December 8, 2007

Windows Live search is rather different from MSN

Until the middle of this year, I got negligible search engine traffic from either MSN or Yahoo, or indeed any other search engine except Google. We’re literally talking a 90-95% share for Google, on each of my three main blogs, most months.

But in November, the Windows Live share was 19% on DBMS2, 29% on Text Technologies, and 41% on the Monash Report. And those aren’t blips; in each case there was steady August-November monthly growth. But on the other hand, early December month-to-date figures are all back down. Weird.

I presume this has much more to do with how my sites and pages rank on the search engines than it does with the engines’ actual usage volumes or user profiles. (That’s because of the magnitude of the swings.) And I haven’t done much to change the blogs’ SEO, nor has anything qualitatively different happened that I know of with off-page SEO. That leaves as the last two major possibilities:

A. Microsoft search has become a lot blog-friendlier, or at least a lot friendlier to my blog configurations in particular.

B. My sites ran into some kind of weird penalty at Yahoo and Microsoft that has now expired in the Microsoft case.

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