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Thread: MSN "Featured" Search Results

  1. #1

    MSN "Featured" Search Results

    The “Featured Sites” on MSN results supposedly come from editor picked sponsored listings. Our site shows up for our selected keyword first in Sponsored results since we are the highest bidder. We’ve contacted B-Central and about 8 other MSN advertising numbers to try and determine how to get in this listed or at least reviewed because it seems the same sites appear for most of the key phrases we’re top bidder on.

    Does anyone know anything about how this actually works and how or who to contact to get listed or at least reviewed for those spots?

    MSN says this:

    Featured Sites are links that MSN Search editors believe are likely to be particularly relevant and useful. These sites are chosen from ones published by MSN affiliates, partners, sponsors, and advertisers, as well as other sites proven to be especially popular among our users. Featured Sites that best match your search words are drawn from:

    The top sites for news in entertainment, sports, business, and politics.
    The most popular musical artist sites for biographies and song samples.
    MSN Encarta for encyclopedia information.
    MSN content.
    MSN content partners.
    MSN advertising partners. (Microsoft accepts payment for listings from these.)
    Any help or advise will be appreciated. Thanks


  2. #2
    WebProWorld MVP
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Hi Aaron:

    As I understand MSN featured listings, they are strictly editors choices based on the editors opinion of the site and do not necessarily come from sponsored listings,(but may if the inducement is enough).

  3. #3
    Aaron - I found this little tidbit of info that may shed some light on how to get into the Featured Sites listings.

    Actually it is quite short and the last two paragraphs suggest two different strategies:

    MSN Featured Site

    The definition of Featured Sites can be different for each search engine. This can vary from where they are always advertisements to where they can include results based on an editorial review process.

    In the case of MSN, they are sites that MSN editors choose to "Feature" for given keywords. These are not paid advertisements (at least not always), but MSN clearly gives some preference to Web sites who advertise with them, or to properties owned by MSN, in respect to the featured listings. However, there's also a number of featured listings (depending on the keywords you use) that are simply sites that MSN views as a quality site, or important in the keyword category.

    In this respect, you can influence your rankings in the featured area of MSN by getting it reviewed for inclusion like a directory engine. One tip to get included in the featured area would be to build link popularity for your Web site making it more likely for MSN to find or recognize your site as important. In addition, consider doing some advertising on MSN or even LookSmart (an MSN partner) to get on their radar.

    Once you start some advertising, e-mail MSN about having your site reviewed by an MSN editor for inclusion as a featured site. There's no formal process for this that we're aware of, but it would be worth some time to try to get recognized. If applicable, mention how your site is of high quality, very applicable to certain keywords, popular, and that you advertise with MSN or LookSmart. A good point of contact would be to e-mail your advertising contact and ask to be reviewed as a featured site.
    I found this quote in another forum, take it at face value:
    • Although MSN does offer paid listings that can be negotiated on either a cpc or cpm basis the minimum is much less than $50K. I've personally landed these types of listings in the area of $10k.
      However, if you don't want to deal with MSN or feel their pricing is a bit high you can surprisingly trump them and go right to LookSmart. LS offers "top pick" (butterfly) listings that miraculously are listed higher than MSNs paid featured listings and you can often get them for a fraction of the cost.

      More or less whenever an ad rep tells you there's a huge minimum he/she is playing hard ball. If you can make a compelling pricing argument based on what works for your roi you can normally get an ad reps ear. Do the reasearch and be persistent and it can pay off HUGE.

    Here is another article:

    Ronnie T. Dodger
    Hidden Content

  4. #4
    I finally found a definitive answer from a contact at MSN. These sites in the "Featured Sites" section are partners with MSN. They are required to spend at least $75,000 annually for these placements and they limit each term to 3-4 sites (they sometimes pick up a 5th for highly competitive terms).

    I am trying to get into the program, because we will spend that amount easily, but most of the terms I wanted to target are already taken. They require an annual contract with each term, and you can only change ads or URL's once a quarter. I'm still trying to find out if I can be notified when a term opens up so I can take that place, but have yet to hear back from my contact.

    So, in summary, "Editor picked" is a little misleading. More like "Editor picked from whoever pays the most"


  5. #5


    Editors definitely likely to pick if you give them thousands of dollars. For that amount of money distributing it among overture, bribing a few dmoz editors, and adding a bunch of google paid ads/overture ads might be better than spending it all on Mr. Gates.

  6. #6

    Re: ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Elite Skills
    Editors definitely likely to pick if you give them thousands of dollars. For that amount of money distributing it among overture, bribing a few dmoz editors, and adding a bunch of google paid ads/overture ads might be better than spending it all on Mr. Gates.
    Have to agree... ultimately there would have to be some serious click thrus for those terms... hell I spend over 150k a month and the terms for 75k a year would have to be good and would have to have great click thrus... though we do have at least 10 terms that we will spend close to that on each a year.

    They would have to have the clicks to back it up and then it would be a given.
    This is a test of linking power of signatures.
    Hidden Content

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