Microsoft’s MSN division has launched a sneak peek beta test of its new MSN Search Engine. The new MSN Search is a full speed ahead effort for Microsoft to catch Google and Yahoo in the search engine race. Last week Microsoft’s Bill Gates commented that Google has blown away Microsoft in the realm of search, confirming that Google “kicked our butts” in a statement given at the World Economic Forum.
The new MSN Search Beta Test can be previewed at http://beta.search.msn.com
At first glance MSN more or less uses the same style for their layout, but now clearly differentiates the difference between organic search results and paid search advertising. A plus for MSN.
If you search for “online marketing” on the current MSN Search you’ll find a mixture of Looksmart driven Web Directory listings, Overture Sponsored Link ads, and Featured Sites… all peppered over the organic Inktomi results.
The New Beta Version is rumored to be delivering results from MSNBot, the new search engine developed by Microsoft (you may sometimes see Inktomi results during testing). The listings show no directory driven sites and are much cleaner… gearing up for a new IE browser that’s MSN Search friendly and Microsoft’s new toolbar. Here’s the same “online marketing” search on MSN Search’s Beta Test.
According to a statement on ResourceShelf, MSN Product Manager Karen Redetzk reports that
“In order to increase relevancy, MSN Search is testing solutions on MSN Search to a small percentage of consumers in various markets worldwide. Tests serve as no indication as to the direction MSN will eventually take in the future but rather are research to determine the most useful consumer experience on MSN Search. Tests or changes in one country do not necessarily indicate what may or may not be tested or changed in the US or other markets. We determine the needs of customers in individual markets and make the best decision for that market based on both consumer and advertiser wants & needs.”
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