I read a fascinating post over at Seeking Alpha's Blog detailing his research on, what appears to be, Microsoft screening websites utilizing Adsense and Google's Search Box on their sites. I included the full post below so you could read, but I also ran my own tests which I wanted to share as well.
As you read this blog, you can see Adsense on the right hand side as well as in between posts on the homepage so this site would 'qualify' for MSN screening if this were true. That being said, I did a search for 'Search Marketing Blog' in both Google and Yahoo and achieved top 20 rankings for both (click on the links to see the search results - #13 & #17 respectively from my data center).
I then proceded to search for the same term in MSN - nothing!! This is an extremely competitive keyword with over 18 million pages being returned in Google and 174 million in Yahoo. My blog should be SOMEWHERE within the top 100 in MSN!!! But it isn't! What gives?
Without further ado, please read the full article below and please post your thoughts on the matter!
I publish a half a dozen websites which all have something in common - they are non-commercial and family friendly, and all carry Google search and AdSense. These websites used to be indexed and show up in search results at MSN, Google, and Yahoo.
About three months ago, I noticed that these websites completely disappeared on MSN search but are still on Yahoo and Google. Nothing has changed on these sites that would make MSN remove it from its index.
In trying to understand what happened, I used MSN to search for information using common keywords and examined the results. One thing immediately caught my attention - none of the results returned by MSN involved websites carrying Google search and AdSense. There were a few websites listed that carry the ads (but without the Google search box) that were listed farther below in the search results.
Is MSN blocking, or delisting from its index, websites that carry Google AdSense and the Google search box?
If MSN and Yahoo combine, and the combined internet company would have the majority of the internet's traffic, what would prevent MSFT from stifling the competition by blocking from the new MSN-Yahoo search engine those websites carrying Google search and AdSense?
As a web publisher, I'm concerned that the successful acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft will force me to drop Google search and AdSense if my sites were to show up in a new MSN-Yahoo search engine.
I'm bringing this matter up because I'm not sure if this situation is unique to me, or if there is a pattern out there. Perhaps this is ongoing on a larger scale? This could be nothing, or this could be the tip of an iceberg.