Relevancy Chagnes at MSN, Yahoo, & Maybe Google
MSN Search Update
MSN announced they are upgrading relevancy and coverage. The increased coverage likely means that more inbound link sources are getting indexed. From looking at rankings of a few of my sites it looks like:
- anchor text got A LOT more weighting
- many lower authority links that were not passing weight (due to not being in their index) are passing weight. For some competitive core industry related phrases (not SEO, another industry) I see a site that went from #150 to top 5 based on the anchor text of lots of low authority links.
- fresh links are still heavily trusted, but sites with older links but few fresh links now rank a bit better than they used to in the older MSN, likely due to the more comprehensive index coverage. for as much as Google has beat down some directory links, MSN just gave them a lot of love.
- MSN is still screwing up some navigational queries. For example, my homepage does not rank for seobook. Though I have already seen them fix some of these issues.
- Internal anchor text still counts, but it might seem slightly demoted, as a side effect of more competing pages and more links getting indexed.
- MSN mentioned that they were also looking to get more into universal search.
Yahoo! Search Update
Yahoo! recently updated their infrastructure, then rolled out universal search and are getting more aggressive with search suggestions. You can see they are serious about universal search because they are not only promoting their internal content, but they are also promoting YouTube videos. I believe this also indicates that YouTube will remain the #1 video destination in years to come.
Rand also noticed that Yahoo! is using their homepage to drive search queries for recent news. As Yahoo integrates their own content in their SERPs even more aggressively look for them to get more aggressive on this front to help further their search brand.
You can read about the Google test on WMW, which is seen on some Google IP addresses, but has yet to spread to Google.com.