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For most people nowadays, their search engine of choice is likely to be Google with an estimated market share of 66%. Like most others, I have been using Google for many years now, it is the first thing I see when I load up my browser and when I want to search for something, I generally load Google straight up.
Recently however, I was curious about the other search engines out there, old and new, that I have never really dedicated any time to. I couldn’t honestly say that I have enough experience of any other search engines to fully justify being dedicated to Google. So it was high time I checked them all out, and this post outlines my findings.
The criteria that I employed to measure each one was always the same:
Search engines that use another’s results, such as Meta search engines were generally avoided apart from Yahoo who still have a larger presence online compared to some. Here is the list of search engines that were evaluated during this review:
I thought it was good to start with Google, a search engine that offers much more than just search, they now operate in many verticals. Google have changed quite a lot in the past year with a new design and a huge integration in social with the emergence of Google +. I personally prefer to keep search and social separate. I am happy to share certain blog posts and websites using various social sites and bookmarking tools, but prefer to avoid the social discovery side of things when performing a pure web search. I think it will appeal to some though, making web browsing as a whole a much more social experience. Users of Google + will likely find some of the new features useful.
It is clear where Google want to end up. A search much more socially driven, it offers the ability to share, connect, discover and socialise all in one place. For some searches, the Google results will offer pages recommended by friends and ones that are understood to offer value based on the page subject its general popularity.
What I Like About Google:
What I Dislike:
Bing is a search engine owned by the mega corporation Microsoft, it has an estimated market share of 15% in the US, although is much smaller here in the UK. This is small compared with Google, however Bing offers a few differences that users may prefer to Google. Initially you are greeted with a very visually driven home page. This injects a little bit more enjoyment to the browsing experience initially and even offers a few facts and statistics towards the bottom of the page which some people may enjoy reading. The Bing home page is almost like a desktop wallpaper, which I imagine was intentional to get people to save their search engine as a home page when starting up their browser.
The search results aren’t too different to what you experience when using Google, with the same filters and search options. It also has image, news and video search that can be helpful for certain searches.
What I Like About Bing:
What I Dislike:
Yahoo (now powered by Bing)
Yahoo, one of the old search engine giants who was once very successful. They are still around and fighting for market share. I’m sure there are a number of web users who are loyal to Yahoo and like the way in which they do things. I personally have never properly used Yahoo other than using it for its Yahoo Answers and the Email functionality.
What I Like About Yahoo:
What I Dislike:
Ask was originally an answer engine designed more to provide answers to questions than results for generic queries. They generally marketed themselves as an answer engine with its friendly alias, Jeeves (Ask Jeeves). It now attempts to make the search engine much more interactive with a ‘question of the day’ and various other links and activities.
What I Like About Ask:
What I Dislike:
Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go is an up and coming search engine which has a few tricks up its sleeve. It is gaining traction within the search engine world, though doesn’t quite compete directly with the others yet. It markets itself as a cleaner search engine which avoids any kind of personalisation or the usage of private data to influence rankings. After reading a bit about the search engine and having a look at their website, immediately I am intrigued and am eager to use the engine. Does it compare to the big boys though? Or is it more of an engine for those who want to avoid anything Google and its quest for world domination?
What I Like About Duck Duck Go:
What I Dislike:
Blekko markets itself as a spam free search engine. What sets Blekko apart is that it gives users the ability to directly affect the results within the search engine, as they say “users deserve a choice in the editorial voice of their search engine”. They mention that they have a bias towards quality sites, so is the engine for people who are after top quality results.
What I Like About Blekko:
What I Dislike:
I had quite a lot of fun exploring the different search engines, something I have been meaning to do for some while considering the industry I work in. Each of the big daddy search engines seem to be moving towards a much more integrated experience by gradually merging search and social together. I believe that to an extent and if done right, a socially driven search engine could be great but sometimes I would rather browse the web without any influence from the social channels.
As the larger search engines seem to be moving towards the social direction, it seems as though there are a few little guys cropping up that offer something refreshing and intend to do the opposite of the likes of Google (for the Google haters). These smaller search engines definitely have some great features and this could lead to their success sometime in the near future. I especially like Duck Duck Go and the thought that seems to have gone into that engine. We could find that the larger search engines keep the smaller rivals on their radar and attempt to recreate their ideas for a mass audience. Whatever happens it will be interesting to see if Google continues is domination within the industry or whether other search engines begin to gradually reclaim some of that market share.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, I have tried to remain unbiased towards each search engine and express my true opinion when reviewing each of the search engines. I did have limited time whilst reviewing each of the search engines which may have caused me to overlook some features, but am interested in the opinions of others and your experiences with any of the search engines mentioned above. Do you have a favourite search engine and why? Let me know in the comments.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.