SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

Summary: Bing officially replaced MSN back in June of 2009, so why do SEOs still purport to increase rankings for MSN? Time to change that. It's "Bing" now, people!

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This actually rhymes, so say it with me now: "Stop saying MSN if you live in twenty-ten!"

After receiving an email from an Internet marketer yesterday who offered SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services to increase my rankings in "Google, Yahoo, and MSN," I had just one snarky thought course through my head (which I then posted on Twitter):

Seriously. If you're an SEO consultant/freelancer/agency right now in 2010 and you want to offer customers value and truth, then at least get the names of the search engines right! Bing officially replaced MSN as Microsoft's search engine almost a year-and-a-half ago, so why not take the 15-45 seconds to fire up Dreamweaver (or whatever you use to edit Web pages) and make the change(s) on your site? And while you're at it, how about those emails you're pushing out, too? And, yes; I realize you can still go to MSN, but the search engine it utilizes is Bing. Microsoft has integrated the functionality of Bing into almost every product of theirs at this point: MSN, Windows Live, Xbox 360/Live, Windows Phone 7, et al. There's even a Bing app for the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android!

That's right; a Bing app. Not an MSN app! But a Bing app.

The SEO landscape is one that is inherently filled with hills and valleys, so with all the changes in terminology and techniques that we must adapt to, I'm a bit puzzled as to why this one has eluded so many people. I mean, I know that Bing is really only worth mentioning insofar as it's Microsoft's search engine (let's face it: its market share is nowhere near Google's at the moment and all we SEOs *really* care about is Google), but still. It's not MSN, it's Bing.

Let me clarify here that I'm not blasting all of my wonderful friends and colleagues in this industry who still say "MSN." I'm simply saying that it's outdated verbiage and something that only puts you in the company of outdated SEOs who use it out of ignorance (and that's giving them the benefit of the doubt). A year-and-a-half later, it just *might* be time to stop saying "MSN" and start saying "Bing" -- no matter how much you may hate saying it. :)

"Stop saying MSN if you live in twenty-ten! Stop saying MSN if you live in twenty-ten!"

Topics: Collaboration, Browser

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31 comments
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  • No, it is freaking MSN. Sure they changed the name, but it is still the

    same JUNK. We could give a sheeeet about Microsoft's marketing speak.
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

      @DonnieBoy Actually, it's not the same product. Bing is far from junk; it's just that people don't care enough to actually give it a fair chance. Bing beats the crap out of Google for shopping, travel, and its map functionality is wonderful. Likewise, Windows Phone 7 may well stand a chance to finally regain mobile market share for Microsoft. If that happens, then you can expect SEO lingo to really pick up for optimizing for Bing local (something I'll delve into in a future post).

      Anyway, Bing is so much more than Microsoft's "marketing speak." While the search engine they used for MSN was still in use, Microsoft was developing something brand new that went by the codename "Kumo" -- now known as "Bing." Being a Microsoft bigot is something I'm not sure I'll ever understand -- especially when they actually put out a quality product that people could very well benefit from, like Bing.

      -Stephen
      StephenChapman
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @StephenChapman bullshit, when's your cheque from MS due?
        explodingwalrus
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @StephenChapman Way to go! I did take 5 minutes away from Google to use Bing, and I think it's a good product. It's not for me, but I agree that its mapping and a lot of other things are improved over Google - and much more aesthetically pleasing.

        I went straight back to Google after that. Too much of a shift for me. Google just caters to me much better. I can't do without street view now, and I can just read search results much faster there.
        cgarrett
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @StephenChapman Sorry, but I try Bing once in a while, and find it less accurate and limited. I've never found an advantage for using Bing compared to Google results, to the contrary there's less there. It may be different than MSN, but why use an inferior product?
        linux-user
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @StephenChapman
        "it's just that people don't care enough to actually give it a fair chance"

        Aww poor widdle bing.
        jeverettk
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @StephenChapman
        Butt seriously, not only do I hate how it works for search, butt also the whole "decision engine" thing gives me the effin' creeps bigtime and especially because it's MS(N?oh).
        jeverettk
  • @explodingwalrus

    lol @ the thought that MS pays me simply because I find value in a product of theirs. Once again, I fail to understand the bigoted attitude towards Microsoft -- especially with Bing. Have you ever *actually* used it for travel or shopping? Clearly not -- which is fine, because not everyone rolls like that. All I'm saying is that Bing provides plenty of value -- even if it's not readily apparent to you initially.

