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November
13

Google, Microsoft no longer 'more evil than satan'

As mentioned in a previous post on this blog, we recently received our first few MSN Bombs.  One of these was the phrase “more evil than satan”, which brought up both Google and Microsoft in the top 10 results.  A number of you sent us feedback on this.
Well, we just pushed out our latest round of automated relevance improvements and they changed the results. Now neither Google nor Microsoft rank in the top 10 any more for this particular query.  Our algorithm changed its mind.
Just so you know (since I’m sure you’ll ask), this wasn’t a targeted change. We are constantly refining our ranking algorithms to produce the best, most accurate results, so changes like this happen all the time. 
Finally, for the record, we won’t be commenting on the ranking of individual results from here on out.  The algorithm decides!  Feel free to send us feedback.

--Brady

Comments

  • if(keyword == 'evil') {
    query .= " site not like '%.google.com%' OR site not like '%.microsoft.com%'";
    }

    Automated system }:-)
  • OK now I checked for both words satan and evil all results that link to google and microsoft (even yahoo) are removed and searchenginewatch is on the top of those interesting queries:
    http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=satan+search+engine

    There is an interesting project called "WordNet" and their database is great. With their links it is possible to determine "weird" queries and if that is case you can simply skip first top N rated sites :D

    Bill Gates evil speeches should never be on the third place :D
    http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=bill+gates+more+evil+speeches

    Even without semantic research for those most common words like "evil" other general class words (frequency is good indicator of low level word) you should not put top rated sites. Even Google has funny results when you search for "stop-words" and give you top rated pages in their index. If number of results is huge that means query is "wide" and to skip flame you could simply skip top N results.

    Sorry for the joke above... I don't like to flame people. I hope I gave you interesting idea... also one usability hint... if user get allot of results you could simply suggest him to add more words about topic he is interested in.
  • The new results are certainly improved in some areas, not so in others - but I guess that's always going to be a subjective issue.

    As for "bombs" - you're always going to face quirky results, and any kind of link pop is going show these to some degree.

    It's simply a hazard of the internet, especially where blog armies can suddenly basck a single phrase, such as the (in)famous "miserable failure" example.

    But unless there are possible legal ramifications, and so long as there's no immediate relevancy lost on core search terms, then such bombs will remain quirky little net curiosities. :)

  • http://www.arstdesign.com/BBS/BulletinBoard.php?qs_id=1964
  • "we just pushed out our latest round of automated relevance improvements"

    Now how about pushing out a new round of conduct improvements?

    It's nice to know that Microsoft is really caring, considerate, loving, and all of the other gagful terms... but I personally want to see Microsoft 'competing' for a change.

    Are people going to ditch google because MSN search is better? Or is it going to be another 'bundling' case? Are people going to find a new 'search' option in the upcoming Internet Explorer (that the 'non-threatening' Firefox is obviously going to force out of Redmond) that defaults to searching via MSN search?

    Come on Microsoft. Stop abusing your position. And why are you locking people into your solutions via proprietary file formats, APIs and protocols? Why can't you use open file formats? Why can't you provide unrestricted access to these things? Why is everything encumbered in patents? What assurance do people get that you won't lock them in via restrictive patents? Why are you locking Linux out, is it because you're scared? You should be. More and more people are fed up with being locked in, and the fact that this exists is becoming more and more evident.

    Searching the Web? Let's focus on the important stuff here.

    Yes, you're probably all really nice guys; but, even if some nice guys work for the Mafia, it doesn't mean that you'd trust the Mafia. Right?
  • http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=best+operating+system&FORM=QBRE
    And Debian is no longer the best operating system as it was yesterday ;-)
  • Funny :-)
  • http://how2usemsnsearch.web-log.nl
  • Finally :)
  • Heya

    You guys need to update more.

    Sure, it's Saturday, but even so.

    UPDATES are the single most important thing in a blog.

    Thanks;
    Michael Griffiths
    tardisinc@msn.com
  • http://www.phpbbstar.com/
    <a href="http://www.phpbbstar.com/">phpBB Star Free Forum Hosting</a>
    Very interesting. Do you mean that bombs, with the new algo, are no longer possible? Are they just made more difficult? or is a different strategy required?
  • Why isen`t the msnbot able to receive gzip-compressed Sites ?
    That can not be a Problem for you ( I hope :-) )
    At the time the msnbot generates 3,5 GB Traffic/Month only on my site.
  • Where are these 'armies of bloggers' that cause these bombs?

    It seems that they can be controlled to achieve certain ends - are they a community with leaders and followers?

    Does anyone actually know who makes the call about the keyword phrase being bombed? or is it just an observation with an unknown entity behind it?
  • But ... are Microsoft and Google actually no longer "more evil than Satan?"*

    You can change the algorithm, but does that change reality?

    * I believe everything I read in search results ...
  • Get out of this industry, Microsoft!