MSN Optimization

Probably old news to most SEOs, since I dont bother with MSN all that much, the idea that on-page optimization is king for MSN is news to me. This serp seems to confirm it, where the page that repeats keywords 11 times ranks the highest among all other types of optimizations.

Looking at my test pages, results are like night and day on MSN and Google. I guess I should really build 3 different sites running on the same database for 3 search engines, which is actually ridiculously easy do, except building incoming links — that would be the hard part, to split links among three versions of the same site. But it would make sense at least in the short term to build a site specifically targetting MSN.

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One Response to “MSN Optimization”

  1. Another way of looking at this is “MSN has a very primitive approach to link analysis.” Google doesn’t have to worry as much about on-page stuff, they can flatten out the curve on that because they are doing a lot of link analysis stuff.

    I haven’t found that MSN-friendly on page optimization is necessarily bad for Google or Yahoo, but YMMV and it’s worthy of testing. Is it possible to over-optimize and cheese off the Googlebot, while still ranking well on MSN?

    Would backing off of the on-page stuff a bit (to get back up in Google’s results) really be that harmful to your MSN ranking?

    BTW, saw your notes on noindex and whether that could be a negative - I doubt you’ll find much if you look at Google, but of course with Googlebot you can put wildcards in your robots.txt so noindex isn’t needed nearly as often there. Where I’d be concerned would be with Ask, MSN, and Yahoo, where you can’t assume that they’ll do a deep crawl.

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