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Microsoft Offers A Peek At New Search Engine 752

Posted by timothy
from the beta-but-working dept.
ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "The Inquirer is reporting that Microsoft is offering a preview of its new search technology. The search engine preview has a minimalist interface, similar to Google. Microsoft claims over one billion web pages searched, but admits the fact that searching is a little slow. This technology hasn't yet been incorporated into MSN Search, though the site claims it eventually will be. In related news, the Financial Times is reporting that Microsoft are to improve the regular MSN Search site by removing paid advertisements from regular internet searches, a move that will cost them 'tens of millions of dollars.' Are the Search Engine Wars finally upon us?"
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Microsoft Offers A Peek At New Search Engine

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  • Search for Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grandmofftarkin (49366) * <3b16-ihd3@xemaps.com> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:06AM (#9581514)
    Redhat, SUSE, Mandrake, etc. don't turn up on the first page. WTF?

    Oh I get it. Microsoft don't want their competitors turning up in search results.

    Hmmm ... I think I'll stick to google.
    • Re:Search for Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SimplexO (537908) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:08AM (#9581525) Homepage
      A search for 'search' returns a list of websites that all contain the word search in their domain name, none of them are any of the good ones - Google, AV, Yahoo, and (even!) MSN.

      Hrm...
      • Re:Search for Linux (Score:5, Informative)

        by strictnein (318940) * <strictfoo-slashd ... m minus herbivor> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:10AM (#9581549) Homepage Journal
        very similar to how it turns up for a seach on Linux. All sites that have a *.linux*.* type domain address.

        Is this their new search scheme? Type in a word and we'll return matching domain names? That's awesome technology!
        • hmmm, it didnt seem to find any results for "microsoft sucks", despite the fact www.microsoftsucks.com exists... how strange
      • by akiy (56302) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:23AM (#9581781) Homepage
        A search for 'search' returns a list of websites that all contain the word search in their domain name, none of them are any of the good ones - Google, AV, Yahoo, and (even!) MSN.
        It sure looks like they place a heck of a lot of weight on a search term if it's in the site's domain name. I think their algorithm needs a lot more tweaking if that's true.
        • Re:Search for Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ad0gg (594412) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @02:19PM (#9584043)
          Its not the domain name, its the text between the anchor tag that makes a difference. You can see it with the "French Defeats" search and other humor searches where the search term isn't even the domain name or the page itself.

          MSN beta search works little like google's page rank where inbound links are counted toward search placement, but it looks like msn places lot more emphasis on it. Problem with this, it breeds link farms and spamming the results.

      • Owww, Now i get it, ..
        Microsoft doesn't want to be incompliant with all the rfc's
        they just can't find 'm;
        Sorry, no results were found containing "http rfc"

        Explains a LOT

    • Search Error
      MSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.

      Please try again in a few minutes.

      EID: f:618926422 - 1041:1041:10004:1059

      HC: 71d61b13
    • Heh... And my first search for Knoppix resulted in an error. But it seems to be working now. Maybe it's just being slashdotted?
    • by scotch (102596) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:16AM (#9581662) Homepage
      Sorry, no results were found containing "wikipedia"

      Ha ha.

    • Re:Search for Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

      by awhelan (781773)
      MSN was famous for this. It is probably a coincidence since I doubt they'd dare do it again, but a few years ago Microsoft was accused of intentionally blocking certian linux websites from search results.
    • Re:Search for Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by betelgeuse-4 (745816) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:25AM (#9581805) Homepage Journal
      Search for "microsoft" and only 1 result is returned, compared to Google's 103 million.
    • Re:Search for Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WebCrapper (667046) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:31AM (#9581893)
      The sad part is, MSFT is just using the Slashdot crowd as real life load testing...
    • I'm not having any problems finding LOADS of hits for "linux", though the first time I tried I got an error. But I'm not surprised that Slashdotters are already suggesting something shifty, completely ignoring the fact that this is quite clearly NOT a finished product. Typical.

      I wonder if I search for "knee jerk", do I find Slashdot?

