Archive for the ‘Live Search (MSN)’ Category

Go Green, Recyle Old Links – SEO Tip 50

Friday, December 14th, 2007 |

SEO TipsWell, I’m almost done with my 52 SEO tips, only 3 more to go so I’m trying to finish strong. And since going green is the theme lately, I’m following the trend. Recycling links can be an important part of your link building campaign.

We often overlook the links we already have or links we didn’t actively build ourselves. Your site may already have links pointing to it, but if those links aren’t keyword-rich links then you are missing out on potential SEO benefits.

Let me give you a great example of a missed opportunity. is a leading job search website and the have thousands of links pointing to their site. A large number of links is a good thing, but the majority of their links have the link text ‘Snagajob’ in the anchor text. Many of these links are on EDU sites which pass along wonderful link popularity but so much is wasted when the anchor text is your domain name, or worse, your website address (

As part of our strategy for SnagAJob we have been contacting sites with SEO-unfriendly links asking the anchor text to be changed to keyword terms they are trying to rank for such as part-time jobs, jobs, job search, etc. Our success rate is much higher than seeking out new links. And keyword-rich links that have age is a great combination for moving up in the search results.

Do a backlink check with MSN for your site. MSN allows you to search for anchor text too which you can see how to do in my MSN backlink check post. Look for links that could be improved such as those using just your domain name and start contacting those sites linking to you. Requesting changes to your anchor text is a worthwhile investment of your time that could reap better rankings in the search engines.

‘Going Green’ never felt so good and your site may thank you with an influx of new traffic.

Find Competitor Backlinks with MSN Live – SEO Tip Week 46

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 |

Update 1/15/08: This feature is no longer working with MSN Live.

Check on the backlinks from your competitors is part of the competitive analysis of any good SEO consultant or “expert”. Up until recently using Yahoo to research competitor backlinks was the only search engine you could do this in effectively. Well, now is also back in the game and showing you backlinks to websites. But they also have a nice trick for using keywords to narrow your search.

If you visit and search for the following: “seo tips” you will be show search results that have links pointing to and also have the phrase ‘seo tips’ on that page that links to Be sure to include the plus sign (+) at the front or else you won’t get any results. You can click this link to see the search results for yourself: “seo tips”.

This can be an extremely useful research tool and adding the keyword phrase to the search makes it a even more valuable tool in your SEO toolbox.

When to Use a 301 vs. 302 Redirect – SEO Tip Week 35

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 |

SEO TipsThere are two types of redirects you can use, a 301 and a 302. These numbers refer to the HTTP Status Code returned by the server for a given URL. A 301 redirect tells the search engine that the page has moved permanently to the new URL. A 302 redirect tells the search engine that the move is only temporary, and you may decide to show content at the original location in the future without a redirect.

301 Redirects
All three major search engines handle 301 redirects the same, that is to say they ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. For example, uses a 301 redirect to and Google, MSN and Yahoo all return the result when searching for “beeker furniture”. The word beeker doesn’t appear anywhere on the site, and a site search in Google shows that only the home page has any relevance for the word. Clicking on the Cached link in the site search results further shows that the word only exists in links pointing to the site, “These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: beeker.” Those links Google is referring to are actually pointing to and the 301 redirect is passing along the relevance of the word beeker to

301 redirects can be very powerful when you redesign your site and the URLs change, move to a different domain, acquire a new domain, or implement a URL rewrite. In most cases, this is the type of redirect you want to use because you know exactly how the search engines will respond.

302 Redirects
The three major engines handle 302 redirects very differently, and because of this 302s are typically not recommended.

Google treats 302 redirects differently depending if they are on-domain or off-domain. An example of an on-domain redirect is which uses a 302 redirect to If you search for “oakland a’s” in Google you will see that is displayed in the results because links point to that URL, which in turn uses a 302 redirect to the destination page. This is a great example where 302 redirects can be used effectively, since the shorter URL looks much more enticing in the results pages.

Off-domain 302 redirects would be ripe for hijacking situations if treated the same way. Because of this, in most cases, Google will treat off-domain 302 redirects like 301s, where they will ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. I say most cases because Google will sometimes determine that the 302 is legitimate & index the original URL instead. An example of an off-domain redirect is which uses a 302 redirect to a third-party site In this case, Google determined that this was a legitimate use of a 302 redirect and displays when searching for “pets roanoke”.

Pets Roanoke Google Search

MSN treats 302 redirects exactly how it treats 301 redirects, it will always ignore the original URL and instead index the destination URL. A search for “oakland a’s” in MSN shows the URL in its results. And a search for “pets roanoke” shows in its results.