    Do I search the Web with Bing? No. I search the Web with Google. What I *do* use Bing almost exclusively for is shopping and travel endeavors. Consider the time and money I save using those functions of Bing as the equivalent of Microsoft giving me a check, if you will. And in that case, Microsoft could be putting money in your pocket, too... but I understand that the value of hating Microsoft for some people is greater than saving money and that's cool! I don't get it, but it's cool! ;)

    -Stephen
    StephenChapman
  • Bing losing market share?

    Last I heard, Bing was steadily GAINING market share. Nowhere near Google, of course, but if there's a decline in market share for Bing, it's a one month number, not a trend.

    J.Ja
    Justin James
    • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

      @Justin James You're absolutely right. I based that comment off of Ballmer's recent comments about Bing (which I wrongfully assumed related directly to its market share). As such, I've edited that comment appropriately! Thanks for the feedback. :)

      -Stephen
      StephenChapman
      • Bing Gaining Market Share??? I'm Not Shure About That...

        @StephenChapman I'm not too sure about basis of the statistics for Bing's market share. I find that many Web pages have those annoying pop-ups that are triggered by mousing-over a link (not clicking on a link). They are exclusively pop-ups driven by Bing and Bing maps. I've unintentionally accounted for thousands of them. They are annoying and unwanted. However, if the Web page hit counters are counting these as Bing searches.... ell they are way off.

        Since I brought it up, does any one know how to turn them off in Chrome and Firefox? Pop-ups are being blocked in the generic options. Thanks
        linux-user
    • Cause it's the default

      @Justin James
      For those on IE. Smart people move away from Bing to Google....

      BING! Failure.
      itguy08
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @itguy08 "Smart people" move away from Bing to Google? Why, because only "stupid people" would *ever* use Bing? lol. *facepalm*
        StephenChapman
      • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

        @itguy08 smart people move the hell away from Google ;)
        Brammie2118
  • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

    Bing is a decent product. So is google.

    I use both search engines together quite happily because I am smart that way!

    I make a personal effort to reject any brand loyalty instincts I may have!!!
    RonanSail
    • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

      @RonanSail This is great feedback and a very important point I don't think too many people consider: Acting purely out of brand loyalty can really be a detriment to how one might otherwise enjoy any other product! Kudos for being one of the seemingly few who see value in both Google *and* Bing. :)

      -Stephen
      StephenChapman
  • @cgarrett

    Thanks for the feedback! I'm essentially in the same boat, with the exception of travel and shopping. Those two functions of Bing really won me over, big time. Google still tremendously wins the day for typical Web browsing and researching, though. I'm not sure that will ever change for me.

    -Stephen
    StephenChapman
  • @linux-user

    I wholeheartedly agree that Bing's Web results are inferior to Google's -- at least in the way I search the Web, but where shopping and travel are concerned, Bing bests Google incredibly. And for someone who does a lot of online shopping and a fair amount of travel, I only offer my support openly for Bing because I've found it incredibly useful. So... hopefully, people will just take that for what it's worth. As I noted in a comment above, though -- I don't foresee myself using Bing in lieu of Google for typical Web search/research any time soon.

    -Stephen
    StephenChapman
  • @linux-user reply 2

    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/bing-overtakes-yahoo-as-the-2-search-engine/

    It's more than just pop-ups that you've supposedly accounted for "thousands of." I can't help but giggle that that generalization. ;) If you took what you said and spread it across every user of the Web, then those metrics would surely take Bing WELL above where it is now. I mean, "thousands of?" How many are we talking here... 1000? 9999? 847,646? lol.

    -Stephen
    StephenChapman
    • RE: SEO Rant: Stop Saying MSN If You Live In 2010

      @StephenChapman Well... it seems like thousands. I'll have to use noscript more often.
      linux-user