      • by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:05PM (#9583184) Journal
        I don't think that it's too much to assume that if a public test of a technology is being offered that said technology should be able, even if only partially, to satisfy the testers requirements. It's not like this is an in-house alpha product that may have an incomplete interface or an unseeded database -- this is a public beta test aimed at user acceptance testing. Given that search results are sparse at best, I'd say their UAT is not going very well.
    • by radish (98371) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:35AM (#9581941) Homepage
      It asked what I was looking for, but wasn't able to help:

      Sorry, no results were found containing "something better than windows"
    • try xfree86 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cyfer2000 (548592)

      and the search engine said

      You have entered a search term that is likely to return adult content.

      Warning: If you are under 18 or live in an area where it is illegal for you to view explicit content, please revise your search.

  • Accuracy (Score:5, Funny)

    by jmays (450770) * on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:07AM (#9581517)
    What is important is that a search for litigious bastards [sco.com] still returns the SCO Group.
  • by viper21 (16860) <scott.iqfoundry@com> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:07AM (#9581519) Homepage
    Hey, at least microsoft did one thing right. [msn.com]

    -S
  • xfree86 (Score:5, Funny)

    by SealTit (606480) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:08AM (#9581522) Homepage
    Looks like it still thinks that xfree86 is "adult content"

    http://techpreview.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q =x free86&FORM=SMCRT
    • Re:xfree86 (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bricklets (703061)
      Looks like it still thinks that xfree86 is "adult content"

      More importantly xfree85 is not considered "adult content." I can understand someone having trouble with "69," but "86"??? Come on. What position do two people have to be in to form that shape.
      • Re:xfree86 (Score:5, Funny)

        by jred (111898) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:26AM (#9581828) Homepage
        I can understand someone having trouble with "69," but "86"??? Come on. What position do two people have to be in to form that shape.

        Well, first you have the chick facing away from you, standing on her head. Then you bring in the siamese twins...

  • by bje2 (533276) * on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:08AM (#9581528)
    ...they'll have a "Microooooooosoft" graphic at the bottom of the screen to allow you navigate between pages of results...
  • by SammysIsland (705274) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:08AM (#9581529)


    Search Error



    MSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.

    Please try again in a few minutes.

    EID: f:2114719238 - 1041:1041:10004:1059

    HC: 71d61b16

  • Playing catch up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mz6 (741941) * on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:09AM (#9581531) Journal
    I like it only for the simple reason that the website I co-Admin is ranked 2nd. And not only that, the site is listed serveral times on the first page. In Google, the first appearance doesn't show up until the 5th page. (Search term: Mazda6) But that would probably be the only reason why I like it.

    Out of curiousity I also decided to check out MSN's Sandbox [msn.com]. This is pretty much their upcoming software and features. I was surprised to find pretty much everything they are listing has already been inplemented by Google. Time to play catch up!

    NewsBot [msn.com] = news.google.com
    MSN Toolbar [msn.com] = Google Toolbar
    3 [threedegrees.com] = I'm thinking this is just like Orkut, 3 is software that connects a small group of family and close friends, people who know and trust one another, so they can do fun things together in a whole new way. 3 is a beta test of an innovative application that lets users connect online, extending real-world social interactions.
    NetScan [microsoft.com] = This is Google Groups.. searches USENET newsgroups

    The only "original" item on there was TerraServer [terraserver-usa.com] and that has been up and running for some time now.

    I would be interested to see if MS decides to add much of the same features that Google has. Such as phone number searches, unit conversions, etc...Some things that make Google really unique. Perhaps MS could tie the search term, such as an address, to TerraServer will allow a person to get a direct overhead view of that place. However... They need to get some more updated maps to make this useful.

  • Search ErrorMSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.

    Please try again in a few minutes.

    EID: f:1658889542 - 1041:1041:10004:1059

    HC: 71d61b14
  • admits the fact that searching is a little slow

    9:06:41 AM MDT: search for 'microsoft sucks'
    9:07:38 AM MDT: returned first page of results, first result points to microsoftsucks.org

    I think I'd call that more than a little slow. The term unusable comes to mind.
  • "fisherman" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:10AM (#9581548)
    Okay, random test. Search for "fisherman":

    Sorry, no results were found containing "fishermen"

    1 billion entries? Please.

