We have been reporting about Microsoft's issues with handling 301 permanent redirects since September 2006. We came back to the issue this past December but still, Webmasters are complaining at the lack of support for 301 redirects in Microsoft's Live Search.
A 301 redirect typically tells a search engine that page A (old URL) moved permanently to page B (a new URL). A search engine will see that 301 status code and log that the new URL is in a new location. Over time, a search engine would replace the original URL with the new URL in the search results, as well as transfer all or most of the links and signals associated with the original URL to the new URL. Google is fast with this, Yahoo picks up on this and although Ask.com is slow, they eventually get it as well.
Microsoft seems not to pick up on 301 redirects.
A WebmasterWorld thread has continued discussion on the topic of Microsoft's inability to properly handle the 301 status code.
One member claims speaking with a Live Search engineer:
Yeah, I spoke to various people even a particular person from Live Search. They confirmed that at the moment, Live can't handle 301 redirects.
I trust they are working on this issue, hope so at least.
Well - it has been long enough, don't you think? Let's make this a priority if possible. Google handled it big time when you guys changed from spaces.msn.com to spaces.live.com across millions of different URLs.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.