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Microsoft's ComScore Numbers Have Been Changed To Hide A Massive Traffic Collapse


In recent weeks, sources have told Business Insider that the redesign had a drastic negative effect on visitor numbers not only to MSN itself but also Microsoft's search engine Bing (MSN used to send users to Bing results when they clicked on article headlines.)

The first verifiable evidence of our sources' claims was due to be revealed in this month report from research company comScore, which would have usually published separate worldwide traffic figures for Bing and MSN. The theory was MSN traffic was massively down following the redesign and that Bing was being severely hurt by one of the changes, which saw MSN curate more stories from news sites. The issue was that it was seeing people click through direct to competitor websites, rather than through to a Bing search as it had done previously.

But this month, Microsoft has asked comScore to bundle all its web products — Bing, Skype, Outlook and so on — under one "MSN" banner, the research company confirmed to Business Insider. So now it is extremely difficult to quantify exactly how badly the MSN redesign hit Microsoft. ComScore is one of the most trusted sources of web traffic data around and the majority of major publishers use the company's reports to sell their advertising and size themselves up versus competitors.

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