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Hey MSN! This Is Why You Suck!

The InternetHey Microsoft! Pay attention to this! I’m writing it so you’ll get a clue!

Here is a perfect example of why people prefer Google’s search algorithm to the one you use. I was cleaning up my mp3 collection, and stumbled upon a song by Basement Jaxx. The filename was truncated, so I lost the title, but I knew it was used in a Levi’s commercial. So I click on my MSN toolbar (which I use to access hotmail, Messenger, the highlight tool, and occasionally the search) and enter the terms:

“Basement Jaxx” “Levi’s Commercial”

Because you have sold out your search to the needs of corporate America you might as well change your name to The MSN Advertising And Marketing Search EngineTM. Your search engine yields a bunch of crap that lists “Levi’s” as a marketing concept and displays a dozen links about the product or people talking about the product, and ancillary references to Basement Jaxx as a band (mostly in a “list of my favorite bands” kind of way).

The trouble is, Levi’s, as a product, is ancillary to my search. I’m looking for information about a song that coincidentally was used in a commercial for the product.

So I visit Google, paste the same search term into the field and hit “I’m feeling lucky.” What popped up was a “Rate Your Music” page for the band’s album. A quick F4 to find “Levi’s” yields:

“Get Me Off” is sexy as hell, “Where’s Your Head At” is loud and catchy & “Do Your Thing” was in a Levi’s commercial (errrrr…).

Now I knew the title of the song, edited the filename appropriately and got back to the work of cataloging music.

So there you have it. Google is better because Google understands the difference between a search for a product name and the search for a product name in conjunction with other terms. I couldn’t have cared less about Levi’s, and Google knew that.

You can release all of the “MSN Live” BS that you can crank out, but until you understand what people are doing online, you’ll never beat Google.

Written by Michael Turk