7
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Great catch Lex!



The biggest thing I noticed is that there appears to be no result clustering - there were 11 consecutive results from the same domain on one page.....
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Old 07-01-2004   #8
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It also doesn't seem to be handling things like dashes very well...

Compare the results on a search for "e-commerce" on this new MSN, versus Google and Yahoo...

All I have to say is... YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-01-2004   #9
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(as requested, reposting my comments from last night when there was just one thread about the MSN changes....)

The techpreview SERPS are awful.

Found a page ranked No. 1 on a 2-word query that has nothing but a large graphic on the home page and a text copyright notice at the bottom. Oh, it also has an overbloated META Keywords tag and that large image has an even more bloated "alt" attribute. But at least the page was created in FrontPage, so it must score points for that.

Authority sites aren't being recognized. (No eBay in the Top 15 for "auction" or "auctions"?)

Too many listings from a single domain.

etc.

But at least it exists.
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Old 07-01-2004   #10
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Cool More the merrier...

atleast now i know, that MS sure is into search rather than just press releases. yahoo dropped by 5%.. hmm..
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Old 07-01-2004   #11
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Nice and simple..but I dont like it.

Way too many Sites Positioned Above Mine

Ive grabbed 3 serps for 3 popular travel kw's. Gonna look at them weekly and see what happens.

Early days, but interesting nonetheless
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Old 07-01-2004   #12
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Since this is an early demo, I wouldn't be suprised if some of the following comes and goes.

+ Unlike Google and like Yahoo, no stopwords.

+ 15 results (instead of 10 at Google, 20 at Yahoo). I wish results were numbered (as they are at Google)

+ Boolean NOT appears to work (as does the - sign)

+ Boolean OR works

+ Site: appears to work. Domain: does the same thing?

+ Backlinks (link, title, and url limits do not work)

+ Nested searching (using parens) appears to work

+ I was unable to view more than the first 150 (approx) results

Last edited by garyp : 07-01-2004 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 07-01-2004   #13
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not terribly imopressed. Lots of room for improvement, which I'm sure will be forthcoming.
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Old 07-01-2004   #14
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They have a little "rainbow" graphic next to each listing that you can give feedback on it. I would imagine that this thing may be getting hammered by the likes of some TechNet people and possibly some of us SEWatchers. There is a drop down list of the types of feedback you can send them which include not fresh (out-of-date content), spam or junk, dead link (title link does not lead to a page or site), is missing a description or the description is too short, has a description that does not match page content, and some illegal and adult related feedback.

I was talking with a buddy and he noticed that he had entered in a two-word term and checkedt he results (usual comments everyone is saying here), but when he returned to check again for the same term it popped up a "no results found for (two-word term)". He checked later and they were back.

It seems that we might be working in a LIVE test environment here, and they are working on it while we are using it. Thus sporadic results as above, plus sometimes the site is inaccessable.
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Old 07-01-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyp
+ Site: appears to work
I am glad you brought that up, I forgot too mention that. It is one that I tried earlier on too.

It seems to be working, but hard to verify for they are not showing the regular line "Results 1-15 of xxxxxxx" as is being done in other SE's (even MSN Search proper). I tried it on some smaller sites, because you have to page thru the results and hand count them.

I would have to agree that it is working properly because if they have one billion pages (reportedly on their FAQ page) then what I am seeing could be an accurate accounting given the veracity of the MSNbot of late. Now compared to Yahoo's 4billion plus (or whatever it is now) and they only having at most one-third of the pages that Google is showing (if that) then I would say Yahoo is fudging the figures a little bit -- MSN is definitely showing a hell of a lot more pages than Yahoo is right now. I would place Yahoo pages (guesstimatedly) at no more than half-a-bill if they're lucky. The MSN one billion I think is a pretty good and solid figure.
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Old 07-01-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
There is a drop down list of the types of feedback you can send them which include not fresh (out-of-date content), spam or junk, dead link (title link does not lead to a page or site), is missing a description or the description is too short, has a description that does not match page content, and some illegal and adult related feedback.
That is a nice touch, and at this point, probably the best thing they have going for them. The feedback system beats the pants off the SERPs.
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Old 07-01-2004   #17
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Couple of things I noticed from spending a little time in an industry I work with a lot.

1. Plural vs singular seemed to have more of a variety of results than some of the other engines.

2. Search for plural "officiants", were results that were more directories in the field than the singular "officiant". Also more top ranking sites.of the URLs that had the keyword phrase in the URL.

3. Seemed to be a pretty deep indexing of pages within the domains I evaluated.

Will be interesting to do more extensive research when it warrants not wasting time before it settles into a final form. :-)

Also found it interesting in the About section they invite SEO's to be involved:
"Webmasters, SEOs & search enthusiasts
Be part of the conversation - MSN Search newsgroup.
Get information - MSNBot and your site."
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Old 07-01-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
It seems to be working, but hard to verify for they are not showing the regular line "Results 1-15 of xxxxxxx" as is being done in other SE's (even MSN Search proper). I tried it on some smaller sites, because you have to page thru the results and hand count them.
I did a site:www.mysite.com and tried to hand cound my urls indexed. Guess what?

I couldn't get past page 10. Seems like they are limiting results to 100 or so serps per query.
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Old 07-01-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
I did a site:www.mysite.com and tried to hand cound my urls indexed. Guess what?

I couldn't get past page 10. Seems like they are limiting results to 100 or so serps per query.
oooh...really? That is interesting. Gotta be a reason for that.

It seems to be really slow too. I am not sure what they are running it on, but knowing Microsoft it has to be one of their Server Platforms. That is going to raise the question of how fast these results are going to pop up.

They are not showing the total results in the subset, nor as we can see they are not showing more that 100 results. I am wondering if they are using their full index for testing right now -- hmmm.
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Old 07-01-2004   #20
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Quote:
"It'll be later this year that we actually roll out what's entirely our own back end driving the search", said Bill Gates in this article on June 28th:

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/softwar...9151731,00.htm
What do you guys think? Can they reach this goal as it looks now?
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