Main Search Engines and Directories
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For searchers, well-known, commercially-backed search engines generally mean more dependable results. These search engines are more likely to be well maintained and upgraded when necessary, keeping pace with the ever-growing Web.
As a rule of thumb, submit manually, submit to all the major search engines and monitor those engines to see if your site is indexed (listed with the search engine). Once it’s listed don’t resubmit. Submitting your site multiple times to a search engine does not improve your chances of positioning well. It’s essentially like telling you where the corner store is. At first it may be helpful but once you know where it is, being reminded frequently just gets annoying.
Major Search Engines And Their Add URL Pages
Please note: The percentage totals come to more than 100%. This is due to people’s use of multiple search engines when they were unable to find the information that they were looking for on the first engine. Data accurate as of May 2006 based on the findings of the reputable ComScore Networks report.
|Market||Search Engine||Add URL||Note|
|49.1%||Add URL||Easy and free. By far the most important of all the search engines to submit to.|
|22.9%||Yahoo!||Add URL||They have a few submission options. You will have to choose free or paid depending on your budget and what you hope to accomplish.|
|10.6%||MSN||Add URL||Similar to Google, this one is easy and free. While #3 on the list today MSN is sure to increase it’s percentage of marketshare over the next couple years making this engine critically important. watch for it’s integration into the upcoming OS (Longhorn) from Microsoft slated for launch in the fall of 2005.|
|6.4%||AOL||AOL gets their main results from Google.|
|2.6%||Ask.com||Add URL||You will need to be a member and note that there are fees for submissions.|
|2.3%||My Way||MyWay get their results from Ask.com.|
|0.5%||iWon||iWon get their results from Ask.com.|
|0.5%||Dogpile.com||Add URL||They get their listings through the Enhance Interactive PPC engine. This give a $25 bonus when you open an account of $50 or more.|
|0.5%||Earthlink||Earthlink gets their results from Google.|
|0.4%||SBC Yellow Pages||Renamed AT&T Yellow Pages through acquisition this is just the yellow pages.|
The search engines below are all excellent choices to start with when searching for information.
Google has a well-deserved reputation as the top choice for those searching the Web. The crawler-based service provides both comprehensive coverage of the web along with great relevancy. It is highly recommended as a first stop in your hunt for whatever you are looking for.
Google provides the option to find more than web pages, however. From the top of the search box on the Google home page (Google OneBox), you can easily seek out images, videos, maps (local search) and news from across the Web, or you can perform product searching. The more link provides access to blogs, books, froogle, groups and patents, etc.
Google is also known for the wide range of features it offers, such as cached links that let you resurrect dead pages or see older versions of recently changed ones. It offers excellent spell checking, easy access to dictionary definitions, integration of stock quotes, street maps, telephone numbers and more. See Google’s help page for an entire rundown on some of these features. The Google Toolbar is also very popular due to its easy access to Google from the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.
In addition to Google’s unpaid editorial results, the company also operates its own advertising programs. The cost-per-click AdWords program places ads on Google as well as some of Google’s partners. Similarly, Google is also a provider of unpaid editorial results to some other search engines.
Google was originally a Stanford University project by students Larry Page and Sergey Brin called BackRub. By 1998, the name had been changed, and the project jumped off campus to become Google.
Launched in 1994, Yahoo is the Web’s oldest directory, a place where human editors organize web sites into categories. However, in October 2002, Yahoo made a giant shift to crawler-based listings for its main results. These came from Google until February 2004. Now, Yahoo uses its own search technology.
In addition to excellent search results, you can use the tabs above the Yahoo home page search box to seek images, video, local and shopping search. Click for more, and you´ll get answers, audio, directory, jobs and news. The Yahoo Directory still survives. You’ll notice category links below some of the site lists in response to a keyword search. When offered, these will take you to a list of web sites that have been reviewed and approved by a human editor.
It’s also possible to do a pure search of just the human-compiled Yahoo Directory, which is how the old or classic Yahoo used to work. To do this, search from the Yahoo Directory home page, as opposed to the regular Yahoo.com home page. Category links are listed in the left column, providing top web site matches drawn from all categories of the Yahoo Directory. Within the categories, you will also find sponsored results to the right and below the natural listings.
Sites pay a fee to be included in the Yahoo Directory’s commercial listings, although they must meet editor approval before being accepted. Non-commercial content is accepted for free.
Like Google, Yahoo sells paid placement advertising links that appear on its own site and are distributed to others. These are sold through Yahoo Search Marketing(formerly Overture).
