I got a funny idea today that will help determine how search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo really rank themselves and each other. For each of those three search engines I did a query for “search engine” and also for “search.” Here are the results I received:




Google:

 
searching for
search engine
searching for
search
1. google.com search.msn.com
2. search.msn.com google.com
3. google.co.uk yahoo.com
4. altaVista.com search.com
5. a9.com excite.com

 

MSN:

 
searching for
search engine
searching for
search
1. search.com scholar.google.com
2. searchenginecolossus.com altavista.com
3. searchenginewatch.com google.ca
4. submitexpress.com search.com
5. ask.com search.org

 

Yahoo:

 
searching for
search engine
searching for
search
1. dogpile.com search.com
2. altavista.com altavista.com
3. hotbot.com overture.com
4. webcrawler.com ussearch.com
5. lycos.com careerbuilder.com

 

I’m not sure if you are as shocked as I am at these results. Out of the bunch it looks like Google does a good job of making sure they appear in their own results and they appear towards the top.

Yahoo did offer a link above the first search result that said “Search The Web” when I did the query for “search.” They didn’t, however, appear in the top 5 of their own results.

MSN definitely appears to be the worst and they obviously place a lot of weight on the keywords appearing in the URL. A little too much weight in my opinion.

The thing that really strikes me is that everyone is so caught up in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for certain keywords but it looks like the search engines themselves don’t care too much. Heck, most of them can’t even optimize themselves for good placement on their own search engine!