Reasons Why Microsoft?s MSN Dumped LookSmart and Zeal?s Search
On January 15, 2004, Microsoft?s MSN formally dropped LookSmart?s search results. Although many MSN search engine users have long been
frustrated by poor search results, no specific reasons were given. Meanwhile,
Microsoft is said to be developing its own search engine technologies. Below is
a list possible reasons on why Miscrosoft?s MSN dumped LookSmart?s search
Compared with Google and Yahoo, LookSmart indexes smaller number of pages on the Internet. While Googlebot and Yahoobot index pages automatically, LookSmart does not, and it relies on human editors to index pages.
While DMOZ also uses human editors to index pages, LookSmart still offers poorer quality of pages because of its Zeal directory's strict rules of including only non-commercial pages for free.
2. LookSmart was Involved with a Consumer Fraud Class-Action Lawsuit
The consumer fraud class-action lawsuit, brought on behalf of customers who had paid a one-time fee to be listed in the directory and were switched to a pay-per-click model, was settled in September 2003. Claims are expected to reach up to $250,000 with LookSmart's legal bills topping $600,000.
3. Zeal Directory does not Include High Quality Pages with any Commercial Content
As most of the pages on the Internet nowadayas are somewhat related to commercial purpose, it would be hard to find high quality non-profit pages on the Internet. Microsoft realizes that this strict standard would exclude most of commercial sites that also offer high quality information, and that some of these sites would not be willing to pay to be included by LookSmart. In turn, the quality of the pages included by Zeal Directory and LookSmart would not be comparable with those provided by Google or Yahoo.
4. LookSmart does not Serve Well its Purpose as a Directory
A directory is to present quality sites to search engine users.
Google and Yahoo?s inclusion program allow webmasters to submit their commercial
and non-commercial sites for free as an option, LookSmart does not. The only way
to submit non-commercial sites for free is to become a Zealot at Zeal Directory.
In order to do so, these webmasters have to pass a test. However, many
commercial sites with high quality information from India, for example, cannot
be included in LookSmart?s search results because they would not be able to
afford fees required to be paid to get their sites included.