Search engines are responsible for almost 85% of all information researched online. That means if someone is looking for a product or service you offer, they will begin by typing a keyword or keyword phrase in a search box. Although there are thousands of search engine companies operating online, there are a select few that you can not afford to overlook. This article will give you some background information on the top 6 search engines.
The Key Players
There are countless search engines driving traffic to business websites. Most are small, targeted and growing, while others have large, broad and loyal audiences.
Just six search engines control the majority of queries on the Internet including Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves and AllTheWeb. Other search sites compile the results from multiple engines into all-encompassing SERP’s, such as Dogpile. The Open Directory Project or DMOZ, is a non-commercial directory focused on human-editing and free inclusion.
The following shows the average reach. For instance, if you sampled a million Internet users, average reach states how many visit each of the follow (Metrics as of February 2005.)
Yahoo 301,800 reach per million Internet users
Google 170,650 reach per million Internet users
Ask Jeeves 6,905 reach per million Internet users
AllTheWeb 1,070 reach per million Internet users
Dogpile 1,485 reach per million Internet users
DMOZ 1,880 reach per million Internet users
Touted the “life engine” in their latest ad campaign, Yahoo search engine actually began as a simple project by two men, David Filo and Jerry Yang, in January 1995. During their studies at Stanford University, Yahoo was their way to catalog and organize Internet bookmarks. Soon the project grew, as the Internet grew, gathering interest from visitors who added Yahoo to their own bookmarks and revisited often to find new additions.
Today Yahoo is the top ranked, highly trafficked website on the Internet. Word of mouth grew into what is now a publicly traded company. Yahoo listing is as important as that in the phone book.
Before submitting to human-edited directories, prepare a business description no more than 25 words in length using two to three key terms that may be used to find the website. This description should exclude marketing language and superlatives.
Google, named for the term which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two men who met at Stanford University graduate school studying computer science in 1995. Together they collaborated on a search engine called BackRub. After much investment seeking and technological experimentation, http://Google.com open in a garage in September 1998 in Menlo Park, California. Google search engine handled more than 100 million search queries a day by the end of 2000.
In February 2002, Google launched Ad Words, a self-serve cost per click advertising model. In December 2002, Google launched Froogle, a free product search service. 2004 brings Local Search and Gmail, as well as a public offering under the ticker GOOG.
No longer a garage business, Google reaches an average of 148,800 million users each day. Being included in the next Googlebot Internet crawls is as important as drinking milk.
Ask Jeeves Inc. was founded in 1996 and is now a publicly traded company with headquarters in California. Its syndicates search technology and advertising units to a affiliate partner network including Excite, http://Ask.com, Teoma, Ask Jeeves Kids, MyWebSearch, MySearch, MyWay, MaxOnline, iwon.
A butler inspired by the books by English writer P.G. Wodehouse characterizes the Ask Jeeves brand. The website began as a question and answer service – the users ask a questions and an answer is generated. With an editorial staff building each question and answer scenario, the answers often didn’t add up to the searcher’s actual intent. After the dot com crash, stock dropped to under $1, yet today performs in the $30 range due to heavy restructuring, cuts and a quality search focus.
Ask Jeeves search engine began as a human-edited listing but has since abandoned this for algorithmic search results. Smart Search allows users to search keywords such as celebrity names and receive an instant biography and photograph above results. Binocular icons next to certain results allow quick web page previews.
Submission to Ask Jeeves is managed by http://ineedhits.com. Submission includes 12-months on the http://ask.com and Teoma’s U.S. index including Excite, http://MyWay.com, http://Hotbot.com, iLor, lxquick, http://Search123.com, Metacrawler, http://MySearch.com and http://Mamma.com. Each listing includes weekly page refreshes, 7-day inclusion and detailed click-through reporting. Pricing starts at $30 per URL and $18 for each addition.
A Overture Services business, AlltheWeb’s index (provided by Yahoo) includes billions of web pages, as well as tens of millions of PDF and MS Word files. AlltheWeb offers specialized search tools for the major browsers and advanced search features, supporting searches in 36 different languages, news, images, audio, video and multimedia files.
AlltheWeb search engine is powered by FAST and considered by some as a likely candidate to exceed Google’s success. The search engine’s strongest asset is fresh information, re-indexing sites and removing broken links every 7-11 days. AllTheWeb is also know for its SafeSearch filtering option that removes offensive content from SERP’s.
“With one single click, Dogpile fetches the best results from the combined pool of the best search engines – instead of results from just one single search engine.
And Dogpile search engine makes it easy to refine your search so you can find the most meaningful results right away. No wonder it’s the “Top Dog” of the search industry.”
Dogpile was developed in 1936 using innovative metasearch technology to find results in many leading search engines including Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, About, FindWhat, LookSmart and more. All results are combined into one comprehensive SERP. Dogpile is currently owned and operated by InfoSpace, Inc. They brand the business on Arfie, their signature dog logo.
Dogpile, like other search engines, allows data (or keyword), image, audio, multimedia, news and shopping searches.
Though a met search engine pulling information from all other major search sources, website owners may also submit to the DogPile database directly. This listing includes DogPile, Verizon, WebCrawler, NBC and MetaCrawler.
Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
“The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.”
The Open Directory Project is an Internet resource hierarchically arranged by subject – from broad to specific. The ODP is maintained by editors that evaluate websites for inclusion in the directory. All submissions are subject to editor evaluation.
ODP does not consider itself a search engine and, in that light, is highly selective. Not all sites are accepted. The goal is to make all information provided by the database as useful as possible, not to simply include all sites on the Internet or serve as a promotional tool for businesses.
To assist editorial discretion, ODP has policies for submitting sites for consideration. They may reject, delete or edit submissions that violate their policies or that they do not want included. The ODP also rejects, deletes or blocks sites possibly associated with a user violating their policies.
Needless to say there are far more aspects to marketing to the top 5 search engines than I can cover in this article but the information provided here should give you a good insight into understanding how important it is to submit your web site for inclusion in these search engines.
Don’t give up! If at first you don’t succeed, TRY, TRY, AGAIN! There is a lot to learn when starting a online business. Give yourself a break and don’t set unrealistic goals. Contrary to popular beliefs, having a successful, profit making, online business doesn’t happen overnight.
So, Good Luck, Make Money and Have Fun Doing It – Shirley Kelly