Posted March 29, 2007 9:05 am by with 8 comments

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A lot of search marketers recently noticed that the “link:” command isn’t working at Microsoft’s Windows Live search. Well, it’s not a glitch, but a deliberate shutdown by MSFT

We have been seeing broad use of these features by legitimate users but unfortunately also what appears to be mass automated usage for data mining. So for now, we have made the tough call to block all queries with these operators.

Huh? Knock, knock. Anyone home? That “data mining” is likely a whole bunch of search marketers – you know, the ones that help clients to get better rankings in the search engines? The same ones that are all gaga over Google and only just starting to consider whether they should care about traffic from your search engine. You might want to follow Google and Yahoo’s lead and actually provide us MORE data not less.

Let’s hope this other statement by MSFT means they’re going to do just that…

We are doing our best to get this back online as soon as possible in a manner that allows folks that use this functionality for real queries. We have a few good ideas up our sleeve on how to enable this, but want to make sure we are making the right changes that will give you the functionality you want and all of our customers the experience they deserve.

  • Man what would happen if yahoo’s link operator went toast. SEO’s would be in a heap of trouble.

    Google’s is getting better with WBM Tools but you cant see competitor’s links.

  • It doesn’t appear they will enable the same functionality, they will offer something watered down – a glimpse of links like in Google – but it just doesn’t seem right for them to waste the time on it.

  • Doesn’t sound too smart.

  • rick gregory

    Hmm… So I posted a slightly snarky comment on the post you linked to about how they, perhaps, were worried that they couldn’t handle the load from all of those searches, clicked Submit and… got…

    “The server at is taking too long to respond.”


  • MSFT should be giving MORE data and tools than Yahoo and Google to encourage more usage and not cutting back like they are doing. Seems like MSFT just keeps taking steps backwards…

  • My question is this. Google seems to be handling the load just fine. Are they just throwing more hardware at the problem, or is their engine just more performant?

  • MSFT with all power that they have, can’t handle it? 😐 i’m astonished with this! Come on, gives a break, live is the same has msn was, only the layout has changed, the search engine is very poor!

  • Soon it will all be guess work 🙂