Hand Picked SERPs from MSN

MSN Handcrafted Results

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Hand Crafted Results Job Listing from MSN

Forget algorithms, get hand picked results from MSN.

Please take this post with a grain of salt. While in reality found on the MSN site, it is highly likely that this is completely fake. However.... if you can type 149 words a minute, and know how to code in php, we might want to talk to you...hehehe.

MSN is currently accepting applications for a very unique position, a person to provide hand picked search engine results. Here is a portion of a current job listing:

When all else fails, and the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold, we fall back to delivering handcrafted results. You will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user. Successful handcrafters can typically find top 10 results for a real-time user’s query in less than 3.8 seconds.

If you are an expert at using at least 3 different search engines, well versed with American English/colloquial usage, and can type at > 149 words/minute as measured by the Simia-Lico method – come join us and delight users real-time!

While this is probably a hoax, it was an actual post from the hiring page of MSN. (And remember that every lie has some grain of truth to it to make it believable) Interesting things to point out are:

  1. Aren't they acknowledging that their algorithms just don't work? (I'd have to say that that is growth for them. Acknowledging your failures is the first step.)
  2. "Use all the available search engines" and "3 different search engines" makes it appear that they use the big 3, Google, Yahoo, and also their own SERPs to pull the results. (But come on, how hard is it to copy/paste Google's results)
  3. Who defines when "the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold?" (MSN algorithm says, "Boy that SERP was really awful.")

In all seriousness, we all know that the SERPs can change at will and must have some sort of moderation happening for any index to survive. Google, "hand-removes" certain sites from their index that don't follow the guidelines or are against the law. I think in the future you will see more and more "hand-removal" or "edited" result pages.

If MSN was really smart, they would actually do some tests with results from "real live humans" and try to make their algorithm match. Might be a good investment. Once they start that, they might want to consider PigeonRank.