    Google:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,350,000 for fishermen [definition]. (0.33 seconds)

    Nice work so far MS...
    • Re:"fisherman" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bje2 (533276) *
      i randomly searched for "baseball" on both... Microsoft's #1 results was the mlb.com website (which is what i would expect)... Google's #1 result was baseball-almanac.com doesn't really mean anything, just thought that was interesting...
    • by sould (301844)
      Okay, random test. Search for "fisherman":

      Sorry, no results were found containing "fishermen"


      C'mon...I mean copying and pasting isn't that hard now is it?
    • Re:"fisherman" (Score:5, Informative)

      by plumby (179557) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:23AM (#9581782)
      I did a search for cheesecake and got 0 entries. I tried a couple of minutes later and got loads. Evidently not very stable yet, but it is only in beta, so not too surprising. My guess would be incorrect use of a static/global variable.
  • by Mr. Smoove (160347) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:10AM (#9581551)
    Linux just to p*ss off Bill, courtesy of all his friends at /.
  • function search(var terms)
    {
    return screen_scrap_google(terms);
    }
    On a more serious note, this engine is not all that great. For example, if I do a search for my name I primarily see forum posts. While that's great, it's not very useful. Listing software I've written, articles that mention me, etc. are far more useful results, especially to a future employer. Google nails this because the more interesting stuff always has back-links to it. Sorry Microsoft, you need Google's technology to compete with Google.
  • by chrispl (189217)
    Hmmm seven comments and the search is already very very slow (16 seconds load time here). Is it possible that we can bring down MSN with slashdot?

    Hint incase it goes down: Its a google clone.
  • Long Discussion (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheUncleBob (791234) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:11AM (#9581579) Homepage
    about the performance and quality of the results of the search preview over at Webmaster World [webmasterworld.com], including some feedback from MS employees.
  • by dobedobedew (663137) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:12AM (#9581586)
    So far, google has given me no reason to distrust them. Microsoft on the other hand... No thanks. I gave up on MS years ago. I'm sure I am not the only ./'er who feels that way.
  • by bangular (736791) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:12AM (#9581588)
    Looking at it, it's not minimalist in the same sense google is. Google has a lot of content that is extremely well organized without a lot of extra crud. Google's content is well formatted and easy to read. Simply taking out your ads and superfluous fonts and graphics doesn't make put in the same ranks as google.
  • Boycott (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OYAHHH (322809) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:12AM (#9581592) Homepage
    Anybody know what the search engine spider calls itself.

    I make sure that msnbot is not allowed to traverse my web site via the robots.txt file. I'd like to do the same with this robot.

    BTW, I've noticed no appreciable decline in web hits at all.

    • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaHat (247651) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:24AM (#9581789) Homepage
      ...why?

      Why prevent a spider from crawling your page?

      Just because it's associated with Microsoft?
      • Re:Boycott (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bje2 (533276) * on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:27AM (#9581847)
        my thoughts exactly...who are you hurting there? not really microsoft...you're just hurting yourself...why *wouldn't* you want to be indexed in their search engine?
      • Re:Boycott (Score:4, Interesting)

        by OYAHHH (322809) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:04PM (#9582390) Homepage
        I,

        Think you hit the nail on the head with the word "why".

        What is the point of MS providing a search facility via their websites and eventually tied directly into their OS. So they can make more money. Yeah a secondary concern might be to help their customers have a better experience, but believe me, it's to make money.

        Has MS been particularly honest about their search results in the past. I've done the "Linux" search on MSN before and quite frankly it was appalling to me that a company could be so blatent in their disregard for truthfullness.

        Thus, "Why" should I provide any opportunity for MS to make any additional money. I certainly don't feel the need to line Bill Gates pockets anymore.

        And, I certainly don't feel the need to give sustenance to someone who has made it their life's calling to squash anything that is non-MS.

        Call me vindictive and I'll wear it like a crown if you like.

        To me, collaborating with MS in any manner is sorta like having the person who shot and killed your mother over for dinner. Ain't gonna happen under my command.

        By disallowing the msnbot I effectively, in a small way, reduce MS' ability to rule the world completely.

        And as I noted in my first post, before I disallowed msnbot from my site I only got a few redirects off of MS sites daily anyway.

