New MSN Live Search Algorithm Censors Keyword Results

In the past few weeks, MSN has been doing a lot of changes to its search algorithm and adding features to its SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

For one, MSN Live Search is now a bit more interactive to a user’s search giving more options like adding a news link and asking if it was useful.

These little extra features are a nice little addition to their search engine;however, its the other addition to ther search engine results that are a bit disturbing.

MSN Live search has now decided to that they will decide what its users can search for and even change the original keyword used in a search by a user.

For example, if you do a search for “online marketing services” you will get this message:
MSN Live Search Results for

Obviously, MSN Live Search has decided that this keyword is not important enough to have the results available despite the fact that the keyword, “online marketing services” gets about 690 monthly searches according to WordTracker.

Not a large number of monthly searches by any means but does it really matter? Especially since the “Sponsored sites” results list 2 companies that are advertising for that specific keyword.

Another little addition to the MSN Live Search is when you do a search for a specific keyword, like “internet marketing consultants” it will also include the results for “internet marketing consultant”.
MSN Live Search Result for

Now, there is nothing wrong with this one since many people make typing mistakes and sometimes are not exactly sure as to exactly what they are looking for.

However, this last tidbit by MSN Live search assumes that the user is ignorant and instead of giving him the choice to change their search keyword like Google does, it gives you first what MSN Live Search thinks you are searching for and then gives you the option to see the results for your original keyword.

Basically, MSN Live Search has now decided that it will decide for you what you are looking for which is a type of censorship. One wonders whether MSN Live search is testing out its censorship software that it will be using in China on the rest of the world before it makes it live in China.

Who knows but I can tell you that this type of internet censorship is not a good way for MSN to increase its share of the search market and is downright disturbing to start seeing internet censorship by a large company such as Microsoft.