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>How do european ...rank?
Well they all have different ways of ranking, of course. But generally it's nothing euro specific, like ranking only sites high wtih strange extended characters and accents in domain names etc
There's one main difference to the US engines, or, the .com versions of the international engines:
Most euro engines and portals offer two main search options: searching in sites in local language, as opposed to worldwide/all languages.
Default is almost ever on search for local languages.
Also, when getting closer to this field you will see many very familiar names, especially Google, Fast, Ink, AV.
So, Mike_Mackin is absolutely right: feel free to read back in this forum, use the sitesearch for specific pieces of info.
I think it's fair to say you have the best collection of knowledge on European searchengines on the www directly under your nose.
Have fun discovering, and don't hesitate to ask!