Home > Tips > MSN Tips > Getting High Rankings in MSN
Off Page Factors for High Rankings in MSN
by David Callan.
David is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of AKAMarketing.com.
While the main focus of the MSN algorithm appears to be on page content, you shouldn’t forget to improve your off page content. Off page content includes mainly link anchor text for incoming links to your site. While not as link oriented as heavily as Google, MSN does stress some importance on properly created incoming links.
More important than the links to MSN is the accompanying link anchor text. Make certain that the anchor text contains keyword phrases and that are theme related to the page to which the link is pointed. By careful use of that page’s most important keywords, the receiving page gains in keyword usage and even keyword density value.
MSN is a very content and keyword sensitive search engine. Your use of link anchor text should reflect that keyword preference. Anchor text is the most difficult content factor for a Webmaster to manipulate, the value of link text is high for all search engine algorithms. MSN is certainly no exception to that rule.
MSN Search formerly had an agreement with the Zeal/Looksmart Internet directories to provide their results. While that formal agreement is no longer in place, MSN continues to maintain a less formal arrangement with the directories. Instead of displaying the directory listings on a regular basis, MSN Search is able to utilize the directory listings at its discretion. In other words, the Zeal/Looksmart directory listings may be part of any search results; or they might not.
In the past, under the formal agreement with Zeal/Looksmart, it was a very wise choice to have your site include in the directory listings. Inclusion in the MSN endorsed directories would boost your site high in the MSN search results. While that advantage has lessened, it has not disappeared entirely. There is still some solid benefit to being included in the Zeal/Looksmart directory.
Inclusion in the Looksmart directory is not free. It’s up to the individual website owner to determine if the potential for higher search rankings in MSN and a few visitors straight from the directory are worth the inclusion fee. A cost and benefit analysis is essential for making that decision.
If the higher MSN ranking and potential customer value outweighs the cost of inclusion, then it’s worth your while to include your business in the Looksmart directory. Inclusion in the Zeal directory is free for non-profit websites, but requires some time effort for the site to become listed.
Optimization for the MSN search engine requires careful attention to both on page and off page factors.
On the page, MSN will reward the frequent use of your keywords. Be careful not to get too carried away, however, and risk reaching the level of spam. MSN looks very closely at your web pages, so attention must be paid to your page titles, your Meta Tags, page descriptions, and keyword density. Even proper keyword usage in your page URLs is important points to consider.
Off page factors to consider are the use of keyword rich anchor text for your incoming links. MSN values link text very highly, as it is the least manipulable of the content factors.
Inclusion in the Zeal/Looksmart directories may have some value for your online business as well. Even if only for the link and the potential boost in the search engine rankings, directory inclusion is worthy of consideration.
If you pay close attention to your keywords and content, MSN Search will reward your website with strong search engine rankings.
Article by David Callan. David is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of AKAMarketing.com webmaster forums. Visit his webmaster forums for the latest discussions on search engines, website authoring and Internet marketing related issues and topics.