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November
12

MSN Bombs & Rumors

As you would imagine, the launch of a new MSN Search Beta brought lots of conspiracy theories out into the open, and between the alleged flights of black helicopters, I thought I would give you guys some of the facts.
We have the first set of reported MSN Bombs on our Beta. If you search for ‘more evil than satan’  the first result is Google. If you type in ‘evil corporation' (thanks, Jeremy) the first result is Microsoft. The query more evil is a bit more diplomatic showing both companies in the top two. These results come from our algorithms not from humans. One factor our Beta uses in ranking pages is the text of links that point to a page.  If many links to a site contain a certain word or phrase, that site will rank highly in a query for that word or phrase.  When you see an unusual result for a provocative phrase, this is frequently the cause (and this has happened before).  We are constantly refining our ranking algorithms to produce the best, most accurate results, expect these refinements to change.

Another rumor that we would like to discuss is that we are scraping Google’s results to build our index. This is not true. As MSNDude has said we respect robots.txt and will not scrape Google’s results pages. We built our index using our crawler and with the help of people who submitted their site to us.

Keep the questions & feedback (& accusations :-) coming; we’re listening to them and learning.

--Brady


 

Comments

  • uhhh, i heard that you banned comments from yer blog. wow, morons can't even check this page, or, did you just re-enable them cos you saw that it was reported that you removed them?

    heheheh, who knows...
  • There are ways for you to copy Google's index while respecting robots.txt. For example, you could get tons of Google API tokens and run SOAP queries all day long, perfectly legitimately.
    Google might frown on that, of course. :-)
  • Now that I've actually read the "scraping Google's results" link, the author of that story thought of the API idea before I did.
  • Well at least the calculator works
    asking about "the answer to life the universe and everything" gives the correct answer
  • But you still haven't answered my question. Why does MSN appear to penalise sites hosted by Google (i.e. at blogspot.com)?

    Since I last asked this question, you've been kind enough to recognise the existence of Blogger.com, but there's still the matter of over 150,000 personal websites that MSN Search seems to be ignoring purely because they dare to associate themselves with Google.

    Either disprove this, or admit/correct it. I have no wish to get shouty with you:
    http://www.bloggerheads.com/msn_search_blogspot.asp
  • Wow! Thanks for the link! Great work on the engine, guys. Everybody seems very impressed with the technology and effort.
  • Tim, you do realise that there is difference between using the search phrase "blogger.com" (with quotes) and plain old blogger.com (with no quotes) right?
  • MSN is rocking now !!!

    I just completed <a href="http://peterdawson.typepad.com/blog/2004/11/search_wars_.html">casual analysis</a>. Furthe analysis / Feedback follows.
  • opps.. typo errror..backspace backspace..dang..cant do that !!
    anway Its <a href="http://peterdawson.typepad.com/blog/2004/11/search_wars_.html">HERE</a>
  • You know with all this bru-ha-ha I've been very entertained, but gotten very little work done.
  • Is Microsoft manipulating it's search results for their own agenda?

    http://thomashawk.com/2004/11/is-microsoft-manipulating-search.html
  • Hey, enough with the "Why isn't <such-and-such> site (indexed as heavily)/(ranked as highly) as it is on Google?" questions. That's just whining.

    No two indexes will have the same rankings, especially when one of them is as young as MSN Beta's.
  • A la mierda microsoft
  • "web coolest search engine"

    returns google.

    So you are fair and you are not tricking the results

    http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=web+coolest+search+engine&FORM=QBRE


  • Yawn! i got tired about this "i have the largest index around" We have saw these 4 years ago.

    Users, they need new search experiences. So don't try to imitate google. Come on! you need to do something completely different. We want to have XP for search.
    OW, ask to your engine what will happen:

    http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=who+will+win+search+engine+index+billion+pages+war%3F&FORM=QBRE