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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

    
The Great Search Wars of 2005
Who is winning?
Powdork




msg:227791
 9:30 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

We've long been awaiting and talking about what will happen when all three engines are their own entities with their own features and now we have that. The only major change left in this area will be when and if MSN severs the cord to Overture for sponsored results. So how are things shakin' out? Here's my admittedly biased quick take on things.

A quick review of the 2005 search wars.

General Search Results-
Yahoo 4 points -Spammier at times than Google but information on new domains is included in results.
Google 3 points -Size of index helps overcome a lot, especially with detailed searches. 32 word search limit is improvement too. Automatic 2 point deduction for ridiculous sandbox.
MSN 3 points -They're off to a good start. Even though I have lost traffic due to the switch I am not being beaten by irrelevant sites, just a different ranking system. There are some rough edges, however.

Video-
Yahoo gets 5 points (out of 5)
Google gets 2 point (still beta though)
MSN gets 0 points -I'm guessing we'll see more from the makers of Windows Media Player.

News- They all do well. A tie.

Images-
Yahoo 5 Points I like going to the page and back to the search page rather than Google's middleman page.
Google 4 Points
MSN 1 Point Image search is still very clunky.

Publishers-
Yahoo 1 Point Not for the average Joe yet
Google 5 Points Nothing else is even close to Adsense
MSN 0 Points

Advertising-
Yahoo (Overture) 4 Points
Google(Adwords) 4 Points
MSN 0 Points

Toolbars-
They all have them and all use them for advertising purposes. No scores.

Other-
Yahoo
Google Books gets a point, Blogger gets 2, Lose a point for security issues.
MSN

Totals
Yahoo - 19
Google - 20
MSN - 4

What's your assessment?

Cut and paste this scoresheet.

General Search Results-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Video-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Images-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Publishers-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Advertising-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Other-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Totals
Yahoo -
Google -
MSN -

 

pmkpmk




msg:227792
 9:46 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 3
Google 5
MSN 5 (I'm biased here - old MSN did not list me at all, new MSN gives me top spots - just like Google)

Video-
Yahoo 2
Google 1 (US-centric)
MSN 0

Images-
Yahoo 4
Google 5 (simply more results)
MSN 1

Publishers-
Yahoo -
Google 2 (too untargeted, too much room for abuse)
MSN -

Advertising-
Yahoo 5 (simple, fast, efficient, good results)
Google 2 (pain in the rear end to get started with [which is where I am right now])
MSN - (should I hope they stay with Overture or start soemthing of their own?)

Other-
Yahoo 2 (a search engine is NOT a portal!)
Google 5 (simply because it's the household-name)
MSN 4 (lean, clean - maybe mean?)

Totals
Yahoo - 16
Google - 20
MSN - 10

soapystar




msg:227793
 9:48 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 3
Google 5
MSN 1

suggy




msg:227794
 10:16 pm on Jan 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nice idea Powdork.

General Search Results-

Yahoo 3
Less spammy than google, but less complete.
Also, seems to default to it's own directory for some commerical searches. So, you don't get to "search the Web" unless they perceive it ain't affecting profits.

Google 3
More spammy at times than Yahoo but also more complete. Have lost their way a bit since anchor text was rumbled by (now) every SEO. Don't seem to have many answers right now and Sandbox certain isn't one - yes, I believe it exists.

MSN 3
Thought the new Beta Search was utter rubbish 'til I worked out how to use it. Turns out the useability is just a bit poor or I am a bit stupid. Certainly, the information you add to help them improve relevancy seems to have little or no affect. The results are different to Google - more so than Yahoo, but certainly no better.

So, there you have it. It seems either I am a certified fence sitter, or there's nothing in it. All much of a muchness to me...

Suggy

Marshall Clark




msg:227795
 1:22 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results

Yahoo: Three points and climbing. Some spam in my categories and included SiteMatch listings are awful but indexes well and seems to be improving continually.

Google: Three 1/2 and dropping. Still the best but looks to have had its day - unless a radical new algo is in the works. ;)

MSN: Two 1/2 points. My Grandma could rank well in this engine. Would have given it 2 points but ah... I rank well in this engine :)

jk3210




msg:227796
 1:45 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 4 - Actually pretty cool.
Google 5 - The last time I had to look beyond page 1 was Christmas 2003.
MSN 1 - If you want to know where all those sandboxed sites went, here's your answer.

Video-
Yahoo 4
Google 2
MSN 1

Images-
Yahoo 3
Google 3
MSN 1

Publishers-
Yahoo 0 - Just wanted to get even for having my frames page disallowed back in 2001.
Google 3
MSN 0

Advertising-
Yahoo 3
Google 3
MSN 0

Other-
Yahoo 2 - Ever hear someone say "I'll Yahoo-it?"
Google 5 - Considered the gold standard of search by everyone on Earth (except Forum 3)
MSN - who?

