MSN Search Fights Duplicate Content

    December 2, 2007

Live Search – aka MSN Search – has been showing some of the most aggressive duplicate content filtering I’ve ever seen across any search engine of late.

I first noticed it with a client who is performing well on Google, but has dropped down significantly on MSN.

The main problem is that he’s in a market that relies on affiliate content – and it’s the same content all of the affiliates are using.


I’d previously recommended editing the content at the block text level to help make the content more original – which became a priority after strong duplicate content filtering from MSN last month.

Hopefully that should already be completed and his site have a new presence on MSN in the New Year.

While MSN has very little marketshare in the UK, even by ComScore figures, revenues from MSN traffic can still be significant.

Additionally, if something flags as wrong on MSN or Yahoo!, that should be regarded as something as a canary for Google.

After all, MSN today – Google tomorrow?

All the more reason to ensure my previous recommendations are finally implemented.

I’ve also been seeing the same impact on press releases released for other companies with a strong overall presence.

While Google will indeed push copies aside, it will still record them as existing so you can view them accordingly.

Not so on MSN, which will only return a single version, with no option to view other copies.

While press releases – and duplicate content – certainly do not offer the best link development or marketing opportunities, they are a necessary requirement in some industries and a certain company size, not least when they need to answer to share holders.

This is why seeing the aggressive duplicate content filtering on MSN raises eyebrows, because it helps limit the presence of content online that you may otherwise like to give a chance to be found.

Sure, duplicate content is hardly content you want to push – whether via a client site or press release.

Even still, it’s disappointing to see how strict MSN is proving with the indexing and returning of content for searchers.

While normal everyday surfers may not want to see search results filled with copied content, it is still a helpful feature for researchers to be able to find those duplicates as required.

Google at least provides that option. Perhaps it’s time for MSN Live Search to do so, too?