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Search Blog

November
23

Listening to our users

First of all, thanks for your valuable feedback via the website and around the blogosphere.  I read the feedback coming in from the site as a part of my job. Thankfully we’re past the performance hiccup of day 1 – the initial beta instability made for lots of uninteresting feedback! 

On the feature request side, we’re seeing lots of interesting ideas, some new and some old. Our advanced user base wants a more extensive search syntax.  Other requests include audio search and more Encarta answers.  

Finally, I know many of you have done vanity searches – it’s about 25% of our relevance feedback.  We’ve worked very hard lately to improve our ability to find your very own little corner of the web. That said, the majority of failed vanity searches were index issues. Please visit our submit url link to make sure your site is in the index.   

Use the “Help us Improve” feedback link.  We’ll be reading.   

-Andy

Comments

  • Let me suggest an IE toolbar for using the beta search.
    I like your new search engine, but to be honest... I'm too lazy and just use my google toolbar when I need to do a quick search.

    Hmmm, maybe I should just write one my self ;)
  • Yes, a toolbar would be very, very good :-)

    As is, even though I have the link to the page quickslotted, it's not -practical- for me to use anything but the Google one.

    Whether it's an expansion of the MSN Toolbar to support different search engines (I think would be awesome... MSN'd get increased market share even if your search didn't, and as it became more prevalent because of increased customizebility, people would ign on and not change the default search engine...), or just an option to use the MSN Beta search as the default, you need an IE Toolbar to increase feedback.

    And maybe add a few buttons... like "Submit this URL (to the search engine)" and "Feedback", so people can travel TO a page from the search results, and THEN give feedback based on what they find as opposed to being forced to go from the search engine.

    ___

    As for more generic feedback....

    Yes, the integration with MSN music NEEDS to improve. As is, it's very hit-and miss. I know a balance must be reached, but still.. when the top ten pages of the results are about the artist, and you don't have a link to the artist on MSN Music at the top, something's wrong :-)

    More integration with Encarta and "features" would be great; a search engine is used to obtain ANSWERS, which I'm sure you realize, and while web pages are cool and all, unless I'm looking for a particular one, I just want answers.

    ___

    I'm just search user, interested in the technology but with no stake apart from curiosity in the results, but I'll be interested to see how much you change.

    Google still seems better to me - I'll admit, of course, that to a significant extent that's because I'm "used" to how Google scours the web, and so I "target" my keywords to their engine. But that learning curve's going to be there for everyone, and certainly something you'll have to get over.

    I have no idea how to fix it, though; you obviously don't just want to copycat Google and improve on aspects, else you'll turn out something like Linux; nice, but with no overwhelming reason to switch. And you won't be innovating, which would be boring.

    Thanks;
    Michael Griffiths
    tardisinc@msn.com
  • I suggest the MSN Search team try the vanity experiment on "MSN Search Blog."

    Do your results agree with mine?

    http://minger.org/index.php/2004/11/23/msn_search_beta_stiffs_msn_search_blog
  • How about Firefox search plugins for the new Msn search?

    http://mycroft.mozdev.org/
  • Keen to hear more about the plans for a developer API. In the meantime we have a tool to convert results to RSS at http://www.xmlhub.com/rssmsn.php - hope that's n the spirit of the Beta.
  • I just tried. Not bad..How about add a toolbar in MSN messager..also add a tool bar for IE. hm...our browse will be cramed various toolbar..google, alexa, msn, yahoo.....
  • When submitting feedback with Firefox I just get taken to a blank white page after posting my comments - are other people experiencing this too? It makes me wonder if my bug reports and suggestions are actually getting through.

    Kev
  • Why MSn boot doesnt crawl more?
  • Listening to our users.

    Good how about increasing the traffic to sites which just can't afford the income to pay for a good listing.

    This is part of the "Old Schoool" internet, how it started in the early days...
  • With the growth of the Internet will any search engine be able to acutely find all the possible websites and return results, not just on how much advertises are able pay, but on what the user is actually searching for.

    This would have to allow for some very complex lexicon and artificial intelligence analysing of the user input when searching.
  • New technology allowance.

    Search engines need to be able allow for future technology e.g. search three-dimensional holographic images. (Not just keyword descriptions, but able to analyses those images). This also applies to other media types, sound etc...


  • About the Firefox feedback page - thanks for the note! We know about this issue and are working on the fix.
  • No one seems to mention the blatant fact that Query String based URL’s are not given the credit they deserve in the rankings and seem to be limited to the top level pages and non of the Query String pages inside are even indexed?

    Bug or feature?
  • It does look like Query String URL’s are ranked less well. It’s a real mistake by Microsoft especially because ASP does not have a reliable URL mod rewrite and plays into the hands of PHP!!!
  • Re: Anders Molin’s comment: great idea, we'll do exactly that in the next release of the MSN Toolbar - http://toolbar.msn.com