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1/24/05 MSN is Now Live!
Like Google, MSN's spider finds new sites by following links directed to those sites. MSNbot is active all the time. So active in fact that about five weeks ago a few webmasters reported so many visits their servers crashed. MSN revisits sites very frequently. Over the past year, MSN has compiled a 5-Billion site database.
Once a site is in the database, MSN looks at the number of links directed to that site. There is no hard data on the role topical relevancy plays in how MSN determines links, however it is assumed by most that anchor text plays a major role. (Anchor text did factor in our initial tests with the beta version of the engine)
Next, MSN looks at the content of the site. This is where much of the ranking determination is made. Sites with great text and clear internal link-paths are ranking very well with MSN. Of our entire client base, only one site with excellent text and internal linking lost a top placement at MSN when the new version was introduced. Strong, keyword enriched titles and body texts continue to provide strong placements. We are fairly certain that the anchor text of internal links can influence placements as well.
Size matters with MSN as larger sites with long-term content appear to be doing very well under more generic keyword searches. Content rich news and information sites and large corporate sites should be able to leverage their size and content-scope into high placements. The size and content-scope factor should also work well with large e-commerce sites, provided a very clear mapping technique makes the site as easy to access as possible for MSNbot.
A website that has a large number of incoming links will get noticed and spidered a number of times. Google recognizes 131 unique domains linking to the Field Turf website. Yahoo notes over 1000. MSN sees far more, weighing in above 1500. Next, note the "quality" of incoming links. Google is taking a very refined approach to contextual-quality while Yahoo and MSN seem more interested in the number of links.
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