Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Does Live Search index Live Spaces?

with 9 comments

I have a confession to make, I’m partial to the odd ego search; that’s the colloquial term for typing your name into a search engine to see what comes back.

Happily (for me and my ego) my main work-focused blog comes up top on a Google search whilst my Live Spaces blog (the one you’re reading right now) comes in a respectable fifth:

google search results for jamie thomson [N.B. I would like it to be known that the “Jamie Thomson” who got fined £125 for eating in McDonalds’ car park in Dec 2007 was NOT me – I wasn’t even in the country at that time. You can imagine some of jokes at my expense after that one though! Anyhow, I digress…]

So, Google finds me pretty well. The same is nowhere near true on Live Search though. Sure, my work blog comes up first again (and again in third bizarrely) but my Live Spaces blog is nowhere to be seen:

live search results for jamie thomsonI scrolled through the first 100 Live Search results to find that my Live Profile came in 9th (and 18th), my Flickr stream came in 25th (and 37th), the Live Event I set up for my wedding came in 42nd, the mobile version of my Live Spaces blog was in at 48, my SkyDrive is in at 83 and finally my Live Spaces guestbook was in at 84.

Where on earth is my Live Spaces blog  (http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com) though? Google puts it fifth, on Live Search it isn’t even in the top 100. I’m stunned that Microsoft’s own search engine doesn’t deem my blog which is hosted on THEIR blogging engine that contains “jamiethomson” in the URL to not be relevant when someone searches for “jamie thomson”. Do they even bother to index their own sites? I don’t think its an unfair expectation of Live Spaces users that Microsoft’s own search engine would index their Live Spaces blog satisfactorily.

Don’t go thinking that searching for “jamiethomson” (the exact term that appears in the URL of my Live Spaces blog) works any better either. Searching for that didn’t turn it up in the first 30 results and after that I got tired of looking.

I’m constantly rooting for Live Search to come good and admittedly it does have some nice features such as infinite image scroll (and here’s news of another nice feature discovered today) but this little egotistical experiment doesn’t give me any confidence that Live Search is particularly useful. If Google thinks my Live Spaces blog is relevant then I’m glad that 70+% of people are using it.

Also, don’t go thinking that this is an isolated case. Time after time my experience tells me is that that Google’s results are more relevant than Microsoft’s.

I haven’t finished. More critique:

Get yourself a decent search engine Microsoft, you’ve been at it long enough and by now you’ve run out of excuses!

Incidentally, if you want commentary on Live Search’s current ills then Danny Sullivan’s article Tough love for Microsoft Search (published 4 days ago) is great food for thought.

-Jamie

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Written by Jamiet

January 3, 2009 at 2:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. When I search for my full name John J Kavanagh it comes up first but if I drop the middle initial I get nothing useful. I know with an HTML page you could get hits either way because of the keywords or description tag, but I don’t think there is anything similar in Spaces or Live profile.

    John

    January 3, 2009 at 3:35 am

  2. My name comes up #3, my personal website (www.robertstinnett.com) comes up #2. The #1 slot is taken by an author with the same name as me.

    Robert

    January 3, 2009 at 4:23 am

  3. my live profile shows up first, then spaces, then comments that i’s made on other spaces, weird how it’s not consistent

    Nik

    January 3, 2009 at 8:32 am

  4. As always Jamie your posts and findings are always interesting! I tried this and Live Search found my profile,then my Windows Live Member profile, then Technogran’s profile, and a Technogran – the Windows Blog, but as you say no mention of my actual Space itself! Its strange isn’t it? Its as if our actual Space and the word have disappeared from the wide blue yonder! Will try with Google and see what it comes up with!

    technogran

    January 3, 2009 at 11:47 am

  5. Live Search is so quirky! I know how you feel. Sometime I search for a certain blog, and instead of just the blog, they have articles that were posted on the blog, but not the direct blog page. It’s kinda annoying. Some pages don’t work, some text descriptions are outdated like you pointed out, it’s really stupid. I wonder if the Live Search team actually use it on a personal basis. I looked for blog once, and it was listed at the top. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. When it isn’t, there’s a link to a post on my blog, but not the direct blog. They really need to fix it up.

    Michael

    January 4, 2009 at 12:09 am

  6. My experiment, I googled mindydamico, mindy damico, mindy mvp, mindy qna, mindy clubhouse, and I have almost whole pages of results that are only me. The same with images and the same key words but only a few showed me down in the results.However, when I did a search on Live Search I got a lot more results and relevant results to what I expected represents what I do and post and want attention brought to….The image search was more accurate and had many images that were not pulled on google that were to obscure websites that I have not updated in awhile.I really REALLY am impressed!!!Thanks for the challenge Jamie!!!

    Mindy

    January 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  7. Thanks for pointing this out Jamie. Rob and I have started chatting with the folks on the Live Search team to see what improvements we can bring in this area.

    Dare

    January 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm

  8. Searching for "Greg Edwards," my WL Profile pops up at #4, and my LinkedIn profile at #8. No reference to my WL Space in the top 100, even when I search for "Greg’s Space." Using the search keyword "gregsedwards" (part of the space’s URL) yields a quick #1 return, though.

    Greg

    January 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm


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