Search Engine Breakdown

Ever notice that performing the same search on the major engines gives you different results? Yes, some of it is because of the algorithms and how the engines use different factors in their rankings, but pay attention to the results and a pattern has emerged.

For the sake of being fair, Ask has been included since they do serve up results in a slightly different manner. So here's how the engines shake out:


Google:
  • Information Engine
  • Loves Wikipedia and the results show it
  • Relies heavily on trust factors (see Google Trustrank)


Yahoo:
  • Social Engine
  • Many results have ebay listings (a Yahoo partner), del.icio.us (Owned by Yahoo) and Flickr results (Owned by Yahoo)
  • Tries to incorporate Yahoo Answers into many results


MSN:
  • Product Engine
  • Almost always has results for product based searches not found in the other engines
  • Starting to use more Wikipedia results as their algorithm matures


Ask:
  • Clustering Engine
  • Their results try to give you all the surrounding information around your search term
  • Trying to get into the mindshare of America

So, as you can see, each engine does provide a different slice of information depending on your search need. Keep this in mind when you are not only looking for something, but when selecting the keyphrase you want to be ranked for.

-To your online success!

Paul Bliss
www.SEOforGoogle.com