MSN is probably the most abused and “out of shape” search engine around. While I really have nothing against MSN/Live, it’s a fact that they give me less organic traffic when compared to Google or Yahoo. Which is indeed a very good reason for bloggers and webmasters to focus their efforts on Google rather than MSN.
While Live Image search is far superior to Google Image search, Live is not able to beat Google in Web search for obvious reasons. However Live is very popular in some niche regions, and for this reason some of my clients would like to optimize their sites for MSN along with Google.
If you are interested to optimize your blog for MSN Live, here are a few ranking metrics that would help you prioritize your SEO efforts to MSN. Here goes..
- Keyword Density
Just like Google, MSN also gives importance to keyword density in the copy. While it’s yet to be found out as to what is the average keyword density MSN accepts, I’m assuming that it should be closer to what Google suggests, 6%.
- Keywords in Title
This one’s the hot favorite for all SE’s and MSN is no different. To test it’s importance, just do a normal search for any keyword and compare it with the results for allintitle:same keyword search. Both results would be mostly similar.
- Anchor text of incoming Links
You all know what it is. The text other use to link to your site Anchor text to internal pages too play a handsome role in discovering content on your blog. I’m assuming that this is the third most important factor, but honestly it is to be found out from further experiments.
- Keywords in H1
Keywords included in H1 tags are also picked up by MSN crawlers and is evident from the bolded content in the SERPs results page.
- Strong keywords
Keywords included in the STRONG tag, is also seen picked up by MSN crawlers and has more importance to other text in the copy.
Though many of the onsite optimization metrics are similar to Google’s, MSN has a unique algorithm to rank sites on the SERPs. It’s definitely not a fool proof one as of now, but Live sure is catching up in many areas. Let’s give them some more time.