        If somebody wants to find my site they can readily find me on any of the other search engines. My site's consistently in the top five returns for the pertinent subject matter on any search engine. Except MSN, of course, hee! hee! hee!
    • Re:Boycott (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why would you do something like this? There are going to be people that use Microsoft's search engine. Your site will not be indexed by Microsoft's search engine. Consequently, these people will not find your site.

      I wonder if all of the people complaining about there not being enough relevant results are the same ones blocking this spider from indexing their relevant content...
    • Re:Boycott (Score:3, Funny)

      by gyratedotorg (545872)
      MSGoogle/1.0
  • Yahoo's preview (Score:5, Informative)

    by barcodez (580516) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:12AM (#9581593)
    Just to balance things... http://labs.yahoo.com/demo/nutch/
  • Search ErrorMSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request. Please try again in a few minutes. EID: f:1658889542 - 1041:1041:10004:1059 HC: 71d61b14
  • Biased (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mogrinz (548098) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:13AM (#9581604)
    Try a search for 'email' or 'calendar' and guess who always comes up first? Not exactly impartial results, are they?
  • by slashrogue (775436) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:13AM (#9581615)
    Sorry, no results were found containing "microsoft fud"
  • MSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.
    Please try again in a few minutes.

    EID: f:618926422 - 1041:1041:10004:1059

    HC: 71d61b13

  • First try searching for upperland:

    Search Error
    MSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.

    Please try again in a few minutes.
    EID: f:1658889542 - 1041:1041:10004:1059
    HC: 71d61b14

    The second search worked, but google already know me and place my page called upperland on first, and plus have options to search only brazilian or portuguese pages.

    The problem was when I tryied searching for "sport club internacional" that gave me a: Sorry, no results were found containing "sport club internacional".
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:16AM (#9581661)
    Gee, one billion pages and only 15 results for Linux? Why am I not surprised?
  • by mcgroarty (633843) <brian,mcgroarty&gmail,com> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:16AM (#9581671) Homepage
    My first search on http://www.search.msn.com/ was "Google rip off" and it worked pretty well.

    Try it! The best result is in the blue box at the top!

  • hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gyratedotorg (545872) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:16AM (#9581683) Homepage

    MSN's website is the most popular internet site for US users, with nearly 100 million unique visits each month

    im slightly off topic here, but i cant help but wonder if the web browser included with the most widely used desktop os in the world DIDNT use msn.com as the default home page, would anyone have any reason to go there?

  • by CoffeeJedi (90936) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:16AM (#9581689)
    What do we have under the hood? A brand new algorithmic search engine -- built from the ground up -- on Microsoft technology. Give it a spin and tell us what you think.


    This site will be available for a short time. After we have time to incorporate your feedback and add some features it'll be back, new and improved.

    what do i think? i think you should stop having the marketing-drones right your copy, when Google says things like "give it a spin" or "it'll be back", it seems genuine, when Microsoft says it, it sounds forced and derivative of the original
  • by lowe0 (136140) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:17AM (#9581691) Homepage
    While I'm normally pretty pro-MS (I actually like their products - I'm not kidding) MS stands very little chance here.

    They're fighting a marketshare war, and searches are pretty much a commodity - unless they've got something very specialup their sleeves, their searches are the same as anyone else's.

    And let's face it, Google won the mindshare a long time ago. Just like everyone knows what Windows is, everyone knows what Google is, even non-techs. Hell, it's damn near a generic term for searching by now.
    • by dmeranda (120061) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:29AM (#9581869) Homepage
      Tell that one to Netscape, Inc. Netscape was synonomous with "browser", or heck, even with the word "Internet". And Gates was even going around saying the Internet was just a fad. And still the big monopoly crushed them.

      Now at least Google doesn't appear to be asleep at the wheel like Netscape was, but Microsoft is sort of like Wal Mart. Doesn't matter who you are or how superior your product/service; if they enter your market you have to be running scared.

