Microsoft Start prioritizes high-quality content that is current, substantive, and tailored for the platform. All content must comply with our Content Guidelines and Publishing Requirements, but there are some attributes of content that, while not expressly prohibited, may limit discoverability. It is best to review each post before ingestion to ensure there are no errors that may inhibit reader engagement and discoverability.
While Microsoft Start does allow for republishing of older content that is evergreen, it's best to do so sparingly and to date it accurately. Content that has an invalid date format, a missing date, or a misleading date, such as a date in the future or old content that has been dated to the day of ingestion rather than the day of original publication, will be de-prioritized by the algorithm. Read more about accepted date formats here.
Excessive or Misleading Links
Content on Microsoft Start is intended to be read on Microsoft Start and not merely act as a gateway to the original site. Articles with less than 450 characters and articles that link back to the original site within the first three paragraphs will be demoted.
It's also helpful not to put too many links in an article, particularly sections of links back to the original site such as "Most Read" or "Recommended Articles."
Misplaced Related Links
Related Links are lists of more than two links under headers including but not limited to "Related" "Read More," or "Recommended."
Posts should not include Related Links anywhere but the two designated areas: At the bottom of a post, or in the column that appears to the right of a post on Microsoft Start. Related Links sections may not appear in other locations, such as the first few paragraphs of an article.
If a post is found to have a Related Links section that is misplaced, the article may be demoted.
Posts that are hard to read will not engage readers and thus will have trouble succeeding. Articles without paragraph or line breaks, broken links that aren't clickable or appear as plaintext, and badly-encoded special characters should be identified and fixed before ingestion.
Images, slideshows, and videos embedded in an article without being related to the content of the article can confuse or distract readers and are not recommended.
Do not repeat links more than once in the same post. Links to distinct but very similar articles, such as reporting on small developments in ongoing stories, should be used sparingly.
Ensure that any embedded media is embedded only once. If embedding more than once piece of media, such as images or video clips, make sure that they are related to each other and relevant to the topic indicated in the post title.
While evergreen content is welcome on Microsoft Start, it must be edited to indicate that is a repost, with some justification for why the content is relevant again or information about what elements have been updated, or it will be rejected.
Blurry or badly-cropped images look unprofessional and can reduce reader interest in your content.
Lack of Attribution
Microsoft Start creators are expected to comply with copyright laws and to properly attribute all media in their posts.
Missing or Withheld Content
Posts that claim to feature media content such as slideshows or videos that are missing or that cannot be viewed without clicking through to the original site are misleading and can frustrate readers. Similarly, avoid posting articles that are shortened or summarized on Microsoft Start but appear in full on the original site. Unintentionally omitted media embeds may be caused by errors in compliance with the Feed Specifications.
Flawed Slideshow Layout
Wrong Slideshow Size
Slideshows (also known as Galleries) have a minimum of 5 slides and a maximum of 200, except:
- Japan minimum 2 slides
- Sweden minimum 2 slides
- Spain minimum 4 slides
- Portugal minimum 4 slides
All slides in a slideshow must contain images. Learn more about supported image sizes in Auto-Publishing Requirements.