Create Your Own Personal MSN
As nice as the MSN Home page is, it’s a trifle cluttered. Fortunately, you can fine-tune MSN’s content to create your own personal version of an MSN start page, and use it to display both local and personalized information.MSN’s personalized start page is called My MSN. You get to it by clicking the My MSN link at the top of the MSN Home page, or by going directly to my.msn.com.You can customize My MSN to display a variety of different content .You can also customize the page colors and layout (in a three-column design), all by clicking the appropriate links at the top of the My MSN page.
Given the wide assortment of content available, you can use My MSN to display only those items of direct interest, such as your local news and weather.Once you have your My MSN page set up, configure your Web browser so that My MSN is your browser’s start page. That way you’ll go to the news and information you want whenever you launch your browser.
MSN Search Returns Four Types of Results
When you conduct a search with MSN Search, the search results page includes four different types of results. At the very top of the page is a listing of Popular Topics that you can use to help refine your search. Next up is a short list of Featured Sites, followed by a longer list of Web Directory Sites, and then the much longer list of Web Pages.
The sum total of all these results provides a “best of all worlds” search, unique among the major search sites; you get a blend of high-quality human-edited directory listings and high-volume automated search index listings.So how do the four different types of search results differ? Read on to learn this secret behind the search.
The Popular Topics listings at the top of the search results page are searches related to your query, ideally designed to help you narrow down your results.Click one of these links to start a new search and display a new search results page.
Featured Sites are sites that are manually assembled by MSN’s team of editors. MSN’s editors monitor the most popular searches being performed with MSN Search and hand-pick sites they believe to be most relevant to these searches.Those sites appear in the Featured Sites section. Note that the Featured Sites section won t appear on all search results pages;the more obscure your query, the less likely that MSN’s editors have researchedthe topic. In addition, MSN will sometimes use this section to provide links to articles in the Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia, related MSNBC news articles, orrelated MSN content.
Web Directory Sites
The next big section on the search results page isWeb Directory Sites. These results come from the LookSmart directory, which (like the Yahoo! Directory) is a hand-picked listing of the best sites on the Web. These are quality results that are definitely worth checking out.
The bulk of MSN’s search results fall into the Web Pages category. These results derive from the Inktomi search index, which lists three billion Web pages. You can compare Inktomi results to those from Google, which uses similar softwaredriven search technology.