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MSN Search

John Simkin

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Microsoft, after 20 months of development, it launched a new Web-search service on Feb. 1, built from the ground up with homegrown technology. MSN Search, which replaces technology licensed from Yahoo! (YHOO ), is available in 10 languages and includes tools to help Web surfers refine queries for more relevant results. It also taps Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia software to provide direct answers to specific questions.

The search engine is Microsoft's most ambitious effort to elbow its way into a business dominated by Google. According to comScore Networks, which tracks Web traffic, Google led in Web-search volume, accounting for 34.7% of all searches in December, 2004. Yahoo came in second at 31.9%, followed by MSN's 16.3% share.

I thought I would test it out by using the term "Bernardo De Torres". As some of you will remember, this page was removed from the Google index until I made a fuss about it and had it restored as number one (where it still remains). Interestingly, my Bernardo De Torres page is not in the MSN database either. However, all the rest of my pages seem to be there. His CIA friends are obviously working for MSN as well as Google.

However, J. Edgar Hoover is not being protected. My page on him comes 1st out of 545,000 at MSN and 2nd out of 636,000 at Google.

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One of the benefits of MSN Search is that it claims to trawl the web for new web pages every two days rather than the industry standard of two weeks.

I decided to test this out. I created a new web page on Frank Wisner on Tuesday. However, MSN does not have it in its database. However, Google has it (ranked 4th out of 124,000 – the other three are about a different Frank Wisner but you cannot blame Google for that).

Could it be because my Frank Wisner was the founder of the CIA's covert operations section in 1948?

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