MSN and the domain name factor
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Thats strange isn’t it? I am usually talking about Google and how to optimize, target and achieve high rankings in Google. There is an obvious reason for that. Google is the big daddy, the giant of all search engines and because of that has the largest number of web surfers however MSN and Yahoo still do exist and they also have markets. IMO MSN is the #2 search engine. MSN has been making some good changes and is getting closer and closer to a more relevant search engine. They are nowhere near Google and probably will never get to that point but I think as time goes on it will become more and more profitable to get high rankings on MSN. After saying all that this article will now discuss a fault in MSNs factoring values. A fault that can possibly mean the difference between nowhere and everywhere. You won’t want to miss this article….
This factor I am about to disclose is pretty well known. It is a simple yet over-valued factor and because of it MSN is letting sites with no authority or value rank on very competitive positions only because of this one measly factor. What is this factor? Well I am sure you gathered that by the title of my article. The factor is the domain name. Yes MSN puts a very very high value on your domain name and its keywords and I believe it is too high.
For those of you who are in the fog about what I am talking about let me explain this to you. If you register a domain name with your keywords MSN will almost always rank you for them without having many backlinks. Apparently MSNs age factor is very low or non-existent. If you think about it you can see the thinking behind this factoring. Your domain name is usually your business name and you should rank for your business name so you would think from this perspective that MSN is on the right track. But there is one problem. Webmasters found out about this and now domains aren’t registered for the business name they are registered for the keywords. This is one major problem with MSN. MSN is extremely easy to rank in even if your domain is keyword less(not targeted).
Let me show you some examples of what I am talking about. Last year I registered 1st-rankings.com and it wasn’t a week before it had the #1 ranking for ’1st rankings’ – http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=1st+rankings&FORM=MSNH
The site had many 404 pages as I was just starting it and I had no links to it but one on a forum where I asked a question about it. MSN ranked me for my keywords because it figured that was my business name. If you do some quick searches on MSN you will notice alot of sites are held in position mainly on their domain value. However MSN also has another fault. They value general links to highly. They will count links from directories, link pages, reciprocal(MSN said they cracked down on this. If they did I haven’t noticed.) too highly. People complain about how strict Google is and how hard it is to rank in Google but if they want to see what happens when your not strict and you count all links then visit MSN.
So it is fairly easy to get a ranking in MSN for any keyword by gaining alot of backlinks and registering a keyword rich domain. But what if MSN changes all this? What if they wisen up and crack down. All those keyword-rich domains will go bye bye from MSNs results. All that time into those rankings will have been wasted. I believe that there is a place for MSN and I rank on there for various keywords but I don’t get the traffic I do from Google. if I wanted to I could easily use the methods I have shown you to rank high for many competitive seo keywords but i’d rather stick to natural methods and gain the rankings naturally so that I know I am going to keep them for a long time. Using the natural methods I can gain Google rankings that will be there for years to come while using the spam methods I am likely to lose the rankings like so many webmasters are seeing lately. The decision is up to you. Do you want quick traffic and quick money or do you want the long path to successful web mastering which brings far more in the long run than the quick path every brings.
I don’t want you to think I said that to scare you away from using spam methods to conquer MSN. If you think that is the best thing for you than go right ahead and try it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you that someday that castle is going to crumble. I would much rather have spent my time building a fortified city than a sand castle.
Ohh BTW to those of you who got the MSN feedback email. Reply to it and give suggestions. Give them tips to improve their search engine to be more relevant like Googles. Don’t ignore them. It is hard to get them to listen but if they ask you for advise take advantage of it. You never know what they might do….
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