Searching for “search engine”

Searching for the phrase “search engine” within several popular search engines generates some surprising results. While I thought that each search engine would list themselves first within their results, that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Below is a list of search engines along the first 5 results of searching for the phrase, “search engine”. The number following the search engine name is the position that search engine appeared in its own results. Click the search engine name to run the search for yourself. Results below were run on 9/26/08 and are subject to change.

Google (#22 in its list… and it’s the UK site!)

  1. http://www.dogpile.com
  2. http://www.altavista.com
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine
  4. http://search.yahoo.com
  5. http://searchenginewatch.com

Yahoo! (#1 in its list.)

  1. http://search.yahoo.com
  2. http://www.google.com
  3. http://www.dogpile.com
  4. http://www.altavista.com
  5. http://www.webcrawler.com

MSN (#86 in its list.)

  1. http://www.search.com
  2. http://www.google.com
  3. http://www.google.com/coop/cse
  4. http://www.altavista.com
  5. http://www.dogpile.com

Alta Vista (#4 in its list)

  1. http://search.yahoo.com
  2. http://www.google.com
  3. http://www.dogpile.com
  4. http://www.altavista.com
  5. http://www.webcrawler.com

Ask (not listed in first 100 hits)

  1. http://searchengineland.com
  2. http://www.dogpile.com
  3. http://www.searchenginewatch.com
  4. http://www.searchenginejournal.com
  5. http://blog.searchenginejournal.com

Dogpile (#11 in the list. Note: Sponsored links were ignored.)

  1. http://www.altavista.com
  2. http://search.yahoo.com
  3. http://searchenginewatch.com
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine
  5. http://www.google.com

lyGO (not in first 100 hits)

  1. http://search.yahoo.com
  2. http://www.webcrawler.com
  3. http://www.lycos.com
  4. http://search.aol.com
  5. http://www.cba.ca

A9 (not in first 100 hits)

  1. http://www.dogpile.com
  2. http://www.altavista.com
  3. http://www.searchenginecolossus.com
  4. http://www.searchengineguide.com
  5. http://www.ask.com

Search.com (#9 in its list. Ignored all sponsored links.)

  1. http://searchenginewatch.com
  2. http://www.altavista.com
  3. http://www.dogpile.com
  4. http://www.search.com/reference/Web_search_engine
  5. http://search.yahoo.com

Yahoo! was the only search engine where they were listed at the top of their own results. Alta Vista and lyGO agree and listed Yahoo! first as well.

The others didn’t fair so well. Ask, lyGO and A9 did not show up within the first 100 hits within their results. MSN showed up 86th within their own results and while Google showed up 22nd, it was the UK site that showed up and not the US site, despite having conducted the search using their US site.

Do you think Yahoo! forced their name to the top or did it just work out that way? Are you surprised that the other search engine companies didn’t force their names to the top of their results? I am.

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