I glanced at Tristan Louis’ Search Engine Comparison, thinking it was interesting but not very useful. I was surprised to see a few other bloggers discussing it as though it meant something. The number of pages that the various engines claim to have indexed, and the number they claim to return for any search, really don’t mean much. First of all, nobody’s got the time to look at more than a few dozen results—studies show that most people will never look past the first page. Secondly, even if you wanted to look at all the results, the engines probably couldn’t show them to you anyhow. Third, what matters is whether you get what you’re looking for. Almost all the modern engines do a pretty damn good job of getting you something appropriate and useful in the first handful of results. Who cares about the next million?

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
June 22, 2005
· Technology (90 fragments)
· · Search (66 more)

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