MSN Hand Shandies

19 comments

Danny comments on MSN and Humans Doing It Better, as spotted at SEO Blackhat.

An MSN help wanted ad runs:

When all else fails, and the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold, we fall back to delivering handcrafted results. Working on a team of approximately 132 other handcrafters in 26 worldwide markets, you will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user. Successful handcrafters can typically find top 10 results for a real-time user’s query in less than 3.8 seconds. This is an opportunity to truly connect with customers, because the queries that get routed to you are precisely the ones that the engine cannot answer well. We will have adequate staffing to allow generous coffee and bathroom breaks. If you are an expert at using at least 3 different search engines, well versed with American English/colloquial usage, and can type at > 149 words/minute as measured by the Simia-Lico method – come join us and delight users real-time!

In his commentary Danny reminds us that MSN are not new to Executive Relief, and that Y! and G have tossed off a few in their time themselves. He sums up:

Overall, I'm fine with hand-crafting, hand manipulation, hand jobs or whatever you want to call it as long as:

* It improves search quality
* It's not done to favor an advertiser by rigging the editorial results

Does it scale, does it work, do we like it?

Comments

I like the ideea like hell,

I like the ideea like hell, as long as the "hand jobs" are impartial and as long as I see better results in the SERPs.

MSN and Yahoo! suck at banning websites for SPAM.

This stinks!

Yeah, manually find 10 top results in 3.8 seconds. Sure, we're all expert searchers, but...

Type > 149 words per minute! Measured by the Simia-Lico method?

Sounds like low-paid
monkeys
to me.

hahah good catch, jimbeetle,

hahah good catch, jimbeetle, this is definitely a joke.

>149 wpm is insane. Google "fastest typists in the world" and you'll see that most of them are barely above the 150 mark. There are no results for "Simia-Lico typing" either -- the only results for that query are other pages talking about the Microsoft opening. As jimbeetle pointed out, it is a sly reference to low-paid monkeys.

"Mrs. Barbara Blackburn of Salem, Oregon can maintain 150 wpm for 50 min" -- and she is said to be among the world's fastest.

Colour Me Duped

Ah well, so this is some prank page then? Would explain how they're being somewhat cute here as well:

Spam Busting ... We need someone to kill spam dead.

Yes, one should do it. Serves me right for not looking at the bloody page properly in the first place -

- how we laughed.

and can type at > 149

and can type at > 149 words/minute as measured by the Simia-Lico method

LMAO :))

I missed that one .. GEEZ'. They're fucking lost in space.

I'd defer to the expertise

I'd defer to the expertise of others better versed in the topic.... but that's impressive..

Typing at >149 wpm, AND delivering a hand job in less than 3.8 seconds.... thats a hand job every 9.437 typed words....

I am confused about this

I am confused about this page. My Russian has gone to heck over the past years, but it's a post from July 2005.

Can anybody translate the comments, or know anything about itblogs.ru?

Thanks for the hat tip. 149

Thanks for the hat tip. 149 a min seemed pretty high to me too, but since it was on the on the actual MSN site i thought it still newsworthy.

I've added threadwatch in the comment section of the digg.

Front page would be create a failure where I have seobh hosted. Who wants to see my site go down today?

MSN HRS

"MSN Human Relevance System"

They have been at it for a while.

strange, strange

So first I feel like an idiot for obviously missing that this was a joke, given the copy. But then it is on the MSN site, like the real site. And then it is indeed linked very clearly off this real master page, http://search.msn.com/s/jobs/openings/default.aspx (any of the Openings links under Core Search). So I dunno. Did someone hack the page (if so, the cached copy at MSN Search says its been there for at least a day). Is MSN just having fun? Strange. I do have a note out to them -- it's been some time now without an answer. The mystery grows!

I get more confused the more

I get more confused the more I look at the Alexander Lozhechkin post from July 2005. I don't recognize the name, but he apparently is very legitimate. Still, the job description doesn't hold water as it reads.

Maybe they have a sense of humor after all?

I did a search for the "bestjobs@microsoft.com" email address and its mentioned in an entry on an MSDN blog that claims to be from Microsoft's staffing agency.

http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/default.aspx

They have a similar copywriting style -- I'll bet they are responsible for it.

seed sites

seed sites - google once hand picked this way and let them go forth and prosper in the serps, a link from one of the "elites" is a BIG vote in this popularity contest, but seed sites are a small piece of the pie.

And yeah it's funny. :)

Not seed sights

The blurb says that it's, ahem, real time.

you will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user. Successful handcrafters can typically find top 10 results for a real-time user’s query in less than 3.8 seconds

That's kind of the first hint that this is a bit of a jest.

add

2nd hint is, the "MSNRank", what's that supposed to be?

MSNLink Bait™

MSNLink Bait™

;-o

The best type of joke

Everything's just a wee bit over the top, not too much, so everyone's a bit puzzled. The typing speed I think is what made me question it. My sister types at some obscene rate, fastest rate ever at the secretarial college she graduated from, and I don't think she types at 149 words per minute.

Can anybody translate the

Can anybody translate the comments

??? ?????????? ??????? ?????????????? ?? ??????? ????????? ?????????, ??????? ?????????????? ?????????? ????????? ? ???????? ???????. :)

It reminded him of the lady stenograph operators in the KGB station who tried to write down telephone conversations in real time!

PS ??? Hand crafted results ?????????... :-)

Hand crafted results, very funny. :-)

It reminded him of the lady

It reminded him of the lady stenograph operators in the KGB station who tried to write down telephone conversations in real time!

I saw a documentary on this thing on Discovery Channel. Those ladies were inhuman ..

They showed a footage where one lady wrote those conversations with one hand, and the other hand drinking coffee, and looking at some other random spot in the room.

But still. MSN is not KGB.

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