Overture was originally called GoTo until late 2001. Overture purchased AllTheWeb in March 2003 and acquired AltaVista in April 2003. Yahoo gained ownership of these search engines from its subsequent purchase of Overture later that year.
Technology from AltaVista and AllTheWeb was combined with that of Inktomi to make the current Yahoo crawler. Yahoo purchased Inktomi in March 2003.
Microsoft Live Search
Microsoft Live (formerly MSN Search) was originally powered by LookSmart, which gained top marks for having its own team of editors that monitored the most popular searches being performed to hand-pick sites believed to be the most relevant.
Subsequently, MSN Search used Yahoo listings to power its database for a while. Recently, Microsoft started using its own crawler-based technology and changed its name from MSN Search to Microsoft Live Search.
Getting Listed: You don´t have to submit your site to be indexed by the MSNBot crawler. Microsoft´s Live Search Guidelines for Successful Indexing provides technical and content guidelines, as well as a list of items and techniques that are discouraged.
Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves) initially gained fame in 1998 and 1999 as the natural language search engine that lets you search by asking questions and responding with the right answer.
In reality, technology wasn’t what made Ask perform so well. Behind the scenes, the company at one point had about 100 editors who monitored search logs. They then went out onto the web and located what seemed to be the best sites to match the most popular queries.
Today, Ask depends on crawler-based technology to provide results to its users through the power of the Teoma algorithm known as ExpertRank.
Getting Listed: The Ask crawler will find pages by following links (HREF tags in HTML) from other pages, so you don´t have to submit or register you site to be found. Ask´s Webmaster page answers most questions. Paid listings on Ask come from Google AdWords, described above.
Others to Consider
The search engines below are good choices to consider when searching the Web.
AOL Search provides users with editorial listings that come Google’s crawler-based index. Indeed, the same search on Google and AOL Search will come up with very similar matches. So, why would you use AOL Search? Primarily because you are an AOL user. The internal version of AOL Search provides links to content only available within the AOL online service. In this way, you can search AOL and the entire web at the same time. The external version lacks these links. Why wouldn’t you use AOL Search? If you like Google, many of Google’s features such as cached pages are not offered by AOL Search.
The sites below are major in the sense that they either still receive significant amounts of traffic or they’ve earned a reputation in the past that still causes some people to consider them to be important. For various reasons explained below, they are not among our top search choices. However, certainly feel free to try them. They could turn out to be top choices for you.
AltaVista opened in December 1995 and for several years was the Google of its day in terms of providing relevant results and having a loyal group of users that loved the service.
Sadly, an attempt to turn AltaVista into a portal site in 1998 saw the company lose track of the importance of search. Over time, relevancy dropped, as did the freshness of AltaVista’s listings and the crawler’s coverage of the web.
Today, AltaVista is once again focused on search. Results come from Yahoo, and tabs above the search box let you go beyond web search to find images, MP3/audio, video, and news results. If you want a lighter-feel than Yahoo while still getting Yahoo’s results, AltaVista is worth considering.
AltaVista was originally owned by Digital, and then taken over by Compaq with the purchase of Digital in 1998. AltaVista was later spun off into a private company, controlled by CMGI. Overture purchased the search engine in April 2003, and it subsequently became part of Yahoo with the purchase of Overture.
Lycos is one of the oldest search engines on the web, launched in 1994. It ceased crawling the Web for its own listings in April 1999 and now provides access to crawler-based results from Ask and paid results from Google.
Owned by AOL Time Warner, Netscape Search uses Google for its main listings. So why use Netscape Search rather than Google? The main difference between Netscape Search and Google is that Netscape Search will list some of Netscape’s own content at the top of its results. Netscape also has a completely different look and feel than Google. If you like either of these reasons, then try Netscape Search. Otherwise, you’re probably better off just searching at Google.
Open Directory Project
The Open Directory Project uses volunteer editors to catalog the web. Formerly known as NewHoo, it was launched in June 1998. AOL Time Warner-owned Netscape acquired it in November 1998, and the company pledged that anyone would be able to use information from the directory through an open license arrangement.
While you can search at the Open Directory site itself, this is not recommended. The site has no backup results that kick in should there not be a match in the human-compiled database. In addition, the ranking of sites during keyword searching is poor, while alphabetical ordering is used when you choose to browse categories by topic.
To scan the valuable information compiled by the Open Directory, consider using the version offered by Google, the Google Directory. Here, keyword searching uses Google’s refined relevancy algorithms and makes use of link analysis to better propel good pages from the human database to the top. In addition, when viewing sites by category, they will be listed in PageRank order, which means the most popular sites based on link analysis will be listed first.
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