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What Are the Top 10 Search Engines?

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Can You Name the Top 10 Search Engines?

Every search engine marketing professional knows Google is the top search engine. But only a few can name all 10 top search engines without looking at recent market research.

Why?

There are a couple of reasons.

For one, the list of top 10 search engines changes over time. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Web Search, Lycos Network Search/Directories, and My Way Search have dropped off the radar screen in the past year. At the same time, Information.com, InfoSpace Web Search, and even the beta version of Microsoft Search have taken their place.

For another, even the search engines that have stayed in the top 10 have moved around in the rankings. While Google was #1 in both December 2003 and December 2004, MSN Search slid from #2 to #3, while Yahoo Search climbed from #3 to #2. While AOL Search and Ask Jeeves remained #4 and #5 respectively, Overture slid from #6 to #7, while Netscape Search climbed from #9 to #8.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, here were the top 10 search destinations (US, home and work) in December 2003:

Brand or Channel Unique Audience (000) Active Reach (%)
Google 53,058 37.41
MSN Search 53,058 37.41
Yahoo! Search 41,250 29.08
AOL Search 21,953 15.48
Ask Jeeves 11,481 8.10
Overture 7,163 5.05
Web Search 6,225 4.39
Lycos Network Search/Directories 5,884 4.15
Netscape Search 5,563 3.92
My Way Search 5,137 3.62

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, here are the top 10 search destinations (US, home and work) 12 months later in December 2004:

Brand or Channel Unique Audience (000) Active Reach (%)
Google 67,123 44.85
Yahoo! Search 47,917 32.02
MSN Search 37,684 25.18
AOL Search 25,447 17.00
Ask Jeeves 11,674 7.80
Information.com 11,513 7.69
Overture 5,726 3.83
Netscape Search 4,587 3.06
InfoSpace Web Search 4,280 2.86
Microsoft Search 4,273 2.86

While the charts above represent the “conventional” list of the top 10 search engines, there is also an “unconventional” view worth considering.

Tucked away in another category are Yahoo News and Google News. Each of these news search engines has a larger unique audience than some of the top 10 search engines. But Nielsen//NetRatings has put them in the Current Events & Global News category along with CNN.com, MSNBC.com, NYTimes.com, and Knight Ridder Digital.

In December 2003, Yahoo News had a unique audience of 18,134,000, making it the #3 Current Events & Global News destination, behind CNN.com (#1) and MSNBC.com (#2). By December 2004, however, Yahoo News had a unique audience of 21,337,000, making it the #1 Current Events & Global News destination, ahead of CNN.com (#2) and MSNBC.com (#3). Meanwhile, Google News had grown from a unique audience of 3,277,000 in December 2003 to a unique audience of 6,431,000 in December 2004.

If Yahoo News and Google News were classified as search destinations, a list of the top 10 search engines in December 2004 would have looked like this:

Brand or Channel Unique Audience (000) Active Reach (%)
Google 67,123 44.85
Yahoo! Search 47,917 32.02
MSN Search 37,684 25.18
AOL Search 25,447 17.00
Yahoo News 21,337 14.26
Ask Jeeves 11,674 7.80
Information.com 11,513 7.69
Google News 6,431 4.30
Overture 5,726 3.83
Netscape Search 4,587 3.06

This isn’t just an academic exercise. This is data that search engine marketing professionals can act on. An optimized press release can improve search engine ranking, increase web traffic, and generate sales leads as well as publicity.

If this opportunity wasn’t obvious before now, maybe you were looking at the wrong list of the top 10 search engines.

Greg Jarboe is the co-founder and CEO of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization and public relations services to Southwest Airlines, Verizon SuperPages.com, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), and a growing list of other organizations. Jarboe is also the editor of SEO-PRs News Blog.

What Are the Top 10 Search Engines?
About Greg Jarboe
Greg Jarboe is the co-founder and CEO of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization and public relations services to Southwest Airlines, Verizon SuperPages.com, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), and a growing list of other organizations. Jarboe is also the editor of SEO-PRs News Blog. WebProNews Writer
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  • http://www.google.com/notebook/public/13925590165897262561/BDSIKQgoQmsLrpJsj Maria

    Very nice. Worked like a charm.

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