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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 11:42 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?

Yahoo!

RELEVANCE

Yahoo! gave 8.75m results for raleigh, with very similar results to Google.

The "also try" section running along the top gives the option of narrowing the search down to the North Carolina landmarks - the city, the airport and the local newspaper. So maybe an improvement on Google there.

But trying to get to the relevant results for the charity or Queen Elizabeth's favourite pioneer would take a bit more work.

SPEED

Leaving Google in its wake - 0.18 seconds. The quickest overall.

THE LOOK

The search page is heavily promoted with adverts and news. Bit messy.

THE OBSCURE FACT

What's the reported IQ of an Alsatian? Who knows? I gave up looking after three pages.

THE QUESTION

What is the time in Sydney? 7.50pm




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