MSN Vs Yahoo search engine.

We always had the habit of debating Google and Yahoo for a change now let us debate between Yahoo and MSN or Yahoo vs. the new Microsoft Bing Search engine.
Primarily most of us will just conclude Yahoo is the much better compared to MSN. In most cases I agree with that when you see the below image from hit link it shows a clear trend where yahoo is well ahead than MSN.



Yahoo was once very dominant and was getting about 30% of search engine traffic. But as Google grew it made it very dominant and much stronger in some places in US market share of Google is well above 90%. 3 years back Yahoo results were powered by Google so virtually Yahoo’s market share is Google’s market share. Now they are an independent search engine and they power a lot of search engines. So I am sure Yahoo is a search engine here to stay.
As a SEO company we monitor a lot of logs of our clients. In most cases we see consistent performances from Yahoo when rankings are similar in all top 3 search engines. So I see no point in comparing who is better Yahoo or MSN. But wait it’s not all over. After years of being an underdog Microsoft cant anymore to get back their search engine market share. They came down with a bang with the search engine called Bing. So did Bing work indeed yes? They excess advertising of Bing and the improved quality of results made Bing instant famous and already a hit. Bing as far as I tested has much better quality results than the MSN live search and MSN Global search. I am sure Bing is here to stay we need to see few more months whether they can steal any percentage of Market share from Google. It’s just 15 days from launch and too early to say whether they will be dominant. But there are early signs it will be a success story.
Wall street Journal reports
"The number of times people clicked on ads listed next to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) search results jumped about 8% in the week since the software giant released its newly revamped search engine, dubbed Bing, the world's largest search engine marketing firm said Thursday."

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090611-716373.html

Bloomberg reports
“Microsoft’s share rose to 11.1 percent in the June 2-6 period, Bing’s first week in operation, from 9.1 percent a week prior, ComScore said on its Web site. Average daily penetration among searchers, a measure of how many people are being reached by the product, rose to 15.5 percent from 13.8 percent.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a0xxEn3GGCd0

We never know what the future holds for search engines. I am sure there will be some real tough competitors for Google.

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Microsoft wants Google, Yahoo on board before it adopt rules

Microsoft said, Google and Yahoo to cut the time they keep users search-engine records and to agree to the European demand. On Sunday in telephone interview, Brendon lynch, the company’s director of privacy strategy said Microsoft is able to meet the requirements, it wants to waits until its larger search rivals get in to board.

A group of European union officials dubbed the articles 29Data Protection Working Party have asked search engine to purge their user records after six months.

Brendon Lynch said proposals are feasible, but they want them to adopt it industry wide. If Microsoft alone adopts the 29Data Protection Working Party then it would not have broad impact on its users in Europe because the market share there is very small.

Cutting the length of time that search engines maintain such records could munch into advertising revenue, the core source of sales for Google and Yahoo. The companies rely on users queries to target advertising that have raised privacy question, since all the search engine have track where customer go online and what they read and buy.

In April, the Article 29 group said Search engine providers break their EU privacy law, by retaining the online search data for more than six months. The association is made up of data-protection officials from the 27 EU nations and from three non-Eu countries, including Norway.

Google have decided to cut the time and to keep data to nine months. In July 2007, Microsoft said after 18 months it will remove identifiers from individual search data. In the same month Yahoo said it would adopt a 13-month cutoff. Both Microsoft and Yahoo follow Google in European internet search traffic. According to the research company ComScore, Google has almost 80 percent of the market, while Microsoft and Yahoo together acquire about 4 percent.

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Ways to check backlinks in Google,Yahoo,MSN and other search engines.

I have many question me how to check the backlinks or links coming into their site in various search engines. Well i already wrote an article based on that here. http://www.searchenginegenie.com/backlink-strategies.htm this article isey a bit old but works great still. Today the top 3 search engines are more friendly to webmasters and are willing to share a percentage of what they know about your backlinks.

1. Google: Traditionally Google used to show most of the backlinks to a site ( link: ) but way back in 2002 they broke that comment and started showing backlinks only with PR 4 and above. Then later in 2005 they broke that too and started showing very less sometimes less than 2% of backlinks a site really possesses. This is had been the case for more than 2 years. But in 20o6 started a massive webmaster communication programme. They opened up something called Google sitemaps ( now called Google webmaster central ) . Later they capitalized on that and due to massive support they got from webmasters and now the webmaster tools shows a lot of data very useful for webmasters. One of that is the backlinks to a site/page/from inner pages etc. To check the backlinks what Google shows you need to first verify your website to prove you are the owner. Now we can check backlinks if we login to Google webmaster tools here.

Once logged in and site verified:
We go to Dashboard >> Links and we can check backlinks what Google shows.

Remember even this is not accurate here google shows atleast 25% backlinks so you can count that what they are showing is somewhat correct.

Yahoo: Yahoo is the only search engine who never hesitated to share their backlink data. In yahoo we can just use link:http:// to check for a single page or linkdomain: to check for an entire site. There are lot of ways you can check backlinks in yahoo especially filtering out sites. Please check those stuff here.

http://www.searchenginegenie.com/backlink-strategies.htm

MSN: MSN was showing backlink in link: command before a year but they broke the command and stopped showing all backlinks. Now they opened up communication and started http://webmaster.live.com/ where you can verify your site like Google and check backlinks.

Its good to see search engines share more with webmasters in recent days i hope we see more from them in future.

vijay

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LIVE SEARCH WEBMASTER CENTER GAINS CRAWL ERROR & BACKLINK REPORTS:

Webmaster center has launched a new data on august 6th called crawl error & back link reports. The below information tells how the site owners can use the launched data.

