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Who Has The Best Search Engine?


Search Engine
Graphic Source: Stock.xching

There are hundreds of search engines on the Internet and it would be an impossible task to try and review all of them, so I selected some new engines and some old ones, with an eye to usefulness.

Years ago I did a report on what I thought was the best search engines to use. Since that time there has been a big change in search engines. As I reported then, there are still meta-search engines and search engines. The difference between the two is that a meta-search engines employees many different search engines to look up your query while obviously a search engine uses only the results that it finds. Many different methods are used to mine these results however. I know that I find myself using Google for most of my search engine needs, but there are a lot of other search engines out there and I think it is important to know about some of them, because some of the search engines may be very good in a particular area. All tests were conducted by typing "About Facts Net" into the search engine search bar.

One of the newer search engines that I didn't remember being around when I wrote my last article about search engines is DuckDuckGo. A strange name indeed. This search engine tries to put all your results, or should I say your relevant results on the first page so that you don't have to dig through other pages. While it does this, the results look completely different from say a Google search engine and the reason for that is the search results don't seem to repeat any of the sites on that page, I tried doing a search for About Facts Net and what I got was the number one entry listing. Under the link was the question did I wanted more details and then other sites listed underneath in case I didn't get that site correct and really wanted one of the others. With some engines if I typed the same thing in, I might get hundreds of entries for About Facts Net, listing not only the site but different articles. You can see by this that DuckDuckGo gets you to the desired details pretty fast, and it is up to you to navigate to the page that you want. If you go to the 'more results” listed under About Facts Net,. you will then get many individual pages from that site listed.

Yippy is a search engine that has a unique way of searching. What it does, is search other search engines for the information you are looking for. It worked a little strange for my appetite. I started out by typing in the same information that I was using to test the search engines, but when I put in About Facts Net, the About Facts Net website was not listed at the top of the first page, but next-to-last on that page. What is interesting about this search engine is that on the left side of the search results page there are different categories listed and each category shows how many hits in that category came back. You can click on a particular category and see those results. When I checked the results of the searches by category on the first page, not one result is referred to the search page results that I was asking for. I also found that the number of results found in a category was not always accurate. An example of this was under reviews, four results were claimed yet only three were listed. There is a tab that you may click on to see the sources that were searched and another to see the sites.

Mahalo is listed as a human powered search site. I don't know exactly how it works, but I do know when I plugged in the search criteria, I didn't even get one match in the first five pages of results. I can't say that this search engine has impressed me at all, and the fact that it is run by humans rather than by a search logarithm did mean much except it seemed less accurate. I'll take the logarithm.

One of my old favorites was Dogpile. It's an old-time meta-search engine. It doesn't seem to be as popular anymore, but it is still around, which is a tribute to its usefulness. When you look under the dog pile search box you find three search engines listed. These are Google, Yahoo and Bing. This meta-search engine claims that they are bringing you the best search results from each one of the three search engines listed and when I typed the search criteria into the search box, I have to admit that the first few results were from the About Facts Net website. I felt that the results were above average, but in truth a straight Google search would have produced more worthwhile results.

There are those people that now prefer to use the Bing search engine by Microsoft. I would be remiss if I didn't test it using the same criteria that I used on the previous search engines. I typed in my search criteria and the results that came up were relevant, and the first one even had my photo listed. This was not a bad showing, but I was about to compare this to the king of search engines, the Google beast. When the search criteria was punched into Google, the first search engine results were the About Facts Net website. What made these results differ was the fact that not only was this website listed first, but several articles were neatly listed under the appropriate search result giving you an idea of what the website is all about and under those articles was a link for more results from the website. This is by and far the classiest listing of the results that I have seen and one of the most informative. Clicking on more results gave me 92 pages full of links to all different articles on the website and each one was relevant. It turned out that Google had listed 915 of the articles. This is far more than any other website

Blekko states that it is a search engine that can provide better results than Google. I had to try this one. I typed in my search criteria and the site I was looking for was listed in the search results as number one. The listing was not as impressive as it had been on Google and contained no where near as much information about the site. Quite frankly this didn't seem to be a threat to Google at all, but more of a threat to some of the lesser-known search engines.

Ixquick lists itself as the world's most private search engine. Exactly what does this mean? I haven't the foggiest idea. I put in the criteria and the correct website appeared directly under the sponsored results. A second return featuring an entry for one article on the website and a link also appeared. Again okay, but not so impressive.

I also wanted to see if the Yahoo search engine had improved so I went there next. I punched in my search criteria and the first two results were correct. Not only that, but the first two results contained descriptions of what is carried on the website and what the website represents. This was a definite plus.

So what did I really find out? Well I have to admit that there was nothing surprising in the results, because when all was done, the top search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo were still the best with Google coming out as number one, Yahoo as number two and Bing bringing up the rear. It seems to me that Google has put much more thought into what kind of results they wanted their search engine to give and they succeeded On a personal note, I do not think that I will be switching out of Google any time soon.