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View Full Version : Why do we choose a particular search engine over the others?


Sheva
06-23-2004, 05:57 PM
Hello all, I am a new member of the forum and I have to say I am very happy to have found this website. I came across it through a search on Google. I am starting to write my dissertation on the 'Strategy of Global Search Engines' (btw how does that sound? :). Anyway I was wondering what features make us choose a search engine and forget about the rest. I came up with a couple of ones which I value the most;

- Relevancy of search results
- Fast loading and display of results
- Access to e-mail

And a couple of ones that I do not make extensive use of;

- Any kind of content (well I guess that reveals my preference :)
- Directories

I might be missing some obvious ones both for pros&cons actually. Anyway I'd really like to have your opinions on this matter, I guess this will be a good reference for the future as well. You are very much welcome to give any kind of suggestions or criticism, thanks a lot in advance..

andrewgoodman
06-24-2004, 12:28 PM
Features are important, but features can be replicated.

You've overlooked another possible avenue:

In some cases, we don't "choose" at all -- because one company has gained so much mindshare. Brand/positioning.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071359168/ref=ase_wwwlink-software-21/026-8823314-2388467

It's no coincidence that Google was voted "Brand of the Year" for two years running. Good article by Gerry McGovern on this:

http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/nt/2004/nt_2004_02_09_google.htm

AussieWebmaster
06-28-2004, 05:15 PM
As Andrew mentions placement is a factor. If you use AOL as many do, they have a high likelihood of using the AOL/Google search.
The landing page people use often impacts what search engine is used.
I am sure there are correlations there and ones that could be factored into your testing.
And if you are doing Global, the language is a determinant... there are limits to what engines are out there for various languages as well.

pleeker
06-28-2004, 06:44 PM
Furthering the positioning/placement theme, the Safari browser has a Google search built in next to the address bar. Incredibly convenient. And as much as I tell myself I want to try Teoma more often (and other SEs) for the sake of comparison, when it comes time to use a search engine, I'm up there typing away in that Google box.

Sheva
06-28-2004, 07:13 PM
Pleeker, I certainly did not know that new Safari included a Google search field built-in. I think I will have to somehow include this type of partnerships in my project. But that is not the case right now. What I am wondering is, who is to blame Microsoft for tightly integrating its proposed search technology with the next generation Windows? And when I say tightly, I am thinking that many novice users will automatically go for this search which will combine both online and offline results and probably throw in a couple of other handy features as well. (these are just my thoughts on next MSN search, nothing official but as I said I firmly believe that it will somehow encourage and lead users to use it rather than the other search engines out there). I could disapprove this strategy of Microsoft if I had not read about this Safari-Google deal, but if everyone else can, why is Microsoft given a bad name when all they do is to play the game by its rules?

pleeker
06-28-2004, 07:48 PM
Pleeker, I certainly did not know that new Safari included a Google search field built-in.
Just FYI -- it's not new. Been part of Safari for quite some time now, maybe since Safari debuted? I don't recall.


I could disapprove this strategy of Microsoft if I had not read about this Safari-Google deal, but if everyone else can, why is Microsoft given a bad name when all they do is to play the game by its rules?
But you're comparing apples and oranges in this case. Microsoft owns both the OS and the search engine in the scenario you're describing. Apple does not own Google, nor vice versa. Apple can at least claim that it has the Google search built in to Safari as a convenience for users. Microsoft can make the same claim (when this happens), but since they own both the OS and the search engine, some will perceive the move as a way to keep users from reaching other search engines, not as a convenience.

Beyond that, many of us hope that Safari will eventually let us choose which search engine we want to use from within the browser -- and Apple may deliver. (fingers crossed) Doubt you'd see MSFT offering the same options for its users.