Natural Search Blog

MSN Live Shuts Down Info for SEO

I was quite disappointed to see that MSN Live announced yesterday that they were shutting off advanced syntax queries such as: link:, linkdomain:, and inurl:. Eytan Seidman, MSN Live’s Lead Program Manager stated that they could tell there was a large amount of automated datamining going on, so they’d unplugged the features completely.

MSN Live Bans Advanced Queries

 Now, I’m completely familiar with how impolite dataminers can impact service for real users — that’s something we police for as well here at But, I’m unhappy because Seidman’s announcement sounds more like it’s not just impolite datamining they’re after — it’s all automated usage of those specialized queries.

Microsoft is quite lite on features supporting the web community and optimizers, so I’m unhappy that they’re halting the very data that supports those folx. While I don’t use those queries much in my work (because their data hasn’t been all that useful to me, and because such a relatively small fragment of our users come through MSN), it seems like a backwards move for them to revoke the functionality.


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