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Top 50 or so engines at the moment



12:12 am on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is the Top 50 as I have it at the moment. It is a different list to 12 months ago, or even 6 months ago, with a number of new strong entries, and a fair number dropping out.

1 Google UK
2 Yahoo UK
4 Ask Jeeves
5 Directory.co.uk
6 Yell UK
7 Freeserve
8 Altavista UK
9 Tiscali
10 ntlworld
11 Mirago
12 Euroseek
13 Lycos UK
14 DogPile UK
15 UK 250
16 CTR
17 192.com
18 The HighStreet Web
19 Shopping.net
20 UK Net Guide
21 Web Finder
22 Splut
23 Lime Search
24 BBCi
25 Infospot
26 LifeStyle UK
27 Chilli Search
28 Searchy
30 Find It
31 Tell Me About
32 Excite UK
33 Search Anything
34 UK Web Start
35 LinkCentre.com
36 Search Engine.com
37 Free Search
38 The Local Web
39 Hotbot UK
40 Uk Directory
41 Just35.com
42 UK Phone Book
43 Great British Pages
44 Thomson Local
45 K-Directory
46 Scoot
47 UKbest50.co.uk
48 Delv
49 Abrexa UK
50 ShopQ

Directory.co.uk is going leaps and bounds and Euroseek is doing well, despite having a significant period of abandonment not so long ago.

The HighStreet Web has appeared - I think that this is the same people who did Traffic 4 Biz and The Arndale. It looks like the same model.

UK250 is worth a mention - their traffic has been growing slowly but surely.


8:50 am on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Good list but what do you base this on?


9:00 am on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see Shak beating thomson Local - well done.


11:57 am on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Good list but what do you base this on?

Top secret data sources.


2:59 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

HighStreet Web >>>>>> is down at the moment. Strange that they can't maintain it, and keep it online at the same time.

Alarm bells already.

I can't give an opinion on something I can't see.

If it is connected to the Arndale, J Search and T4Biz, then it's going to be pricey.

They will most likely have a partnership with TradeDoubler too - that would explain their network of sites!


10:03 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Useful list to see who is out there, but if you don't say what it is based on, then the value is very limited.

With the likes of Netratings, they tell you who their panel is and with Hitwise, they are based on data supplied by ISPs who provide information.

Is it based on number of searches, page impressions, unique users or what?




11:25 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It is based on the number of users.


5:44 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Unique users or not?

And what is your definition of "user" that you are applying?

Also, I think the problem with these sort of stats is that you can't really give a league table without showing what it is based on and where the data is from.

And of course, we need to define what a search engine is as some of those listed are purely shopping service tools, so comparing them with a meta search doesn't seem right.

I'm all in favour of showing who is doing well, but you need to look at the metrics of how it is measured.



10:24 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bobby is a respected member of this forum and has the best ranking system for the engines that I've seen on the web.

I would say the top half of the list is very accurate, as I tend to keep an eye on the first 10 or so.

However, I'm not so sure about the other 180ish ones, (not including mine) as I can get mine to move up the list 20 places quite easily, with a few thousand clicks.

Apart from the say top 7 SE's, the rest seem to not be too far apart in terms of visitors/user numbers, which makes me feel that just the top 10 really matter at this point in time.

Unless of course a particular engine/directory offers a unique service, or serves a particular market.

The problem is that everyone wants a piece of the pie, and doesn't actually realise that it either takes millions or you've got to have a really great idea to base it on - for it to stand a chance.

And the more engines/directories that come along - the more nervous and confused buyers will become. I'm not saying that the engine world is dead or anything, but I forsee a great number of these copycats going down in the next 3 years for a variety of different reasons - cash injection being the No 1.

But at least with Bobbys list, we can get a fairly accurate display of how things are going.

PS Bob, I'd like to see some SE/directories News Pages and articles on your great site. I know SE watch does a great job, but I haven't ever seen a SE list on their site.




7:50 am on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I know Bobby is well respected, just asking some very basic questions as without those answers, the stats don't add up.

We also need to define exactly what is a search engine as many on those list as shopping engines.

And of course, how Bobby defines a "user".

best wishes



12:36 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sure his stats can be trusted. Otherwise what's the point in having an inaccurate guide?

It would be useless as a guide. And pointless staking his reputation on it - it would make him look bad wouldn't it.

Anyway, is the fact that you feel Bobby needs to 'mark' exactly what are/aren't SE's on his guide?

Or do you need to know what a search engine is?

Search Engines:

The web is crawling with information. That would be wonderful by itself, but the fact that you can find something in a matter of seconds is really something.

The web is more than just information now. It's a place where you can shop, invest, play games and enjoy lot's of other activities.

Basically, the web is like a library without a librarian, nor is the information in these pages guaranteed to be accurate or complete. Because anyone can put anything up on the web, well, anyone does.

You find something on the web using a Search Engine. That's a web page that contains a huge list of whatever is deemed relevant.

