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StaffIncremental BloggerBloggers notice search engine usage

Bloggers notice search engine usage

A few bloggers are sorting through their blog stats trying to infer which search engines employees are using at GYM (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft).

Philipp Lenssen and Andrew Hitchcock share their stats.

Searches originating from the Google domain appear to use the Google search engine the most; those from Yahoo use Yahoo the most although Google for at least some, and those from Microsoft use Google and a few use MSN.

It’s not surprising that Google gets so much use. I find it the most productive search engine of the three for general searches. However, what these bloggers have tripped across is how well Yahoo treats many bloggers in its search engine. To illustrate this, search for the first name of some popular bloggers using each of the search engines and look what you get on the first page–and particularly the top hits on that page:

Google RobertHis old blog is Hit #2 and his new blog is hit #3.
Yahoo RobertHis old blog is Hit #1 and his new blog is hit #2.
MSN Search Robert–No blog entry. Hit #1 does go to Robert Scoble’s Wikipedia entry though.

Google Dave–His blog, Scripting News, is hit #3.
Yahoo DaveScripting News is hit #1.
MSN Search Dave–Dave’s Scripting News blog is #4.

Google Philipp–His blog is hit #1.
Yahoo Philipp–His blog, Google Blogoscoped, is hit #1.
MSN Search Philipp–Did not list his blog.

In each of the above searches Yahoo appears to be most biased towards returning a blog for a given name, which seems smart to me given the current state of the market.

OK, Let me search for myself:

Google Loren–This blog is hit #10.
Yahoo Loren–This blog is hit #1.
MSN Search Loren–No hits for me.

And what about my sister Lora? She has a common name and two blogs:

Google Lora — not bad. First hit is her MSN Spaces blog and hit number 8 is her WhatIsNew blog.

Yahoo Lora–Hit #2 is her MSN Spaces blog and Hit #3 is WhatIsNew.

MSN Search Lora–First hit is WhatIsNew. MSN Spaces blog is not in top entries. Not too bad.

Now I’m not suggesting that people would typically search for a blog using only the blogger’s first name, however, I think these searches illustrate how differently the search engines are ranking blogs within their search results. In particular, in this test I’d give the edge to Yahoo, with Google second and MSN Search after that.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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