Is Microsoft filtering out from its Live Search results those it considers "undesirable" for the company?
That's what one of my tipsters has suggested with some interesting evidence, involving a blog known as "Shipping Seven."
Shipping Seven is penned anonymously by someone who has said s/he is part of the Windows 7 team at Microsoft. As one might assume, given Microsoft management's decision to be less transparent about its future plans, Microsoft is not too fond of the Shipping Seven blog. Company officials have declined to comment in any way on the blog, as well as on Windows 7, the version of Windows expected in 2009 or 2010.
Try this. Go to Live Search (www.live.com) and type in "'Shipping Seven' blog." The results? Lots of blogs and news sites talking about the Shipping Seven blog. But no link to the Shipping Seven blog itself (at least not in the first several pages of results I examined).
Now try the same query in Google search. The direct link to the Shipping Seven blog is the fourth link. On Yahoo Search , the same search yields as result No. 1 the actual Shipping Seven blog link.
Coincidence? Crack down? Microsoft's statement, delivered via a company spokesman:
"Results in Live Search are based solely on our algorithms and the frequency in which the engine crawls a particular site, we don't editorialize the organic results of search queries."
Seems like somebody needs to tweak an algorithm over on the Live Search team....