MSN Search Spam Research

Jul 17th
posted in
msn

Many spam sites are based on automation, and in the attempts to automate and mass produce content or sites leave footprints that are easy to detect.

While MSN Search is still chuck full of spam, they are doing research to try to stop it (link via PeterD).

Our approach is to treat each spam page as a dynamic program rather than a static page, and utilize a “monkey program” [6] to analyze the traffic resulting from visiting each page with an actual browser so that the program can be executed in full fidelity.

Many successful, large-scale spammers have created a huge number of doorway pages that either redirect to or fetch ads from a single domain that is responsible for serving all target pages. By identifying those domains that serve target pages for a large number of doorway pages, we can catch major spammers’ domains together with all their doorway pages and doorway domains.

Just about any piece of the publishing or monetization puzzle that is not well thought out can leave a footprint.

The downside with them doing that type of research and sharing it publicly is that they create an incentive for one person to make a bunch of spam sites for a competitor just to knock the competitor's main site out of the search results. And if you think MSN has fixes in place for that sort of stuff, you would probably be wrong. Take, for example, their inept geo-location targeting algorithms.

Does Google cross reference AdSense accounts when fighting spam? I am not certain, but some friends have recently reported occasional $8 and $9 AdSense ad clicks on some low traffic spammy sites in a network of spammy sites linked to an AdSense account. If Google is going out of their way to filter the noise out of their ad network it shouldn't be surprising that they would use similar data points to clean up their organic results. If you start getting a ton of traffic and/or large earnings quickly that might flag your site for some type of editorial review.

How to Look Like an SEO

Google started to support the NoODP meta tag that was introduced by MSN in May. To use it place the following code in the head of your DMOZ listed page
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">
I probably would not use that unless my DMOZ listing was really jacked. I believe it is a way to self select yourself as an SEO, which may not work in your favor.

I also think excessively using Nofollow tags outside of those that are typically associated with your content management system is another way to self select yourself as a known SEO.

Published: July 17, 2006

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

Comments

July 17, 2006 - 6:53am

I think that improvements in MSN's algo are going into their Live.com serch product. However, Microsoft doen't Beta like Google does. Their Live search is in a beta in a truer sense of the word: it already seems to deliver better SERPs than MSN.

It would not surprise me to see Microsoft with a legitimate and competitive search product by April of Next Year (in time for Vista launch).

July 17, 2006 - 7:27am

Live.com, MSN.com... etc. all the same. I think the real problem is microsoft. Their new internet exporer 7 browser also sucks. It likes to display div's that text is in, in a text cursor instead of a normal pointer as it should be. Microsoft is outrageous.
Live.com sucks, MSN atleast is original and more normal.

Brian B
July 17, 2006 - 9:00am

From my research, whatever MSN does is irrelevant. My site has the #1 ranking for it's term on MSN and I get very little traffic from them. On Google I'm in the middle of the page and I get exponentially more traffic from that. If somebody actually used MSN for searches then their decisions might actually mean something. ;-)

Fistuk
July 17, 2006 - 2:05pm

Since my sites are rather new (oldest 4 months) the only traffic I get is from msn to my niche sites.

msn is faster to index both the site and the IBLs.

if I only knew how to get out of the sand-trust-whatever box that just get me ignored from G & Y!

November 3, 2006 - 11:54am

I read in SEO Book that still spammy content sites get top rank with MSN. And novice SEOs can rank top with MSN with spammy content. I bought SEO Book, 2 weeks ago. 2 of my sites are on top of MSN and not in top 100 with yahoo and google. Sites are 3 months old. Am i spammer? :(

November 3, 2006 - 12:01pm

Span is in the eye of the beholder, but the effectiveness of your marketing is what matters.

July 19, 2006 - 11:38pm

I am at the top (#1 and #2) on MSN and #3 on Google & Yahoo.

I get a decent amount of traffic from MSN, but I think it is because part of my target audience is not very computer/internet savy. They still use the default search engine.

July 27, 2006 - 4:08pm

MSN indexes very quickly but its usually the heavy spammers that benefit. If you were targeting MSN you need to have two or three posts a day. It annoys me how it works, but I use it to check that changes to a site are being found. If changes appear within a couple of weeks to MSN chances are googlebot will come along very soon, especially when its an older site.

July 27, 2006 - 5:24pm

MSN indexes very quickly but its usually the heavy spammers that benefit. If you were targeting MSN you need to have two or three posts a day. It annoys me how it works, but I use it to check that changes to a site are being found. If changes appear within a couple of weeks to MSN chances are googlebot will come along very soon, especially when its an older site.

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.