When Internet was not yet a household name, people usually relied on encyclopedias whether it be in a form of large thick volumes or a software application. Today, a typical sense of curiosity of an individual will lead him in front of a search engine page. An Internet search engine, to the non-techie peeps, is like your genie in a bottle, but instead of granting wishes, the genie grants answers to your questions. Millions of Internet users in the world today can easily find answers to the most bizarre questions that breed in their brains by just typing the question (or topic/subject matter) and hitting the Search button (or simply the Enter key). The search engine genie then crawls to millions (or billions) of indexed web pages and lists all those pages that could possibly contain the answers to your query. You then sift through the list of pages in order to find the right one that will satisfy your inquiry. This is just the basic idea of Internet search engine and I am not planning to discuss further on this post because you can simply go to Wikipedia for the textbook and more detailed definition.
The following are the most recommended Internet search engines today based on statistics and over-all performance.
Google. Perhaps Google is the most used search engine today because of its simplicity and accuracy. Because of the sky-rocketing popularity of Google, terms such as “googled” or “googling” came to life. (Ex. I don’t know who the heck is Martin Luther so I googled him yesterday.) Have you heard of the term “JFGI”? If not, it means â€œJust F***ing Google It!â€Â This is mainly addressed to people who kept on asking questions to other people without first searching for answers themselves. Google made its web debut on 1996. Unlike other search engines that made use of the number of times the search term appeared on the page as basis for ranking search results, Google made use of the PageRank technology which I personally think is a better system of ranking results. The PageRank of a website is determined by the number and relevance of pages linking to it. I put Google on top of the list because of its unique and reliable ranking system aside from its popularity. As of December 2009 trend analysis, Google is the largest web search engine with a query volume of 85.35%.
Yahoo!. This former king of search engines can also be considered as a household name by most Internet users. Yahoo! has been around the Internet business since 1994. Last year, Yahoo! Search ranked as the second largest web search engine next to Google. It’s share of web query volume is 6.29%. Yahoo! Search was initially a hierarchy-based web directory of websites instead of a search-able index of pages. This is how the “classic” Yahoo! works – a pure search within a directory of websites that are reviewed by human editors. Yahoo! Search was powered by Inktomi in 2001 and later on by Google up to the year 2004. Today, Yahoo! makes use of its owns search technology.
Bing. This search engine from Microsoft was introduced to the public last May of 2009 by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer. It made its web debut on June 3, 2009. Before Bing, there was MSN Search, which was replaced by Windows Live Search in 2006 and was re-branded as Live Search in 2007. As of January 2010, Bing is the third largest Internet search engine with a query volume of 3.16% and is one of the most recommended Internet search engines today. Bing is slowly taking over the search engine universe through a wide range of partnerships. It has been rumored that Bing will be replacing Google in the next version of the iPhone OS. If this pushes through, it would be another step forward for Microsoft’s Bing. Bing also took a step towards the social networking world with its recently launched social site that obtains updates from Facebook and Twitter.
Following in fourth and fifth places for the most recommended Internet search engines today are Ask and AOL Search. As of May 22, 2010, Google ranks first with a web query volume of 72%, followed by Yahoo! with 14.58%. On the third spot is Bing with 9.20%, followed by Ask with 2.18% and AOL Search with 1.06%. These figures came from Hitwise which collects data directly from ISP networks for its trend analysis. Based on the latest figures, we have noticed a considerable increase in Bing’s volume (3.16% to 9.20%) and in Yahoo!â€™s (6.29% to 14.58%) and a decrease on Google’s query volume (85.35% down to 72%) in just more or less five months. I compared Hitwise’s 2010 figures with Wikipedia’s 2009 figures because Hitwise’s 2009 figures were almost similar to their 2010 findings.