MSN Officially Enter the Search Race

Thread Title:
Microsoft officially enters search engine fray
Thread Description:

Im not sure if the Globe and Mail are breaking an NDA here but it looks like they might be, especially in light of peter's comments - one of the "SearchChamps" team.

From the Globe and Mail piece:

Microsoft has declared war on Google, Yahoo and other search engines with MSN Search, which is being officially launched tonight at midnight, Feb. 1.

After a development period of just 21 months, MSN Search — in Canada at — Microsoft took the final wraps off its newest product, which it promises will offer a "more personalized search experience."

Microsoft's entry into search-engine technology represents the Redmond, Wash., software giant's attempt to take a bigger bite out of the lucrative search-engine pie. Ad revenue from searches on all engines in Canada added up to $21.3-million in 2004, aimed at the country's 16.4 million Internet users.

Let the games begin...

News Officially Broken

...and some quotes and links from the more interesting sources:

NYT - Microsoft Introduces Its Own Search Service

Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, said that Microsoft was now in a position to differentiate its offering.

"There is a tremendous opportunity for rapid innovation here," Mr. Gates said in an e-mail interview, "and the great thing about the launch of MSN Search is that we now have a strong platform in place that will enable us to begin to deliver those innovations to consumers."

Microsoft has added a few features meant to differentiate its new service.

It has included, free, the content from its Encarta encyclopedia, which until now has been fee-based.

Battelle - Welcome to the Party, MSFT!

- Even more focus on "answers" via Encarta Premium content, which is now free.
- Support for RSS search feeds.
- New design, and incorporation into all of MSN, the Messenger IM client, and the MSN Toolbar.

MSFT will be spending some marketing money on promoting its new search engine, I was told in a briefing last week. Let's hope it's better than the MSN marketing of past years...

Gary Price - Many MSN Direct Answers Now Online
Gary takes a look at some of the advanced features and the controversial inclusion of Encarta in the mix and what you can do with it...

MSN Blog - MSN Search Launches

With this final push we have made more than 40,000 Encarta encyclopedia articles and associated media available for free to MSN Search users, which translates to more than 1.5 million Instant Answers. We also improved and integrated Newsbot, added a button for RSS feeds on the bottom of all applicable search results pages, and increased our MSN Music selection.

We have been doing a ton behind the scenes over the last few weeks as well, tuning performance and working on scaling the system to handle MSN’s volume.

BBC - Microsoft debuts own-brand search

Google still reigns supreme as the site people turn to most often when they go online to answer a query, keep up with news or search for images.

But in the last year Google has faced greater competition than ever for users as old rivals, such as Yahoo and Microsoft, and new entrants such as Amazon and Blinkx, try to grab some of the searching audience for themselves.


OK quick question time :)

OK quick question time :)

What is the default home page when a new installation of XP is made?

Is it country specific? E.G. A Brit gets and an American gets .com?

If it is as I remember then MSN is gonna get bigger by the day.

Interesting - did they say before they have 5 billion docs..?

Um, let's see:
On depth of indexing:
MSN Beta says: 1-10 of 177,567 containing +amazon (0.19 seconds)
Google says: Results 1 - 10 of about 5,270,000 from for +amazon. (0.24 seconds)

MSN Beta says: 1-10 of 303,324 containing +ebay (0.15 seconds)
Google says: Results 1 - 10 of about 4,570,000 from for +ebay. (0.18 seconds)

Now the kicker...
MSN Beta says: 1-10 of 441,772 containing +msn (0.16 seconds)
Google says: Results 1 - 10 of about 3,740,000 from for +msn. (0.17 seconds)

In theory, if MSN Beta has 5 billion docs, *unless* those counts are FAR off from reality, Google is either fluffing the number - OR - MSN was a bit off when they stated 5 billion docs in that press release announcing the beta sometime back.

Hmmm...eyeballing the numbers above, my back of the envelope says that MSN beta has 2.6 billion...but, this has to be wrong (I'm getting the number this way):
MSN Beta says: 1-10 of 2,637,420,945 containing the (0.10 seconds)

Try searching for the on MSN beta to see for yourself. Imho, that count is also inflated, but they forgot to inflate it to the 5 billion mark...;)


I've not had a copy of 'doze in the house for years but the last time i ran it that's how it worked...

It's going to be pretty important pretty quick for sure...

Quantity isn't always the sig

Quantity isn't always the sign of quality, especially in search.

Now I am not saying that MSN is a quality engine in the end user's eyes, but as far as SEO goes I must say I love 2 things about it.

I rank and it delivers!!

msn and their algo

So how noddy is it:)



the original post just for you doug..

Taking the example in the [ur

Taking the example in the Globetechnology piece and adapting it to something I know a little more about it seems that Encarta and the organic #1 result differ by about 10 million or so.

If I were an ordinary searcher which should I believe?

What is the population of the UK?

>I rank and it delivers!!

>I rank and it delivers!!

SHHHhhhh! Jason, let's be very quiet about this. The rest of the world still seems fixated on G, let's leave it that way, hhh!

hehe. Let's keep it between o

hehe. Let's keep it between ourselves?


Any hope that MSN will show that sandboxing new sites makes Google look less relevant?

PS - MSN search now my home page - will see how fun the results are.

UK results seem very different to .com

Even when not using "search only uk" the results seem way off the global index results. Also seems to be ranking the page I link FROM rather than the page I link TO. Some good results for other sites though. Just a shame the good results are not sending any traffic :O( is redirecting based is redirecting based on IP.

Search at with a UK IP address and you WILL be redirected. You can manipulate the URL but still end up at the country specific site. This is new since launch a few hours ago

You may rank well in .com but not in where your searcher will be sent. Food for thought!

You can still get to .com results

I rank a hellova lot better in .com (even though I have domains for many sites)

Like Google

Like Google, there's a link at the bottom to go to, and avoid being redirected to


Ok, that button isn't there anymore, and the redirect process is easier. They tweaked that during the day, or did someone lace my bran flakes? ;)

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