i've been optimizing my blog for a particular keyword in MSN but nothing seems to work. any tips?________________
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MSN places a lot of value in keywords in the domain and URL right now.

its difficult to have perfect SEO for all of the major search engines but have a go to your best ability

URLs eh? I guess I'm outta luck on that one. I never have any luck with anyone other than Gooogle.

For now it is URLs. With how quickly they are changing in an attempt to improve that might be obsolete in a month or two.

yeah you have to get a lot backlinks... they like new website links too...

Well what's weird is stymiee is saying it's not the backlinks but the actual name of the URL. For example computer.com will rank better than daniweb.com for the term 'computer' regardless of on-page or off-page seo efforts.

Here you can find very useful tips for optimizing your web site for MSN.

1. Don't use your keywords more than 1 time in the description tag.

2. Try for an overall keyword wt. of the visible body text of less than 6%. Try to achieve minimum 3% where possible.

3. Keep your META tags unique/relevant to each page content. You can test that here.

4. Keywords in the domain name.

If possible, try to get a domain name which contain your keyword phrase. Or, it should contain your keyword phrase, and the keywords should be separated by hyphens (best option) or underscores.

To make sure that the engines recognize the keyword phrase, try to purchase domain names that separate each keyword with a hyphen (preferable) or an underscore. Most of the engines place added relevancy on keywords found in the domain name.

5. Consider naming this page after your keyword phrase.

Most of the engines place added relevancy on keywords found in the name of the page, or the URL. When naming your pages, try to name your pages after your keyword phrases.

6. Add your keyword phrase to a style attribute.

7. Consider naming your graphics with your keyword phrase and gaining a boost in relevancy that way.

8. MSN gives ranking honors to sites with an abundance of incoming links. And the good news is that MSN is counting a greater number of your incoming links toward ranking with the nit picking that Google and Yahoo! do. And that if those links have your keywords in them as anchor text, they help ranking for those keywords. You want to make sure that the page of the Website linking to you is in the MSN index and that it has a strong number of incoming to that domain as well as having less than 80 links on the page linking to you.

9. One Topic per page is recommended.

MSN Quote: "The best way to attract people to your site, and keep them coming back, is to design your pages with valuable content that your target audience is interested in.

In the visible page text, include words users might choose as search query terms to find the information on your site.

Limit all pages to a reasonable size. We recommend one topic per page.

An HTML page with no pictures should be under 150 KB," but lets not forget Google that would appreciate under 100KB

It's important that the sites linking to you are in the same Topic or "theme" area as your site. It doesn't have to be a product or service that is exactly the same as yours, a competitor.

For example if you sell web design, you can have anything related to web design services or serves other than actual web design. Of you can have news articles about web design that link to you.

If you are a Realtor you can have Realtors from other parts of the country linking to you, professional web design news sites, web developers, anything related to web design and development or to your region of the country if you are using keywords like "columbia web design".

10. Your linking strategy within your pages and your code can affect indexing and ranking.

MSN quote: "Use only well-formed HTML code in your pages. Ensure that all tags are closed, and that all links function properly.

If your site contains broken links, MSNBot may not be able to index your site effectively, and people may not be able to reach all of your pages....

Links embedded in menus, list boxes, and similar elements are not accessible to web crawlers unless they appear in your site map.

Keep the text that you want indexed outside of images. For example, if you want your company name or address to be indexed, make sure it is displayed on your page outside of a company logo.

MSNBot is the MSN Search web crawler that automatically crawls the Web to add information to our search index. MSNBot crawls the web by looking for links within websites.

So one of the best ways to ensure that MSNBot can find your website is to include valuable content that other sites will want to link to. While MSNBot crawls billions of web pages, not every page that we crawl is indexed.

For a site to be indexed, it must meet specific standards for content, design, and technical implementation.

For example, if your site’s link structure does not provide links to each page on your site, MSNBot may not be able to find all of your site’s pages.

Make sure that your site adheres to our design guidelines, which will help you place important content in searchable elements of the page.

Also ensure that your site does not violate any of the technical guidelines that can prevent appropriate ranking."

11. Meta Tag Description is important to MSN.

MSN recommends the following: "As the MSN Search web crawler MSNBot crawls your site, it analyzes the content on indexed pages and generates keywords to associate with each page.

Then MSNBot extracts page content that is highly relevant to the keywords (often sentence segments that contain keywords or information in the description) meta tag to construct the site description displayed in search results.

The page title and URL are also extracted and displayed in search results.

Site descriptions are extracted from the content of your page each time MSNBot crawls your site and indexes its pages. If you change the contents of a page, you may see a change in the description the next time our index is updated.

Since the descriptions are extracted from your indexed web pages, the best way to affect your site description is to ensure that your web pages effectively deliver the information you want to see in search results.

Excellent content design and effective use of terms that target your message are the best ways to affect the site description that MSNBot extracts from your site. Effective strategies include:

* Placing descriptive content near the top of each page.
* Making sure each page has a clear topic and purpose.
* Add a site description into the description meta tag, as shown here: <meta name="description" content="Describe your site here">".

Think about clickthroughs.

12. Content freshness is important at MSN.

13. In some cases it is recommended to use the Nofollow tag.

MSN, cooperating with Google and Yahoo! supports the nofollow tag. It was originally implemented so blogs aren't used for spamming by having links in their comments section.

However, there are other uses to help your optimization. For one, you can focus your PageRank on particular pages within your site so you don't waste PageRank on pages that aren't important for ranking. Add the tag to all the links that point to pages that are not important for ranking and traffic generation.

Another use is to keep a link from going out to another site and giving away PageRank to other sites, or referring to a site that you don't necessarily need to be helping with their popularity.

Don't use this with your reciprocal linking partners and make sure your partners aren't sneaking it into their links that go to you.

14. Use an XML site map as we do already for Google and Yahoo.
By the way, since some days now, all major search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN are using a unique XML site map.

15. MSN gives Site Owners suggestions for optimization gives all the relevant information for optimizing a site and getting it indexed with MSN.

Thanks Webnauts,
helpful tips....but i would like to know how many of you get a good traffic from MSN

Keyword rich content, metas, alt tags, image names matching the alt tags, matching title tags on links, etc. My sites rank well on msn and those are things I focus on. Check out Sanmarcosonline dot info, a side project that is ongoing, I rank page 1 for old california restaurant row, city of san marcos, ca and city of san marcos, california. Anyways take a look at the source and maybe you can get some ideas from how I'm doing things on that site.

ah yes and page names are good too, separate the keywords (page name) with "-" instead of "_"

MSN recognizes the underscore (_) as a separator so using a dash (-) will not help you in MSN (or Yahoo). It does help in Google which does not consider the underscore a separator.

Ranking well in MSN is not hard if you do the basics of SEO. (Meta tags not included because MSN does not use meta tags in their ranking algorithm despite what many in this thread like to think).

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