      The biggest item of interest is all the patents Google has. I normally hate software patents, but that may be what saves Google from the big MS monopoly. And since Google uses Linux, they can flaunt them a bit more than most companies.
      • Netscape didn't become a verb. Google did. You can't redefine verbs with dollars.
      • by poptones (653660) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:51PM (#9583025) Journal
        MS kicked Netscape's ass because Netscape fell into a spiral of devolution while IE became a much better product. In the fight between Netscape 3 and IE4, it was no contest because IE was, at the time, simply the better product. Remember, this was when Netscape was just sure it owned the web and, at the time, it was even thumbing its nose at the W3C. This is perhaps the most perfect example of Microsoft's "embrace and extend" philosophy. Once MS becomes dominant in a market it's very easy for themn to retain that dominance - but attaining dominance in any particular field is NOT a given even for MS.

        So compare then to now: you can't even get decent fucking search results of Microsoft's own support site from Microsoft itself. They can't even properly track their own content - how on earth can anyone trust them to track everyone elses? I work tech support a few days a week and I don't even think about using Microsoft's "search the knowledge base" page - it's often laughably short on search results even for well known things like "xp rpc exploit" and "download ie6."

        When I can get proper tech support info on Microsoft's own products without having to go to Google and type site:microsoft.com THEN I'll start to believe this is like Netscape vs. Microsoft.

    • I don't think it's true that "Google won the mindshare a long time ago." As of Jan 2004, Google has less than 40% [searchenginewatch.com] of the search market, nearly tied with MSN and Yahoo.

      Unfortunately, all Microsoft has to do is to catch Google. If the quality is essentially indistinguishable from Google, most people will use MSN Search, since MSN Search will be the default in IE (and probably MS OFfice and WinXP soon).

      As long as Google keeps innovating [blogspot.com] and stays ahead, they'll do fine. But, if they trip, Microsoft will c
  • I searched for "Horrible Failure" at MSN and got:

    Search ErrorMSN Search is temporarily unable to process your request.

    Please try again in a few minutes.

    EID: f:618926422 - 1041:1041:10004:1059

    HC: 71d61b13


    I seached for "Horrible Failure" at google and got:

    Re: horrible failure to compile on Solaris 2.6
    Russell Kroll
    Wed, 18 Jul 2001 15:51:02 -0500

    Koos van den Hout wrote:

    > I am trying to build nut for our solaris 2.6 setup (so we can really start
    > using a bigass APC ups with max 50 amps output cu
  • by BigGerman (541312) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:22AM (#9581761)
    .. a search term. Please reboot to see your results."
  • by harks (534599) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:23AM (#9581773)
    Sorry, no results were found containing "skydiving"
  • by pohl (872) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:23AM (#9581783) Homepage
    The query "windows sucks" in Google:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 577,000 for windows sucks. (0.26 seconds)

    ...and in MSN Search preview...

    Sorry, no results were found containing "windows sucks" Can they really claim to have indexed so many pages? :-)

  • MSN Bots = Annoying (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bruha (412869) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:25AM (#9581809) Homepage Journal
    I'm getting more hits than most of my regular visitors in my logs.. even google does not check my site on a daily basis but these seem to do it on a semi hourly basis.
  • Searching for... (Score:5, Informative)

    by I_am_Rambi (536614) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:25AM (#9581812) Homepage
    Gentoo [msn.com] - no results

    Redhat [msn.com] - 1 result redhat.com

    Suse [msn.com] many results

    slackware [msn.com] - many results

    mandrake [msn.com] - mandrake.com 4th on list

    XFree86 [msn.com] - adult content

    Xfree [msn.com] - no results

    linux [msn.com] - no results

    Seems rigged to me
  • Linux? (Score:3, Informative)

    by krs-one (470715) <<moc.smuroflgnepo> <ta> <civ>> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:28AM (#9581855) Homepage Journal
    LINUX [msn.com]

    'Nuff said.

    -Vic
  • by clintp (5169) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:28AM (#9581856)
    The First Search Engine War was fought years ago, and has been long over. But a blank check was given and all kinds of approaches and interfaces emerged. The winner was Google, though other technologies are still groveling for the spotlight. They won with a good interface, good results, without too much junk.

