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Why MSN Won't Make It as a Search Engine

Aug 18, 2007
MSN has been continually losing what little footing they had as a search engine. Every month their search engine market share percentage decreases by a percentage or two. You wouldn't think that was much except that if the trend continues, they'll have 0 market share before the end of the year.

So as big as MSN is, you would think they would be able to come up with some incredible fix to this fairly large problem. MSN thinks so too. They have hired new people to come up with something totally new that no one has ever seen before. That's great and I'm all for it, but the problem with this solution to the problem is that building something "new" doesn't fix the real problem. The problem is Google. People want Google. People use Google. Anyone who is anyone uses Google as their search engine, Not MSN. As far as I'm concerned, the only people who use MSN (on a consistent basis) are the people who don't know how to change their default homepage in Internet Explorer. Am I right? And it's not that MSN is a terrible search engine. In fact, it's very up to par. The problem is, it's only up to par. It's not better than Google or Yahoo and so no one who uses either of those search engines is going to switch over to MSN. So why isn't their market share at least stying dormant? Because who doesn't want to use the best search engine?

You see MSN, Google has already filled the "best search engine" quota. Everyone knows it and unless Google really messes up somehow, they will continue to fill the "best search engine" quota forever. And knowing Google, they're not going to mess that up. In fact, there has been recent worry that with all of the acquiring Google is doing in so many different areas, they have stopped focusing on search. However, an official Google representative, Matt Cutts, debauches that theory by saying that their search team just continues to grow and more and more people are devoted to improving it's quality every day. You just don't hear about that because that's not interesting news. The interesting news is the acquisitions that Google has been making and how much money they are spending on buying out these already large companies. So everyone hears that news and the news of increasing quality, relevancy, and functionality of the search engine is smothered out.

So, I hope that whatever "new" thing MSN comes up with is really "new" and by "new" I mean something that can fill a new best-of, because the search engine best-of has already been filled. Good Luck MSN. I hope you don't continue to try and fill the void that is no more a void and hasn't been for a few years now. I know you'll try anyway, and you'll probably keep trying after all of your failed attempts. You'll spend millions and millions of dollars just to slam your head against a brick wall. And will you eventually stop? Probably not, and probably because millions and millions of dollars won't even make a dent in the company's pocket.

So what does this have to do with Search Engine Optimization? Well there are a few good reasons why this topic is a legitimate SEO topic. First, if you know that MSN is not going to make it as a search engine, then you don't need to optimize your site for them. Instead focus on the big search engines such as Google and Yahoo and the up and coming search engines like Ask. Second, knowing the reasons behind why MSN isn't going to make it as a search engine should help you to realize why you are or are not going to make it in your industry. Think about your competition. Is there anyone in your industry who you think really dominates the industry? Is there any particular company you think would be classified by the majority of people as "the best" in the industry? If not, that void needs to be filled. Go for it yourself! However, if you said yes, don't do what MSN is trying to do by trying to push a mountain out of their way. Instead, narrow your industry and become more niche so that you can be the best in that niche. Learn from others mistakes. Believe me, it's the easy route.
About the Author
Terry Fitzroy is a professional writer specializing in Search Engine Optimization techniques and information. For further reading on Utah SEO please visit www.searchbanter.com
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