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SEO Tip: Use MSN For Target Practice

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SEO Book author Aaron Wall has compiled a stellar beginner’s guide to search engine marketing and optimization and has posted it on his weblog. Among the more interesting suggestions Wall makes: make a “burnable” website for MSN and Yahoo!, as they’re much easier to game than Google.

Writes Wall:

There is enough traffic out there that it might make sense to do ultra aggressive SEO on one burnable site for quick rankings in MSN and Yahoo! while spending time using slow growth long term low risk techniques on a site you eventually want to rank in Google.

While webmasters tend to focus mostly on Google, and rightly so as the search engine controls nearly 60 percent of the search market, it may be beneficial to adjust your technique for Yahoo! and MSN. Combined they collect over a third of the search traffic.

Ranking appears to happen faster on the #2 and #3 engines, says Wall, as Google shows a strong bias toward older, more established sites. While it may take over a year to rank well in Google’s search results, Yahoo! will show better rankings within 2 or 3 months; MSN: one month.

Why is MSN so quick to rank?

They don’t get the web. They are a software company posing as a web company.

I believe if you do standard textbook SEO practices and actively build links it is reasonable to expect to be able to rank well in MSN within about a month. If you are trying to rank for highly spammed keyword phrases keep in mind that many of the top results will have thousands and thousands of spammy links. The biggest benefit to new webmasters trying to rank in Microsoft is how quickly they rank new sites which have shown inbound link bursts.

Here are a few of the more interesting bullet points from Aaron’s analysis:
Yahoo!

is better than MSN but nowhere near as good as Google at determining if a link is a natural citation or not.

has a ton of internal content and a paid inclusion program. both of which give them incentive to bias search results toward commercial results

things like cheesy off topic reciprocal links still work great in Yahoo!

MSN

is bad at determining if a link is natural or artificial in nature

due to sucking at link analysis they place too much weight on the page content

their poor relevancy algorithms cause a heavy bias toward commercial results

likes bursty recent links

new sites that are generally untrusted in other systems can rank quickly in MSN Search

Wall does a good job of creating an easy to understand introduction to SEM and SEO concepts, and though many of his assertions are technically unverifiable (the search engines don’t like to talk about the intricacies of how they do search), his conclusions may mesh with the observations of more experienced people in the game. Check out the rest of his pointers here.

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SEO Tip: Use MSN For Target Practice
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