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<snip> I realize that I am in a very difficult market for search engine placement. Web Hosting and Web Design, but I must be missing something if I am finding my site in Google but not MSN or the others.
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Do you have any LookSmart listings? MSN's primary results provider is LookSmart so for your site to be found in the top there would have to be only a few LS listings. For pure Inktomi results checkout Hotbot where Inktomi results are the default.

My experience has been that if you do well on Google without a lot of link popularity then you are good to go on many SE because other than link popularity Google focuses on optimization of HTML attributes visible text and internal link architecture.

If you have the bases covered for link popularity and that is the reason for good results then the good news is that optimizing the HTML further will not only raise rankings on other engines it will raise the Google ranking as well. In regards to links from other sites keep in mind that if they are linking to your site using text which is contained in the query you receive a nice boost. My point is figure out why you do well on Google and the answers to why you don't do so well on others is answered.

Also keep in mind most SE are now using link popularity to some degree in their ranking algos. The difference between Google and the others is Google adds analysis of the linking sites. The others for the most part seem to treat all links equally. Teoma may also be analyzing the sites linking to you as part of its "community feature".

In regards to results on sites other than MSN you should check the source to determine exactly what the role of Inktomi is ie:primary or secondary results provider. I haven't done a detailed study but IMHO, Inktomi is often used to supplement a primary provider. For instance in the beginning Overture uses/used Inktomi as secondary provider to its paid listings. IMHO, going straight to the source for this info may be more enlightening then a chart which shows the affiliations. Studying the SERPs can be very helpful in understanding Inktomi's role. Especially if you are familiar with the SERPs on many engines for specific terms.

Off hand other than Hotbot I can't think of any SE where it is a primary provider. I'm sure there are many more I just don't know about them because they aren't on my radar for close analysis. This isn't a big issue nor does it make Inclusion less effective but you should understand what its role is. Also keep in mind who owns them now and the role Inclusion may play in Yahoo's future.

MSN has shown its hand, to some degree, with the recent announcement of hiring 200 programmers to build a paid platform for search. Understanding the role of the algosearch and PPC providers in the SERPs of each of the major portals and niche engines will be very important for maximizing ROI and determining effective optimization.

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the recent deals on MSN sites for PPC using Overture. IMHO, Overture are only placeholders until they finish the paid platform. Read the fine print in all announcements and pay special attention to the Public Qtr and annual results for the "real deal" many aren't exclusive nor are they locked in to the end of the period stated in announcements.

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