Q&A With the MSN Search Team

By Scott

Rand over at SeoMoz summarized a Q&A session where the MSN search development team posted answers to questions from those in the search community through SEOChat.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Rand: Is it possible to hurt a site’s rankings by pointing too many links to it too quickly or by pointing too many low quality links at it? Is there concern that these techniques could be used maliciously against a legitimate site?

MSN: A good analogy here is you want to play in good neighborhoods. If you have a lot of spam sites point to your page then, well, your page starts to look like spam. On the other hand, if you are endorsed by many high quality sites then there is a good chance that your site is also high quality.

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Rand: What would you consider to be the most important factor in determining the relevance of a website besides who links to that website?

MSN: The most important factor is ultimately users. Do your users rave about your content? Do they point to your content as a definitive source? MSN is working to ensure that the most relevant content for a particular query is returned to users. If you build what users think is highly relevant then MSN Search will work to reflect that.

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Rand: How does a brand new website get respect (rankings)? Even with fantastic content, it’s hard to stand out without many, many links. What should I do to get exposure for my long efforts and investments?

MSN: The focus should be on high quality, organic link building as described above.

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Rand: Does the MSN Search Engine measure, index and/or weight the meta keywords tag, Hx tags, alt tags in images or the “title?? attribute in links?

MSN: Yes, we do use all of these tags with the exception of the meta keywords tag. We do not index data from the meta keywords tag because it is not visible to the user in a standard browser. Additionally, it has a long history of being spammed.

Link to Rand’s full article.