Yahoo takes the same stance that MSN takes, except that they reserve the right to make exceptions in handling redirects. A search for “oakland a’s” in Yahoo shows the URL in its results. ( also uses a 302 redirect to But a search for “pets roanoke” shows in its results.

Pets Roanoke Yahoo Search

There are very few times where you actually want a 302 redirect, although they are used more often than 301s merely because most people don’t know the difference. 302 redirects are often the default redirect in website control panels, and JavaScript or Meta redirects will produce a 302 status as well. In certain situations however, 302 redirects work wonders.

As with all our tips, please use them responsibly. When in doubt, use a 301 redirct.

Sitemaps for Websites are Automatic

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 |

As of April 11th there is no longer a need to manually submit your sitemap to search engines. Last fall, the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) agreed on a sitemaps format. You can now add a simple line to your robots.txt file and let the engines know where your sitemap file resides.

Include the following line in your robots.txt file:

Robots.txt has been used to instruct the search engines how to crawl your site – where not to go on your site. This latest sitemaps implementation of robots.txt will now tell the spiders where to go when indexing your site..

Sitemaps are important, especially for new sites, will help improve your website visibility in search results.

What is a xml sitemap?

Google Recommendation for Search

Friday, February 2nd, 2007 |

Since Google and the other search engines are a big part of my life, my wife would say too big of a part, I try weird searches every now and then. Today I did a search for the term “search” (without quotes) and then clicked the I’m Feeling Lucky button.

Very interesting what site that Google takes you to. Care to take a guess before giving it a try? It ain’t Google.

I wonder if Google is trying to tell us something? I guess this proves that the search results are truly not manipulated.

Sitemap support from MSN, Yahoo and Google

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 |

google has really done a great job making sitemaps integral for any true SEO company and now it seems as if the other big two are following suit.

You can read more about it from, the homepage for this new initiative:

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

Will this be widely employed? Check out the big 3 and see: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft

Meta Search Engine Provides SEO Tool

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 |

ZippyZippy was launched in September by the seasoned SEO Dave Naylor, and provides some valuable tools for site optimization.Zippy’s design is similar to Technorati’s new design, with a minimalist white background and lots of bright colors. The site is pretty easy to use, and has a slick feel with the help of some ajax. It took only a few minutes worth of playing around to really get a grasp on the functionality. However, a tutorial or features page, would be nice to help introduce the functionally to a new user.

The basic search functionality for Zippy queries Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask and mashes the results together. It then ranks the results among the four.

Zippy is a new meta search engine that queries other major engines and returns results in a format most suited for Webmasters and SEOs. Read more.

Ms. Dewey Search Engine

Monday, October 23rd, 2006 |

Well, someone (Microsoft) finally made a search engine that throws Google’s logic in the face of everything we know about search engines. Ms. Dewey is uses Live Search (Microsoft’s search engine) to produce search results so I’m inclined to think this is merely a marketing ploy and not a serious attempt and reinventing how we search.

If you go to the siteand take a look you’ll see it requires flash and there is video and slick looking screen. No simple white background and minimal design like Google. It also takes 3 times as long to display results and you can only view a few at a time without scrolling. So why would someone give it a try? Well, it is fun, it is a nice brief diversion and its something different, if only for a day. Oh, did I mention it is hosted by Janina Gavankar. What male internet searcher wouldn’t want an attractive femal interacting with them if even she is only real in cyber space.

I’m sure most people will denounce Ms. Dewey for her long downloads, poor user interface and complication of what should be a very simple procedure. But on the other hand, it was cute (probably too cute for most searchers), made me think about why search works now and it did prompt me to write a blog post about it.

The question now is when will they build a search engine with a female perspective in mind.

Search Engine Loyalty

Thursday, July 20th, 2006 |

It turns out that searchers are more than willing to use multiple search engines according to Nielsen/NetRatings. In January 2005 Google reported 71 million unique searchers, 58 percent of which had used another search engine. Yahoo’s percentage was higher – 71 percent.

So how does this affect your search engine optimization efforts? It shows that you cannot afford to only concentrate on the rankings you are receiving in one search engine. Currently the market is dominated by Google, Yahoo and MSN with several other engines sharing a small percentage of traffic. And all these search engines have different methods of drawing their results giving different levels of importance to content, links, page elements, etc.

Monitoring your search results across multiple search engines for multiple keywords gives you a truer picture of how well you are ranked. By not putting all your eggs in one basket you can reach more of your targeted market.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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