another view

Story: Is the MSN search engine being used in the battle to kill Linux?Total Replies: 6
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Sep 29, 2004
10:30 AM EDT
I incline to give good credibility scores to your speculation.

However, there is another possibility: perhaps MSN Bot is just plain stupid, and needs to be a lot more pedantic (i.e. to generate a lot more hits) than Google Bot in order to achieve the same results. Keep in mind that Google still is the best search engine on the Internet while Microsoft is still playing catch-up, so don't be surprised to see Microsoft emphasizing volume to achieve what they can't achieve through smartness. The old "i don't have to be smarter, i just need bigger muscles" thing.

I am involved with open source but my website ( ) doesn't have a lot of material that would be interesting to the MSN Bot from the perspective of your assumptions. Yet i do see MSN Bot railgunning my site all the time, while Google Bot barely touches it every now and then. My first thought was: "morons! :-) this bot is really stupid if it has to thrash around that much."

Well, i dunno...

Sep 29, 2004
10:56 AM EDT
I can see your point of view about the MSNbot being just stupid. But just to check it out, take one of my dumb and old links and run a search on it. Then ask yourself, how did this page (which in my logs barely gets a hit) wind up with so many links?

I found 4000 + links on my blog embedded in comment sections. How did all those links get there? I changed the default to no comments, cleared out hundreds and hundreds more appeared. Something is very fishy - I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, but it eats like a horse, smells like a horse, rides like a horse -- so what is it? An elephant?

I agree that it's speculation and you certainly have a point about it being a possibility - maybe a probablity that MSNBot is just stupid. If so, they should pay us back for all the bandwidth they're using. This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 2:03 PM

Sep 29, 2004
12:56 PM EDT
Isn't it amazing that in 2 hours, the results on google changed. The MSN entertainment page is back several to page 3 as is the 1999 Japanese article. They've stripped the MSN entertainment pictures and data, but when I looked in Googles cache, it was just like it was this AM.

Amazing. Do you wish you had $60 billion? But you know, with all their money, they still haven't stopped Linux. Bucky Fuller said, "There's nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come!"

This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 3:56 PM This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 3:58 PM

Sep 29, 2004
1:01 PM EDT
"I found 4000 + links on my blog embedded in comment sections. "

How exactly is the MSN bot creating these links in the comments section? Do you mean that MSN bot hit your site 4,000+ times? This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 4:54 PM

Sep 29, 2004
5:12 PM EDT
If you have a blog and you permit comments, spammers can send out a bot to automatically write a comment and add a link. If a search engine chooses to use those spambot links in their lexicon, it makes the site more popular. The Seachbot - in this case MSNbot can make a site rise in its ratings by checking those links and counting them as valid permalinks. It's one of many ways to harvest linked pages.

Since the search engine does not (necessarily) count hits, it can only know if a page or site is popular by the quantity of links.

Earlier today, I erased over 50 spammer links on one of the blogs I manage which has comments turned off. On the blog with 4000+ spammer links, I had to erase 18 months of content because I couldn't delete just the comments.

This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 8:13 PM This message was edited Sep 29, 2004 8:14 PM

Sep 29, 2004
7:59 PM EDT
tadelste, you could perhaps have used a binary search-and-replace to corrupt the spammer links, if they were all pretty much to the same place or otherwise easily identifiable.

If your blog lives in a database you can probably do something like UPDATE commenttable SET commenttext=REPLACE(commenttext,'oldurl','yoururl') WHERE commentext LIKE '%oldurl%';

Sep 30, 2004
11:21 AM EDT

I really appreciate your message. I tried to remove the comments programmatically. The text existed in the blog entry string and varied so widely that I gave up. The bots also used varying ip addresses - you know the drill: Spam hell.

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