NetRegistry Dumps MSN/Live Search

Ash Nallawalla

18 September 2007

Search Engines, SEO

NetRegistry’s latest newsletter had an intriguing headline, “NetRegistry Ditches Microsoft Search”, which sounds as important as the EU fining the software giant. It is quite a non-event, but worthy of some discussion.

NetRegistry offers a URL submission service called GoLive, which included submission to Google, Yahoo and MSN (Live). It will no longer submit to Live Search because it found that submissions take about 42 days to take effect, whereas Google takes 14 days and Yahoo takes 22 days.

Submitting a URL only to search engines is harmless but not necessary, as long as you can get a link from some other web site that is already known to the search engines, because the target website will be discovered through that link. Perhaps if you have no link friends, a submission service might help. When I was at Melbourne IT, I introduced products that included both directory and search engine submissions because some small business sites have no link providers and they could be waiting for a long time to get that first link.

Getting back to Microsoft Live Search, a lot of SEOs have been saying for a while that MSN Search (now Live Search) is both a poor search experience and it is harder to get listed there, or to be crawled fully. I have no clue what’s happening in Redmond, but 2-3 years ago they had a focus group called Search Champs. I wasn’t invited, but some well-known and capable search marketers were, and they had a great time listening to and sharing their views during their many on-site meetups. Who knows if any of their input was used, because I haven’t met anyone who thinks highly of Live Search as it stands today.

I am monitoring many tens of third-party sites for a research project (not much SEO work done) and I can confirm that Google picks up new sites within hours, not days, while Yahoo takes about two weeks. Ranking success for some of the noncompetitive Google sites came within a week and in most cases within a month, although very competitive sites will need off-page link love that could take longer. Yahoo ranking success came within two weeks for the noncompetitive sites. Barely one or two sites have ranked below 100 in Live Search after six weeks. Competitive sites take much longer, as they do in the other two search engines.

Will Live Search ever be a major player, disregarding the users whose home page is still set to MSN/ninemsn? I would like to think so, as competition is great for users.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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