Sep 13, 2007

Why Is Google The Best Search Engine?

Looking through some stats on the blog recently I noticed that someone had searched using this phrase:

tfs cc.net versioing

Note the missing N in versioNing.

Now if you put the same query into Google, Live.com, Yahoo you get interesting results:

First: Live.com

 search3

Now Yahoo!

search2

And finally Google

search1

So why is Google the best? All 3 search engines typically return results with clean layouts, let you look at cached versions of the page and return results quickly.  But only one engine is truly usable.  Only one engine is forgiving of typing mistakes.  Only one engine returned results.

Google found that there was a typo and went ahead and searched on what it thought the word was meant to be.  If you searched with the word versions instead, Google will give you results that contain both version & versions.

Live.com detected the typo, but didn't offer anything further than a message telling me I can't spell. Click again doofus!

Yahoo! couldn't even tell that there was a mistake!

And as for the little "help" tips that Yahoo! and Live.com show when there are no results?  Well, with a bit of programming computers can spell better than people, they can tell what more general forms of words are, and they can lookup synonyms for what you typed.  In fact, this is what Google does when you screw up.  The only time you get no results from Google is when you type in something so badly misspelled no-one can tell what it should be.

It's this massive usability edge that keeps Google on top.  If another search engine showed up with better usability than Google people would start switching.  Remember AltaVista anyone? It was the dominant search engine of it's time, and then Google came along and showed how easy search could really be and everyone switched.  (P.S. AltaVista is still there - and it also returned nothing in the search, but then again it's owned by Yahoo! so that's to be expected) There's nothing that would stop the same from potentially happening again, though it would be quite a mountain to climb. There's an extremely large dominance factor to overcome. Have a look at these web stats from the last few weeks of my blog for an idea:

search4

Yes indeed. That's a huge lead to try and overcome.

14 comments:

  1. This behavior could be patented by Google and thus avoided by Live and Yahoo. It could also be saving bandwidth. Who knows.

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  2. While this is an interesing feature, I find it somewhat annoying when it corrects spelling of properly spelled terms, and returns invalid hits automatically. For example, go a search for ' ifilter dust ', and compare that to ' "ifilter" dust '

    The second correctly returns hits on the IFilter interface, while the first returns hits on may types of industrial filters.

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  3. i think it dosent really matter if it thinks that a correct spelling is a...well i cant say mistake because thats not true but its kind of a mistake i guess you could say but the point is that it doesn't really matter if it makes a kind of mistake

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  4. i agree google is the best website

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  5. unbelievable how google returns the results so fast, i dont think others like ms or yahoo should even try to compete in the search workspace. Just accept that google is the best in this.

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  6. Google relies on a simplicity that many other search engines lack.
    It's fast, reliable, easy to use, user friendly.

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  7. What about ask?












    That's the worst ever!

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  8. Most of the time i type words wrong so stupid engine would waste bandwidth.. U wanna search for: ferrari lamborghini gallardo type in: frarrrrrrri and lamobrgini gayllardo.

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  9. Just in case a Google spider comes across this blog, again – I would just like to say... Thanks for making my life easier! You’re the best!! : D

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  10. Google iz d best...! thanx google.

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  11. Google rocks! its much lighter than anything else and leads by 2521 users! (as the blog stats suggest)

    if you're a yahoo or live user, you seriously are missing something!

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  12. I like Google very much because of its fast searching and great database.Thanks for this appreciable post,i am looking forward for the next.

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  13. Google you give me my life back Truly your Live giver i cant give my feelings in words but google your the best you give me my life back...thats all i can say from my heart google FOREVER...



    - My Heart

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