MSN Search Is the Talk of the Town

    February 2, 2005

The MSN Search story has exploded with over 526 articles about it in Google News. However, much more interesting to me are the comments of the bloggers.

The bloggers reflect the general public and are usually more blunt and to the point … good and bad.

Here are some of the blogger comments …

bobnar blog

MSN No Longer Sucking at the Yahoo Teat

MSN formally anounced that its own search engine, which has been in beta lo these past few months, will be replacing the Yahoo search technology that had been providing search results on the MSN web site.

One thing I can tell you is that this new MSN engine loves links. Any link will do – it’s not nearly as picky about link quality as Google or Yahoo. Of course, that makes this engine easy to link spam, so enjoy it while it lasts.

The other thing is that it’s really fast. Looks to be at least 3 to 4 times as fast a Google when it comes to indexing and ranking new pages and updating backlinks.

RV2 [blog]
If you ask me, it’s okay, but a terrible rip off of Yahoo. They stole the the search box idea with the tabs for the different types of searches (images, directories, etc.). Heck, it’s even the same icons; a box with a little arrow on the bottom side. And there’s a theme changer like Yahoo had during the holiday season. Except the MSN themes are extremely ugly. It doesn’t make it any better to switch to “Simple White” from “Classic Blue”. Too bad the MSN ripped version is more uglyified

EDIT: No, I lied. There is one cool thing. If you to in IE there’s a cool butterfly that flies accross the search box. Yeah, I admit that’s pretty cool, but the rest still stinks.
So, MSN Search, a.k.a “the Google killer” has been released. The short version of the story is that it’s halfway decent. This isn’t to say it wouldn’t be excellent if Google didn’t exist, but Google does exist.

On the positive side, I understand that MSN’s robots are crawling entire sites even if they have query strings in the URL; this is something Google doesn’t seem to do. This is a major win for MSN as far as I’m concerned (having just migrated to WP). I hear also that localization is better with MSN, i.e. search results in other languages are superior. So those are a couple bonuses for Microsoft.

Overall, however, I am struck by the fact that MSN’s offering pretty much looks like Google-from the overall simplistic interface to the look of the settings screen. To rip it off so blatantly and then not bring something new and exciting to the table just about kills it for me. I can’t help but be unimpressed. If Google were to start indexing PHP content I’d have absolutely no reason to favor MSN.
Let me just say that MSN Search really likes me. Unfortunately, it has to be the worst search engine on earth. Sure, it’s in beta release, but way too many people are using it without realizing how poor this search engine is in its current state. For example, I’m the #5 result for a search of “recommended snes games”, the #6 result for “SNES games”, the #5 result for “finding good friend”, the #22 result for “latitude/longitude distance calculation”, and the #2 result for “msn explore free”. So, if you want all of your searches to eventually lead to my site, please use MSN Search. If you want accurate results, please use Google.

Boing Boing:

MSN Search launches with cruel joke about Boing Boing

Microsoft launched its new search service today. I gave it a whirl, with the search string “Boing Boing.” At the top of the results stack, MSN Search asked me — “Were you looking for Bling Bling?” Why yes, as a matter of fact I am, and if you knew how small our checks were… hey, you’d be searching elsewhere, too. Aaaand thank you… I’ll be here all week.
Link (Thanks, EthDem). Previously, MSN Spaces: Seven Dirty Blogs

Update: Boing Boing reader Matthew Cox adds, “I thought I’d give the new MSN search a try and wanted to see what it would give me if I searched for the ‘best web browser.’ Discounting the sponsored sites, the first two returned links were to Mozilla/Firefox. IE didn’t appear until #8.”

And BB reader Jeff says,

I wanted to inform you that when you search for “worst browser” [with MSN Search], the first result is Internet Explorer.

Eye of the Storm
Starting in Primetime tonight, the television ad campaign begins. The total ad buy being somewhere north of $100M, the ad barrage will last roughly 8 weeks. At that point, MSN will reasses progess made and decide what to do from there. Ads are slated to air in theatres, and all of the top 12 metro markets in primetime. Superbowl ads will air locally in the top 20 searching metro markets. The goal of the campaign is to hit 90% of their target demo an average of 40 times over 8 weeks. This will also include billboard/building ads and deliciously “viral” marketing tactics that have yet to be announced.

Here are two of the new MSN Search Commercials you’ll be seeing:

A New Way To Search (Windows Media; 31 sec, 1.46MB)

Basketball (Windows Media; 31 sec, 1.03MB)

Siva’s Blog!
MSN Search Has Arrived

Monopoly against monopoly. Let’s see what happens next.

ipipi blog
As you can see from the screen shots below, MSN has eliminated much of the clutter of their search page (both MSN and Google appear on white “minimalist” backgrounds), purportedly to speed loading time, but will still contain ads and links to their other services. Kinda looks like MSN is adopting some of the Google mantra on minimalism.

Hey, the new MSN Search isn’t half bad. When I search for sven, I’m the second hit! Google, on the other hand, lists mewell, I have no idea anymore because I gave up on page ten! I remember back in the day when Google was hosted on Stanford servers I was still on the first page and so maybe this will change, too, on MSN, but for now I’m a happy camper with my page rank on MSN Search.

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.