One of the most entertaining SEO forum threads I have ever read is over at WebmasterWorld right now. It is actually two threads (one is a continuation of another). It is in the Microsoft Search forum, and both MSNdude (a MSN representative) and Googleguy (a Google representative) have chimed in on the beta version of the new MSN search engine. There is some good information to be found, as well as some surprising comments. Go grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and prepare to spend a half hour or so reading through this thread (the latest one) and this thread (the original one).
Here are a few quotes from the threads...
msndude: How does one get into the results? All of our web results are generated algorithmically so you cannot buy your way into the index. We will not try and teach site optimization to you guys - assume you have that covered 🙂 If you want to submit your URL to us you can do that at http://beta.search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx
msndude: ...there has been some speculation on some online forums about MSNBot using Google search result pages to build our index. Let us set the record straight - that is simply not true.
Googleguy thanks msndude for "debunking the notion that MSN is crawling via scraping Google's index somehow."
Googleguy also recommends that everyone try to reverse-engineer the MSN search results! "MSN has promised to move their new technology over to the main search box by the end of January. That's less than 2.5 months, so I recommend that everyone spend their full attention coming up to speed on beta.search.msn.com" ... He also says, "Most search engine optimizers will be fascinated by the ability to play with sliders and try to reverse-engineer how Microsoft is ranking. Not since Nutch have people gotten such a good view at the different components in ranking for a major search engine. Because of that and the fact the MSN has promised their new search will go live by January, I'd get busy playing. "
By the time I got through these threads, I felt like I had been watching a boxing match in which the fighters were wearing marshmallow-filled gloves. The fight is currently genteel and polite, but the undercurrents of future sparring is interesting.
It has been a long, long time since SEO has been so entertaining.