I know that everybody sets up their sites to be Google-friendly, but don't forget MSN. It figures very promiently in the search engine wars: it's responsible for 36.5% (according to Search Engine Watch, July 2005) to 52% (WebSideStory, June 2005) of all searches.
You can find info for site owners here . An interesting tip for those who have written off meta tags:
Perhaps, but I see over and over again on these forums people saying that meta tags are not used anymore, as if Google is the only search engine. Just wanted to make clear that there are others beside Google. Unfortunetly many people design for the search engines and not for the user ...
An interesting tip for those who have written off meta tags
I would agree but MSN also lists and ranks sites very well without any META information too. Internet marketing is driven by the best return on the investment made for the client and Google is still #1 in this respect but it's also important to know where the other options stand such as Yahoo and MSN and at what percentage of the market they deal with.
As for building for search engines and not for the user, I agree that websites are often incorrectly constructed for the business goals but there is such a thing as a usable, accessible and search engine friendly website but sadly, in my experience, this is either dropped solely for SEO purposes, or worse, design.
Each of the search engines is working toward optimizing the way they list pages to meet the requirements of the people using their search engines. If you optimize your pages to meet the requirements of the people that they are targetted at then the search engines will eventually get their criteria sorted out to list your page appropriately.
After reading this thread a few weeks back I decided to search for my site using MSN and I saw that they used the Dmoz description for my site so I added some meta tags to my site. After searching sometime later I saw that MSN still ignored the tags on my site and used the Dmoz description, while Yahoo! and Google used the one in my meta tags.
Well, if anyone's interested (assuming you have a Dmoz listed site with a description you don't want used in MSN searches) MSN recently introduced a new meta tag that you can put into your site's pages (not robot.txt file) to keep your Dmoz description out of MSN search. It was brought about by complaints from webmasters who weren't happy that their Dmoz description was showing up in MSN.