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November 9, 2008

Is there an MSN/Live Search site ranking loophole?

Posted by David Hunter at 9:47 PM ET.

Since late last week, two entrepreneurs, Dave Kelly and Chris Rempel, have been selling an e-book to Web affiliate marketers which claims to reveal a loophole in the MSN/Live Search algorithms which will allow them to create 1 page mini Web sites that will get highly ranked in the search results. I haven’t bought the ebook, but looking at the sales videos and trying the example searches reveals sites which should obviously not be ranking highly but are. Some examples with the ranks I saw:

 

Search Term Live Search Rank/Site
get rid of debt 1. get-rid-of-debt.org
poor credit rating 1. www.poor-credit-rating.com
bicycle accessories 4. www.bicycle-accessories.org

 

All of these sites are basically the same with one page of keyword laden boilerplate text and graphics (they aren’t selling anything) and another page with a privacy policy and yet they have search rankings at Live Search that are the envy of any Web marketer, even if Live Search is only the number 3 search engine. They also don’t seem to have any backlinks or any other exogenous factor that would explain their inflated search ranking. (The domain name matching the search term is supposed to be helpful according to a Rempel comment on a Digital Point thread.)

You can read all the blurbs on the e-book sales page for yourself and while I admit the "make money fast" flavor is a little offputting, the results seem to say that there is definitely a loophole in the MSN/Live Search ranking algorithms and these guys are driving a truck through it.

If that is so, the next question is how long will it take Microsoft to close the loophole? Their claim:

3. Won’t MSN® Catch On To This if We ALL Start Doing It And Change Their Algorithm?

You’d be surprised at how little MSN®’s algorithms have changed (if at all) over the past several years.

Unlike Google.com – which is now impossible to exploit (quickly, at least) – MSN.com is a totally different animal. While Google actually seems to respond to real authority patterns and natural exposure, MSN® is predictable and relies on a very simple engine.

And with what we’ve done – which, by the way, is completely untraceable, white-hat and totally invisible even to a professional human reviewer employed by a search engine – it makes ranking on MSN® as simple as setting up a site and following our easy instructions.

Even so – this strategy hinges on relevency as much as it does "exploitation". This means that your sites will NOT be well-ranked unless your page is relevant and therefore useful.

About as relevant and useful as the example sites above? Paging the Live Search crew – cleanup required in all aisles.



Filed under Live Search, MSN, MSN Search, Windows Live

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One Response to “Is there an MSN/Live Search site ranking loophole?”

  1. Franz Says:

    Thanks for the discussion. I am following this closely in my self-education on SEO.

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