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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    MSN Algo
    Can anyone point me to a page on how the MSN algo works that isn't on WMW? I prefer to read sites that look like they weren't published in DOS.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Just a short version on how it works, and it isn't at WMW

    MSN Search uses "neural network" technology, which is hard to explain and even harder to understand (still trying, LOL). It's kind of like a machine learning environment that tries to emulate human intelligence, where the results "train" the algo on an ongoing basis.

    It also appears that MSN Search makes use of something akin to semantic analysis (LSA - which also tries to emulate human intelligence), so the best technique I can think of is to do sites that are semantically diverse and cover a broad spectrum of synonyms across the topics.

    It isn't quite "algo changes" but what appear to be algo changes happens just about every few days, it seems.

    That relates to how it works, but as far as what to do to optimize, I don't think I've seen anything in detail anyplace, including WMW. There are always far more questions than answers. Here and there people do catch fine points that hook into the algo (with any engine), but those generally aren't posted publicly, AFAIK.

    Links count with all the engines in slightly different ways and to different degrees, but for basic on-page optimization for MSN, it's just simple, old-fashioned SEO 101 - page titles, description, headings, relevant page text, etc., etc.

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    New York, USA
    MSN as it stands now reminds me of Google pre-IPO, when if you were accurate and logical relating your content to your metatags, you received a good ranking. One observation about MSN is I don't seem to get referrals from them that don't relate to page content, unlike some of the referrals I've had from Google.

    For example, in one of my DMOZ listings the editor used the word "tease." Google sends me referrals from people searching for a keyword string that includes the word "torture." (Every time I see one of these referrals my stomach turns.) In another example a site that apparently didn't think much of one of my pages uses a curse word in the link to the page. Google sends me traffic for a keyword string that includes that curse word. I suspect that in both cases the party who's doing the searching is very surprised to find neither swearing nor torture on my pages.

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