By Brittany Thompson
Those looking for the most accurate search engine results pages should stick to metasearch â€“ at least according to a study that was released on May 31st by InfoSpace.
Different Engines, Different Results was the title of the study (word doc), which was a cross-continental collaboration examining overlap and differences in rankings between industry leaders including Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live and Ask.
Some of the information contained in the study echoes what weâ€™ve known for years. The fact that searchers still donâ€™t always find what they are looking for online is more of a burden (both to searchers and to e-business owners) than a surprise.
A few informative gems were revealed, though, by the InfoSpace statistics. The gap between first page search results for the same query across four leading search engines demonstrated vast differences. Over 19,000 search queries were performed by users during the study, yet less than 0.6 percent of the first page results were the same across the leading single search engines for each of those queries. This number has dropped significantly since 2005, when a similar study showed 3.2 percent of first page results overlapped.
Not all search engines are created equal, concludes InfoSpace, the company behind the metasearch engine Dogpile [Andy's note - keep this in mind, when reading the study]. While each search engine provides quality results, the results themselves are also unique depending on the function of the search engine itself. As the industry evolves, searchers are finding less of what they need on the first results pages.
What do the results mean for business owners? Up to 34 â€“ 46 percent of all searches provide results that donâ€™t lead to clicks on the first page. Obviously, searchers are becoming more aware that the first page results arenâ€™t necessarily the most accurate, and that there are multiple engines to choose from with quality results.
Todayâ€™s savvy searchers are turning to as many as three search engines each month to fulfill their queries â€“ which reiterates the importance of high rankings on multiple industry-leading engines.
About Brittany Thompson
Brittany Thompson is the founder of SEOForumWatch.com as well as a graphic and web designer. In addition to writing for Marketing Pilgrim, she’s been published by WebProNews and WebProWorld.