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Understanding the Three Major Search Engines
Home Computers & Technology Internet
By: Richard Stokes Email Article
Word Count: 936 Digg it | Del.icio.us it | Google it | StumbleUpon it

  

Although a number of good search engine firms donít like the way consumers have "voted" with their browsers, the fact is that there is a group of second-tier search engines hovering around the 5% market share level. These are Ask.com, About.com and a few specialized search sites. There really is no question about who the big boys on the block are, and it hasnít changed much since the last millennium, either. Itís Google at number one, with over 60% share, then Yahoo with 20% and MSN right under 10%.

Voted four times as the "Most Outstanding Search Engine" by readers of the online outfit, Search Engine Watch, 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's highly recommended as a first stop in the hunt for whatever you are looking for.

Google wins big

Google provides the option to find more than just web pages, too. With just a click in the right place and your term(s) in the search field on Googleís home page, you can easily

* seek out images from across the web * join discussions that are taking place on Usenet newsgroups * locate news and information or perform product searches and * do the ultimate in comparison shopping

Under the More pop-up menu are additional links providing access to "human-compiled" information, videos, books, scholarly aids, catalog searching and other fascinating and helpful services.

Google is famous for its many different features, like "cached links" allowing you to view "dead" pages, as well as previous versions of ones that have been altered. Dictionary definitions, phone numbers, stock quotes, street maps and many other kinds of information are easily accessed in Google. Refer to Google's help page for a complete explanation of these various features. Finally, the Google Toolbar and the various Google "web apps" have also become quite popular.

Yahoo in a slide

Yahoo is the web's oldest "directory" or "hierarchical search site," a place where real, human editors organize sites into categories. It was launched in 1994, but in October 2002 Yahoo made a "paradigm shift" to software-located listings for its main results rather than human editors. For several years, these automated results came from Google, until February 2004 when Yahoo began using its own searching and categorizing technologies. The "sense of community" that was a Yahoo priority from the start still distinguishes the site in many ways, and the site construction and organization attempt to make collaboration among people and companies easy, around the office or around the world.

Beyond the good-to-excellent search results, there are some Yahoo niceties that make searching enjoyable and simple. You can use the tabs above the search box on the Yahoo home page to look for images, Yellow Page listings or shopping comparisons. As opposed to the one-page Google home, Yahoo provides a separate "Search home page," where more numerous and more specialized search options are available to the motivated seeker.

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