A New Search Engine (And Why You Should Care)
As a test, I dug some phrases out of old articles that appeared in this publication ages ago, now buried deep within our archives. A Google search finds them on our site. An MSN search does not. But, a search on the new beta version MSN search does find them. Once MSN replaces its old search engine with the new, the deepest recesses of your website will be open to those who conduct their internet searches on MSN.
If you would like to try the beta (test) version of the new MSN search, here is the link: http://beta.search.msn.com
The next question for those interested in search engines is how to achieve better rankings with the new MSN. That's a topic beyond the scope of this article, but we would say that the criteria are probably quite similar to those for Google. Essentially, build a good, useful site, with plenty of information, and try to get as many links to your site as possible from other good and useful sites. A quick comparison of rankings indicates that, as compared to Google, Microsoft may put a little more emphasis on the content of your site, and less on the number of incoming links, but for the most part, a site that ranks well in Google will probably rank well in MSN. Build a good, easy to follow site, and the search engines will come. In time, we believe, so will the customers.
Here is one more piece of unrelated, web searching advice. If you have had problems with your Internet Explorer browser, there's a new alternative which, in my admittedly limited experience, works very well. It's Firefox 1.0, recently released by Mozilla. A few years ago, Microsoft crushed the pioneering browser put out by Netscape, raising their market share to something like 95%. There have been a few minor competitors since, such as Opera, but the browser business has been a virtual monopoly. However, some users have found IE to have its faults. Spyware or Adware can invade your computer through it, slowing its operation to a crawl, or generating annoying pop ups that seem to appear out of nowhere and won't go away. I cannot vouch for this, but some people have written that Firefox does a better job of protecting your computer, as well as offering various new features. If you would like to try it out, here's the link to the download: www.mozilla.org/products/firefox. It works on all major operating systems, Windows, Linux, and Mac.