MSN Search Beta Personalization Feature Update

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Microsoft has just launched an updated Beta version of their new search engine, it contains some intriguing new personalization features.

Today Microsoft launched an updated Beta version of their new search engine. It contains some intriguing new personalization features. The preview can be seen at:

The main MSN website still uses Inktomi to power its search results, and whilst generally the Beta of MSN Search still has a long way to go to be a fully fledged product, there is one part of it that demands much closer inspection, the Search Builder, which is accessible just below the search box.

It contains the same basic functions as most other search engines: Search Terms, Site/Domain restriction, Country/Region, Language options, but there is an additional feature called ‘Results Ranking’ which gives an indication of the direction MSN may be taking in personalization.

‘Results Ranking’ has three equalizer slider(s) that a searcher can use to customise the results. They are interesting because the sliders have an impact at algorithmic level, influencing the way the search engine actually looks for results. This is a novel approach to personalization as most user level search engine filters are applied to a set of results, delivered via a standard query mechanism.

How to use the slider:

1.    To modify your search to add emphasis to sites that have been recently added to the search index, you move the third slider up.

2.    To add emphasis to sites by the number of other sites that link to them, move the middle slider up.

3.    To put the most emphasis on the match between your exact search words and your results, move the first slider up. This will de-emphasize the two other rankings as search parameters.

Neutralize (**) will be testing the equalizer functionality for ourselves as part of our optimisation readiness programme for the full MSN Search. While most people believe MSN wont be able to compete with Google or Inktomi we think there’s some interesting potential there. We can’t wait to see what they come up with in the final version.

To monitor your sites visibility in MSN Search Beta keep an eye our free toolset.

For the full release including screenshots visit:

For further details please contact:

Lucy Cokes, Neutralize (**)

Tel: 0870 0630707

Fax: 0870 0630708


About Neutralize:
Neutralize is one of the UK’s leading full service search marketing agencies recognised for technical excellence in both the organic and paid search sectors. An Overture Accredited SEM (Search Marketing Company), UK Premier Affiliate to Atlas OnePoint(GoToast) the search management system and a Contributor Member of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation) the global body representing members of the search engine marketing industry. Clients include the Computacenter, Pearson Books, Houses of Parliament, Asserta Home, OCRA and the Eden Project.

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Edward Cowell
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