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Google searches for Windows Live Writer fixed! September 4, 2006

Posted by spikew in Google, WindowsLiveWriter.
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The issue with Google searches for Windows Live Writer has been resolved by a fix at Google.  Apparently, the issue was related to Windows Live Spaces in general, not just the Writer Zone blog.  The conversion of urls from the spaces.msn.com to spaces.live.com domains last month caused Google’s search engine to think something fishy was going on and caused spaces.live.com URLs to carry less weight in search results.

After the issue was picked up by Channel 9, and was then Scoblized, there was a lot of speculation about possible causes of the problem.  I’m actually very happy that the theories about this being an SEO issue turned out to be bogus.  While I can understand that SEO techniques have their uses for weighing one link better against another in generalized topic searches (say something like “WYSIWYG Blog Editor“), the idea that inadequate SEO could prevent a link as strongly tied to “Windows Live Writer” as the Writer Zone’s introductory blog post from even showing up in the results would make me seriously doubt the integrity of a search engine.

Matt Cutts from Google has provided some specific details about the fix on his blog: 

By the way, it looks like the primary issue with the Windows Live Writer blog was the large-scale migration from spaces.msn.com to spaces.live.com about a month ago. We saw so many urls suddenly showing up on spaces.live.com that it triggered a flag in our system which requires more trust in individual urls in order for them to rank (this is despite the crawl guys trying to increase our hostload thresholds and taking similar measures to make the migration go smoothly for Spaces). We cleared that flag, and things look much better now.

For a search like [windows live writer], I see the Windows Live Writer blog at number one, and the Windows Live Writer Beta product download page at number 2. Going forward, I’ll keep an eye on the spaces.msn.com to spaces.live.com migration with the crawl folks to make sure that it continues to be smooth. It also looks like Mike Torres is #1 for searches like [torres talking], so overall things look pretty good now.

I’m glad Google was so supportive in investigating and resolving the issue, and that spaces on Windows Live Spaces are now getting their proper rankings in the results.  Now, what’s up with Ask’s results? 🙂

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