    A Second Search Engine War might help to refine things even further. Microsoft seems to be starting from Google's UI model (everyone loves a winner) and working from there. That's great. There's not really a whole lot of ways for the users to lose here. Things might get even better!
  • by mccalli (323026) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:38AM (#9581972) Homepage
    Did a search for my domain, Eruvia. It told me there were fifteen results, then gave me the first ten and and a next button.

    Clicked next - suddenly, "Sorry, there a no results for 'eruvia'". Pardon? Try searching again from scratch, and once again suddenly Eruvia has disappeared. Can't get my original 15 results back at all.

    I'm putting this down to extremely ungraceful load handling and the ongoing Slashdotting. What's this running on anyway? Netcraft says IIS/6.0 on Linux [netcraft.com], so it's another Akamai job, but the hardware behind it doesn't seem up to scratch yet.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • Sneak Preview... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polyp2000 (444682) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:41AM (#9582038) Homepage Journal
    Nothing more than that really.

    Its pretty slow, the results are inconsistent, cant even cope with a slashdotting. One things for sure this will be a real test of Microsofts server platform; So far I aint impressed.
  • by Monoman (8745) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:44AM (#9582063) Homepage
    http://techpreview.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=o pen+source&FORM=SMCRT
  • MS and competition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tehanu (682528) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:47AM (#9582095)
    Whenever I read about the way MS improves their stuff when there is actual competition, I wonder what Windows would have been like now if there had been any actual real competition for marketshare in OSes in the last decade or so.
  • C# unfriendly (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:15PM (#9582564) Homepage
    As a C# programmer, I frequently run searches on google with the keyword "C#" in the search. Google does a good job with it.

    Microsoft's search engine on the other hand seems to toss out the "#" character which makes it pretty useless. Kind of funny given who created C#.

    Guess I'll be sticking with google.
  • by spacefight (577141) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:24PM (#9582686)
    for this [msn.com] search, err 2nd searchresult.
  • by digital photo (635872) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:49PM (#9583004) Homepage Journal

    Okay, having just gone to the search engine site and entering in simple words, I get one of three results:

    • Error page
    • No results
    • Some results, but differs each time

    They claim to have indexed billions of pages... billions of pages of what exactly?!?

    To participate in a war, you need reliable weapons to stand a chance. Teoma, Yahoo, Google, etc... they all have viable search technologies. MSN's search engine at their beta site is comparable to a blunderbuss. Highly inaccurate, prone to misfirings, and just as predictable in results.

    Some people say "linux" gets results and some people don't. When I ran a search just now, it didn't get any results. Then I got an error page.

    I tried searching for my website with "polygon comics" which is indexed in every search engine. None on their beta engine.

    I tried "palo alto car show", which is likewise indexed by every search engine out there. Also no results from the MSN beta search engine.

    From the impressions posted by other people who have been trying the system, it sounds like when the MSN beta search system is working, it ranks based on domains, favouring cyber-squatters and basically giving you info which may not even be relevant to your search.

    RELEVANCE is what is important in a search system. That is more than just matching keywords. If MSN hopes to launch their own search which doesn't depend on other peoples' more reliable search technologies, they will need to work a hell of alot harder than what they've put up on their beta site.

    As a long time user of search engines, I think MSN beta is a piece of ****(replace with a four letter explative of your choosing).

  • Feedback (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flossie (135232) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:30PM (#9583443) Homepage
    "Please provide your feedback in the form below. Thank you for helping us to improve MSN Search. Although we won't respond directly to your comments, we will use them to improve our service."

    Are they being choosy in deciding from whom they will accept feedback? When I click the "submit" button (using Firefox on Linux) nothing seems to happen except that an error message appears in the Javascript console: "Error: changeImage is not defined".

  • I have a Java class, ShuffleWidget [weft.co.uk], which I often use when assessing search engines because its name is unique and so all the results tend to come from my site (or places that refer to my site). Plugging this into the new MSN search [msn.com] does, indeed, bring back pages from my site, but, interestingly, not the ShuffleWidget page itself, despite the fact that according to my logs, "msnbot/0.11 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm)" [msn.com] has scanned the page on an almost daily basis throughout June. Google by contrast brings the ShuffleWidget [google.com] page back as it's second hit.

    It seems they've some work to do in ordering their search results.

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