Totals
Yahoo - 16
Google - 21
MSN - 3

randle




msg:227797
 1:54 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 3
Google 4
MSN 2

Advertising-
Yahoo 4
Google 4
MSN 0

Other- spam factor (high number better)
Yahoo 1
Google 4
MSN 4

Happy to see three true engines out there!

balam




msg:227798
 4:09 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search

Yahoo - 4 - Spam but no sandbox
Google - 2 - Spam with a sandbox
MSN - 3 - Rough, sure, but an extra point because you can see the quality improving

Video

Yahoo - 5 - Very sweeet...
Google - 0 - A video search... with no video. And sometimes no screenshots. Or transcripts. To say it is in the alpha stage would be generous.
MSN - 0 - There's video, and apparently you can search, but I didn't install Flash 7 when asked.

Images

Yahoo - 3
Google - 3
MSN - 4 - B&W/colour selector not hidden in advanced search prefs, nice (consistent) page layout, search box always available

Other

Yahoo - 3 - Keeping an even keel
Google - 2 - Working hard to become Jack of All Trades, Master of None
MSN - 3 - The juggernaut comes to search

Totals

Yahoo - 15 out of 20
Google - 7 out of 20
MSN - 10 out of 20

Hmm, that's not the result I thought it would be when I started...

indigojo




msg:227799
 6:08 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 4
Google 5
MSN 3

Video-
Yahoo 3
Google 3
MSN 2

Images-
Yahoo 3
Google 4
MSN 2

News-
Yahoo 2
Google 5
MSN 1

Publishers-
Yahoo 1
Google 5
MSN 0

Advertising-
Yahoo 3
Google 4
MSN 3

Totals
Yahoo - 14
Google - 26
MSN - 11

phantombookman




msg:227800
 8:18 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'll use my stats to show the winnners and losers for me.
Search engine referals:
Google 97%
All the others 3%

Frightening really

BigDave




msg:227801
 8:24 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting how in your system, general search points are worth the same as image and video points towards the total.

Seems broken to me.

sem4u




msg:227802
 8:36 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

General Search Results-
Yahoo 3 - some results are full of spam
Google 4 - still the best search engine around but where are the new sites?
MSN 3 - a good start from MSN

Video-
Yahoo 4
Google 3
MSN N/A

Images-
Yahoo 4
Google 3
MSN N/A

Publishers-
Yahoo 1
Google 4
MSN N/A

Advertising-
Yahoo 4
Google 5
MSN N/A

Other-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Totals
Yahoo - 16
Google - 19
MSN - 6

Powdork




msg:227803
 8:37 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting how in your system, general search points are worth the same as image and video points towards the total.

In my system the more emphasis you put on regular search the bigger a loser Google becomes.;)
I merely offered my subjective opinion and made it as easy as possible for you to add yours.

brixton




msg:227804
 8:51 am on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

thats a fact from my logs

referals
Google 98%
all others
2%

monten




msg:227805
 2:48 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

My referrals:

Google 43.26%
Yahoo 38.42%
MSN 12.61%

Romeo




msg:227806
 3:28 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

'Who is winning?' ... perhaps not Google.

MSN could be to Google, what IE was to Netscape.

Eventually, this may not depend solely on SE index sizes or SERP qualities but on the answer to the question, who rules the mass users' Windows desktop.

Regards,
R.

suggy




msg:227807
 5:05 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Absolutely Romeo

I finally got around to reading a book I acquired in the late 1990's by usability nut Jakob Nielsen the other day. It was quite amusing reading all his off-the-mark predictions. One such howler was predicting IE would never reach Netscape's 85% saturation - even if it did become the dominant browser.

Never underestimate Microsoft. They are a ruthless marketing machine. Even if they lose the technical battle, they'll probably still win the search wars!

Sorry.

Oh, BTW, I struggle to accept that having 90%+ of one's referrals from Google proves anything other than a failure to exploit Yahoo & MSN effectively. IMHO ;-)

Suggy

soapystar




msg:227808
 5:53 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

MSN could be to Google, what IE was to Netscape.

except that Google is now synonymous with search, its common language with even the computer illiterate to simply talk doing a GOOGLE search when they mean a search engine search, it will take a hell of lot to knock google from the top even if it wasnt the best search engine which it is.

BigDave




msg:227809
 7:57 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Never over-estimate the power of M$ either. They have lost more battles than they have won when it comes to offering a service.

In fact, it is very rare that they have won when it comes to services, even when they buy the market leader.

randle




msg:227810
 1:28 am on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Microsoft has been at it for an entire week. Lets give it a bit befor we crown them the winners.

Powdork




msg:227811
 1:34 am on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

In a meager attempt to drag it back ot.

General Search Results-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Video-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Images-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Publishers-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Advertising-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Other-
Yahoo
Google
MSN

Totals
Yahoo -
Google -
MSN -

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