Last fall when webmaster center launched the Live Search Webmaster Center in beta, the goal was to establish a long term relationship with webmasters and help them achieve their goals by addressing the most common questions we hear, and help them understand how Live Search sees their site. In an effort to improve upon those goals, today they've have launched a significant update to our Webmaster Center and brought the Center out of Beta! This update includes several new features that provide webmasters more information about how Live Search is crawling and indexing their sites, as well as a few features to make the data more actionable.

Crawl issues & reports:

The "Crawl Issues" which is a new feature allows webmasters to find four types of issues as follows:

File Not Found (404)
Blocked by REP
Long Dynamic URLs
Unsupported Content-Types
For each issue webmaster center returns the URL & the data encountered.
-File Not Found: It lists all the pages that MSNbot tried to crawl and received an HTTP response code of 404. Generally, URLs listed here are from typos in links from other sites. You often can't fix the link, but you can 301 transmit the typo to the correct page (for both a better user experience and reclaimed backlinks).
-Blocked By REP: It lists all pages that MSNbot tried to crawl but didn't because they were blocked by the site's robots.txt file or robots Meta tag. You should review this list and make sure you aren't accidentally blocking access to pages you want indexed.
-Long Dynamic URLs: It lists all pages that have been flagged as having "exceptionally long query strings." Microsoft says these URLs could lead MSNbot into an infinite loop as it tries to crawl all variations of potential parameter combinations and recommends webmasters find ways to shorten these dynamic URLs.
Unsupported Content Types: It lists all pages that are classified with content types that Live Search doesn't index.

The crawl issue reports & download functionality features join the existing set which includes:
-indexing details
-penalty information
-robots.txt validator
-out bounding linking data
-sitemap submission
Backlinks data:
In the beta of the Live Search Webmaster Center they offered a limited look into back link data. They've significantly enhanced this tool, giving webmasters access to more data about their referring links. The new backlinks feature shows the total count of backlinks to a site. You can view a list of the top URLs in the tool or can download up to 1,000.
Making data more actionable:
Webmasters are analytical and rarely work alone. They often need to be able to grab as much data as they can, and take it offline into Excel or some type of database for analysis and collaboration with a client, marketing or engineering partner. To enable that, they’ve built a few new features into all our reports, both the new ones and the old ones.
-Advanced filtering: This way one can quickly scope the results to zoom into the data they need, without having to sift through all the results.
-Downloading data: For times when webmasters want to view a lot of results, they also provide a download option that can give access to the first 1,000 results in a CSV file that can be easily opened with Microsoft Excel or imported into a custom reporting tool. This can help a webmaster analyze the results and share them with colleagues.
-More than just a set of tools: When they launched webmaster center, few resources were launched to help the site owners to engage with them.

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MSN Live Search, Google Search and Yahoo Join Hands for a good reason

Google Yahoo MSN now have a common protocol for sitemaps and they also have same rules for understanding robots.txt file
As per live search blog,

"We at Live Search are pleased to announce another collaboration with Yahoo and Google aimed at making webmasters' lives easier. Webmasters have long used the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) to control how search engines access and display their content. The REP offers an easy and efficient way to communicate with search engines, and is currently used by millions of publishers worldwide.
Over the past few years, we have been working with Yahoo and Google to agree on common ways for webmasters to communicate with search engines. Our previous efforts include support for the Sitemaps protocol .While most search engines already comply with the REP, this is the first time the three major search engines have come together to detail how we actually implement the protocol. This effort makes it easier for webmasters to know how REP directives will be handled by search providers.
You can view the details of how we implement the REP at Documentation for the Robots Exclusion Protocol.
"

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MSN search Yahoo and Google Join Hands atleast for one good cause

MSN webmaster live search blog recently reported how search engines have joined hands on using robots exclusion protocol to not only block them but also allow how users will guide the crawlers. I am sure this is not new but there are some tags described here which are definitely found by Google but not commonly used by other search engine crawlers.

One tag that immediately comes to my mind if the NOODP tag. If this tag is used in meta tag it will tell the Search engine not to show title and description of a Dmoz listing. We at search engine genie use this tag and this was first introduced before around 30 months by Google. Good to know that MSN and Yahoo too understands this tag.

NOODP META Tag

Then we have the crawl Delay settings in robots.txt first introduced by Yahoo. When we set a crawl delay we tell the crawler to fetch the pages from the server at the specified interval of time.
According to MSN Live search blog Microsoft now uses crawl delay and you can set the crawl delay and expect Yahoo and MSN to follow it. Google still doesn't want to use crawl delay. Its understandable on Google's point of view since a crawl delay is something very disturbing for a site.

For detailed reading follow the link above to MSN Live search official blog

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MSN's ridiculous search results - when do they improve?

As a SEO company we regularly monitor top search engines and the quality of Search results provided by them. Of the top 3 Search Engines ( Google, Yahoo , MSN ) MSN has the most ridiculous search results. Believe it or not their search results have never improved in Quality for the past 2 years. We say this not because our sites and client sites are not ranking in their search. In fact we have much better ranking in MSN than Yahoo and Google. Our frustration is towards sites that rank in places that never should be.

Still there is lot of spam in MSN results sites which uses excessive cross linking , excessive paid links, keyword stuffing all work well with MSN results. If you see yahoo especially with the latest update their results are almost competing with Google results. Their relevancy has improved a lot but MSN is still lagging behind very badly.

Their Geo targeting goes crazy when i search for generic phrases like car transport , auto transport etc. When i search from Indian Office i see results of sites in Australia, UK, India, US all mixed. I feel this is poor geo targeting.

I seriously want MSN to improve their search results its nowhere near the quality of Google. OK enough of ranting back to Job,

SEG

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