You can search, results are displayed. Very trendy, cool and fun to use. Fun Fun Fun.

Now, here is where confusion can set in.

Basically we have:

Search Engines



A SE, technically, is just a search box, where we type words into it, for it to give us our information.

We also have Directories too, which also have Search boxes.

Search Engines will do what a web designer programs them to do.

If I want one to fetch stuff from the web - no problem.

And we can have versions that only search our own sites. Ahhhhh, Directories.

These are nice to us, as they only search our little homes of information. Plus they don't mix results (or shouldn't). Making them highly accurate and in my opinion, better for searching.

Next we have portals. These are windows (links) to other parts of the web. Portals can be shopping sites, SE's, Directories, or a combination of whatever you want or need.

Yahoo is probably the finest example of this, as it's a portal, with a directory and a SE. Good idea to have a portal for your home page.Most portals will tell you exactly what they are, or at least be very obvious.

Shopping sites can have Search Engines on them, but they are more like directories than 'World' Search tools. But they search so........

Some are better than others at finding what you are after. It depends on what you are looking for.


There are 2 types of Search Engine on this planet:

General and Specialist.

Yahoo, MSN, Google, Lycos are General engines. This means they have a bot thing that scours the entire web for your info.

ZDNet or Search Engine Watch are specialist. They will only search their own databases - and not the web, although this seems to be changing these days.


I find that having a portal site as a home page, then a backup engine, just in case is a good idea.

Also have a specialist (niche engine) for real speed requirements.

That's all you really need to know about it. I think as more people do shop online, a lot of these shop sites will become proper search engines, if that's what people demand.

But some people really like their favourites to stay as they are, which isn't a bad thing really.

If something ain't broke - why fix it.


12:09 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Are we to take it that Google.com and Yahoo.com aren't in the top 50?


12:18 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The list is for uk only engines


12:33 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OK .... I thought huh strange ... anyone got reliable stats that including both the .com and .co.uk sites for Google and Yahoo?


6:31 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Na, this list just deals with the UK only versions of the sites. Although, Google & Yahoo are No 1 & 2 for .com as well as .co.uk

I take your point though - you would (and others) would like to see a .com guide YES? What about side by side so they can be compared?

Google & Yahoo.com do not appear at all. But seeing as we all know the top spots are fought out between the top 3 anyway, it don't matter.

An Official Guide - that's yet to come!

If I had the time, I would start a full guide myself, but I'm just too busy. Maybe Bobby can put something together.

I see Search Engine Watch hasn't supplied this?

Bobby - provide it before they do.


11:20 am on Jul 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

SearchEngineWatch already provides a few of these (from several trusted sources).

But I'd rather use my own instinct (influenced by others) and optimise for the ones that bring me traffic instead of beleiving others. I'm sure a few other SEOs prefer this as well.


[edited by: engine at 1:14 pm (utc) on July 21, 2004]
[edit reason] de-linked [/edit]

creative craig

11:29 am on Jul 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I run a few local sites and the list provided by Bobby_Davro seems to be fairly accurate, there are a few directories/engines that do not show up any of my stats - but that is to be expected as there are always exceptions.


7:25 am on Jul 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for this, it's been a while since I've seen a table of a good list of UK engines.



8:53 am on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Just had a call from delve.co.uk / k-directory - a member of the infospace network - claiming 1.8 million searches a month. Bigger than Excite, Dogpile, Lycos & AOL they reckon.


10:08 am on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I doubt it very much. Bigger than Excite?

Not when Excite was on it's own amd not now they've been bought up.

Why do people lie so much. It's really bad PR to do that. And it's too easy to check to see if someone's lying.


10:13 am on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

They may be bigger than Excite UK, I am not sure. The deal is 399 a year for most keywords. Your ad, logo and links to different parts of the website appear at the top of the page, above the sponsored links.


1:37 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They certainly aren't bigger than AOL, Dogpile or Lycos by my estimation. Take a look at their Alexa data - the site only appeared in mid April and is already on a downward trend in usage. Speaking from experience, the high volumes of Google traffic won't last ;-)


1:44 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Speaking from experience, the high volumes of Google traffic won't last ;-)

I just checked. Looks like you don't receive much Google traffic anymore (for a certain site) :o


1:55 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yup, even if they clean up the site afterwards, Google will be reluctant to let such sites back into the index. Anyone who uses Google for traffic in the way that I did is on a straight road to getting their domain burned permanently.


2:04 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

399 for a listing?


I must avoid them at all costs. I hope this don't turn out to be another rip off directory.

I really hate that stuff. Hang on - that's more than Yell.com are charging.

I don't feel well. errrghhhhh (throwing up violently)


2:09 pm on Jul 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes more than Yell, but you do get a nice logo and so deep links into your website.

Had Lycos on the phone yesterday offering PPC boxes at 299 per keyword per year. Another 'no thanks' there :)

It is becoming a real pain all these people calling up, especially when you run multiple sites, and salespeople click on your Overture & AdWords ads to get your contact details to call you :(


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