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Friday, November 12, 2004

BBC magazine compares the major search engine players

BBC News Magazine has done research about the five major search engines - Google, Yahoo, MSN, AskJeeves , A9.com and gives its verdict . The Search engine were tested on five key areas.
- First a search for "raleigh" - chosen as it is a word with several meanings including the bike company, the US city, the expedition charity and the Elizabethan explorer.
- How fast? Although engines can be slowed down by problems in receiving networks, searches made within minutes can give a comparison.
- Then how did it look and could it tell us an Alsatian's IQ (reportedly 60 - whether this is true or not is irrelevant).
- Finally, the simple question - what is the time in Sydney?
The Author Tom Geoghegan writes," I was a slave to Google although only a basic user who rarely used the advanced tools. It's clear how it's become the market leader with its reach unrivalled since it doubled its index this week. And it got the obscure fact easily". But the basic search could be a little more refined - a triumph of mass over classification, perhaps?
- More details are available at here on Google search.
- The new competitor MSN has had teething problems and we should bear in mind this is a test mode. But it failed to home in on some of the raleigh references picked up by its rivals and the search builder tool is time-consuming if you're in a rush. The mechanisms designed to trump Google, such as the Near Me and direct questions, seem limited at this stage. Details are available here on MSN Search.
- Yahoo! did try and help me with its "also try" section and it answered the Sydney question too. But it is cluttered on the engine's front page. Details are available here on Yahoo search.
- All three could take a leaf out of the butler's book. Ask Jeeves gave a great classification of raleigh into its different definitions. And it got the question and the obscure fact. Here are the details on Askjeeves search.
- A9 looks like a good bet for the popular culture references, with its access to the vast Amazon retail cupboard. The details ar available here on A9 search.
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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