MSN Dumps LookSmart
As I reported last week, LookSmart changed their pricing structure to boost their revenues due to MSN’s new search “looming” on the horizon. The horizon just became reality for LookSmart. MSN has announced that they are dumping LookSmart.
What You Should Do Right Now
MSN has been testing their new search portal over the last few months during off-peak hours. While the exact criteria is not known to anyone outside of Microsoft, it is clear there are some basic techniques your website should employ to prepare for the switch:
- Ensure your main pages are submitted to Inktomi’s paid inclusion program. MSN’s agreement with Inktomi runs through 2005, and even though Inktomi is owned by rival Yahoo!, MSN understands Inktomi’s importance is serving reliable results.
- Since MSN has stated they are going after Google’s share of the market, MSN must create an equally effective criteria to serve up correct results as fast as Google does. This means that MSN should create something similar to Google’s PageRank, but Microsoft will learn from Google’s mistake and not make their system public knowledge.
- Link Popularity will definitely be an issue – so if your main criteria is not to accept links from sites with a PageRank of less than 4/10, you may want to rethink your strategy now, as every link to your site should be factored into the new MSN equation.
- As LookSmart has been dumped by MSN, Zeal will be dumped as well. Move your focus away from getting your sites listed in Zeal and focus on getting listed in the top directories in your industry – even the smaller ones.
- Make sure your site has a clear Robots.txt file, a Site Map, and can be easily crawled by search engine spiders.