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Thread: Microsoft to filter Search Results?

  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Microsoft to filter Search Results?
    I found this interesting, here's an excerpt from http://www.seobrien.com/2007/03/msn-...id-search.html.

    "Weeks ago Microsoft filed a
    patent
    with which their search algorithm could filter the organic results to remove any duplicate listings (two domains pointing to the same website)."

  2. #2
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    A little more context:

    They could potentially remove the natural search result for a merchant if they show up in the paid search results on the same page.

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    They deserve third place. I remember reading about this when it first came out, would be foolish on their part if they actually applied it.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I agree with Trust. I don't see any real benefit to this. If they don't display natural listings for those that advertise, if I rank well, I would stop advertising on their network. Thus, MS loses. If they're cutting out views from the results, those merchants lose. And if those pages are the most relevant to the query, the user loses.

    So, who wins?
    Chris Sturgill
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  5. #5
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    Right, that's my point, they're not idiots... I'm wondering what they're trying to do?

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I'm not as anti-MS as some people, but this is one thing that everyone will agree on: they know how to make money. It will be interesting to watch. I can't see how it would be useful, but someone somewhere seems to.

    And that's probably why I make 1/10,000th of what they make...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Wow, I had not heard this story. Horrible decision, if they do it.

    It's not a very nice way to attract paying advertisers nor a polite thank you for those already paying.

    As far as consumer experience, it's a huge stretch to argue that an ad (clearly marked) and a natural result showing on the same page is a "bad" experience.

    In the case of a trademark / domain word, where the merchant will be #1 in seo and easily #1 in ppc as well, removing either is an unecessary blow that opens the door to competitors where the consumer is clearly headed for the search term website.
    Ex: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q....com&FORM=MSNH

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Plus, everyone knows natural results are better converting than paid results, so if they eliminate one, to give the best experience they'd have to eliminate the ad! Less money for them, and what a crazy way to run a PPC campaign don't you think?
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    None of it makes sense to me. I'll be interested to see what comes of all of this. There are plenty of patents that are never used, but it would seem that MS has some sort of plan in place. I just can't conceive of what that plan might be.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

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    "I'm not as anti-MS as some people, but this is one thing that everyone will agree on: they know how to make money."

    They don't know how to run a search engine tho. Usually the ones with great natural results are the most relevant. Merchants usually more relevant than affiliate sites. Merchants usually have deeper pockets.

    If someone types in rare books:

    http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q...ooks&form=QBRE

    Alibris and Abebooks has them. They have great natural results, page 1. They are also paying for ads. Now why would you stop taking their money?

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I can't come up with any reason whatsoever.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

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    Looking at it backwards, maybe they've applied for the patent simply because they *can* apply for it. If somebody else decided to filter based on the patent contents, then it would be a matter of MS applying to have the patent enforced. Might mean that MS's results would then be a bit more relevant.

    Any advantage....

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust

    If someone types in rare books:

    http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q...ooks&form=QBRE

    Alibris and Abebooks has them. They have great natural results, page 1. They are also paying for ads. Now why would you stop taking their money?
    You wouldn't stop taking their money, that's the reverse of the objective...if you were MSN and smoking something, you'd make sure they don't show up in the free results, hoping that'd make 'em keep paying.

    Blighted and greedy, yes...but IF they make it so advertisers lose their free SERPs, I think that's what they'd be angling for.

    What is "smoking something" about it is that if word gets around, people will stop advertising in order to preserve their free ranks. And if they don't have any free ranks, they'll stop advertising to see if that helps them get some!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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    "if you were MSN and smoking something, you'd make sure they don't show up in the free results, hoping that'd make 'em keep paying."

    Long term, they would actually lose money doing that. So yep, they would be smoking something if they ever did that.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Microsoft has a search engine?

    Wow, THAT is the news to me

    I can see the positives and negatives on all sides of this:

    The searcher
    MSN's profits
    Advertisers

    All of those groups get both positive and negative impacts from this IMO.
    Matt McWilliams
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I just don't see the net result being positive for any body. I don't see many companies being able to pull off something like this, and it's not like Microsoft has such a stellar record that they can fall back on if something goes awry.

    I think it's a bad call. Increase search relevance by working on your algorithms and the money will follow (ala Google). But this, I don't see this being that productive of a feature.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

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