MSN Tops Search Relevancy Study

May 3, 2006 | 1,541 views | by Candid SEO
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According to a study by Intralink, a Cincinnati web marketing research, search engine optimization and consulting firm, MSN provides the most relevant search results as compared to other search engines. In total five factors were considered, which are relevancy, freshness of content, failure rate, difficult search results, and non-organic or extra features. Difficult search queries as “car dealer fargo north dakota” were tried.

The results, as we know, is that MSN returns the most relevant results. According to Intralink President Eric Gurr “It was a little surprising to us, that’s why we put the list of sample searches on there. We didn’t think anybody would believe the search. Their search has gotten a lot more relevant and had a lot fresher content than we really expected.”

However, one important factor is that the Interlink study looked only at organic search results. This is where Google lost out because many of its organic results lead to affiliate sites and link farms. For example, in the search for “Chicago car dealer,” Interlink lowered Google’s marks because none of the first-page results showed a specific car dealer; instead, the search returned lists of directories. Gurr remarked “We’ve noticed a lot of frustration in search,” Gurr said. “The problem with link farms is they often go to other directories, so it takes three or four clicks to get to a car dealer.”

The study also said-

Other searches were weighted on expected results and the competition. A search for "Abraham Lincoln biography", had better return a biography of Ambraham Lincoln. If we searched for a "car dealer in Chicago", we wanted a car dealer. Every search engine however showed at least three or four directories of car dealers in Chicago. In some of the searches, the only results returned on the first page, were links to directories. This caused the search engine to lose relevancy.

There were several other factors we considered for the final report. How quickly the search engine found new sites and how fresh the content was. In the end we performed thousands of searches we think will benefit our marketing and SEO business as well as the casual internet searcher.

Read more about the study.