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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 11:43 GMT
Search wars - which is the best?
As Microsoft enters the internet search engine market, users find themselves overwhelmed with options. We compare the big players on five key areas.

Google

MSN

A9

Yahoo!

Ask Jeeves

The verdict

The test

  • First a search for "raleigh" - chosen as it is a word with several meanings including the bike company, the US city, the expedition charity and the Elizabethan explorer.
  • How fast? Although engines can be slowed down by problems in receiving networks, searches made within minutes can give a comparison.
  • Then how did it look and could it tell us an Alsatian's IQ (reportedly 60 - whether this is true or not is irrelevant). Finally, the simple question - what is the time in Sydney?

Google

RELEVANCE

Google threw up 11.9m results for raleigh with the most obvious references in the front two pages.

The bike company was top of the list, with the North Carolina city and the charity Raleigh International among the top 10.

First mention for the Elizabethan courtier Sir Walter Raleigh is on the second page, ranked 14th.

So anyone looking for the historical figure would have to be a little patient or refine the search, because there is nowhere to find the different Raleigh references separated from the list.

SPEED

A nippy 0.97 seconds.

THE LOOK

The search page is very clean and uncluttered and so is the results page. Sponsored links are tidily listed down the right-hand side.

THE OBSCURE FACT

What's the reported IQ of an Alsatian? Bingo - Google immediately finds a page referring to the dog's alleged intelligence (it's 60, apparently).

THE QUESTION

What is the time in Sydney? Google sends me to timeanddate.com.




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