MSN makes its move on search
MSN has unveiled a big upgrade for its search engine to take on Google and Yahoo! at their own game.
The Microsoft subsidiary is cleaning up its results, by eliminating paid inclusion and separating so called algorithmic results from paid results. It says the relevancy of results is improved by 45 per cent, bringing it up to par with market leader Google. The search engine now links directly to Encarta, Microsoft's encyclopaedia, and everything is presented through a new, simpler, faster-to-access home page.
Today's launch represents a $100m investment in search, MSN says.
The Internet portal will take a short-term hit from the changes: it expects to lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the removal of paid inclusion. But it has to give people a reason to use its search engine, rather than that of Google, the runaway search market leader. Also, it has to keep up with its other big rival, Yahoo!, which is investing heavily in algorithmic and paid search, both organically and through acquisition.
Besides, more users means more people clicking on paid results - text search ads - which means longer-term revenue uplift.
MSN still relies upon Yahoo!'s Inktomi technology to power its search engine. However, it is alpha testing its own in-house effort and aims to launch a new algorithmic search engine and other search services "within the next year". ®
Consumers don't trust paid-for search
Wanadoo rapped for 'misleading' search results
Amazon.com tiptoes into search arena
Ask Jeeves if it ate Excite.com
Curtain draws on Google's Yahoo! gig
Why Microsoft could be Google's best bet
Google swallows another competitor
Yahoo! buys! Overture!
FindWhat.com buys Espotting for $163m
Ask Jeeves flogs enterprise search biz
Ask Jeeves: Why did you junk Espotting for Google?
Overture buys FAST's web search biz
AltaVista flogged to Overture
Yahoo! buys! Inktomi!
Inktomi back to square one after Verity search sale
Sponsored: Global DDoS threat landscape report