Classifications of Search Engines (Primary search engines)

With a decent understanding of how search engines work and how people use those search engines,
you can now concentrate on some more detailed information about these engines. For example, you
know that all search engines aren’t created equal, right? But did you know that there are different
types, or classifications, of search engines? There are.
Search engines can be broken down into three different types (in the broadest of terms): primary,
secondary, and targeted.

Primary search engines

A primary search engine is the type you think of most often when search engines come to mind. Some
index most or all sites on the Web. For example, Yahoo! Google, and MSN are primary (also called
major) search engines.
Primary search engines will generate the majority of the traffic to your web site, and as such will be
the primary focus of your SEO efforts. Each primary search engine differs slightly from the others

For example, Lycos has been around much longer than Google, yet Google is the most popular
search engine on the Web. Why is that? Most likely because people find that, when searching the
Web, Google provides better search results.
The difference in those search results is all in the search algorithm used to create the search engine.
Most primary search engines are also more than just search. Additional features such as e-mail, mapping,
news, and different types of entertainment applications are also available from most of the primary
search engine companies. These elements were added long after the search was established, as
a way to draw more and more people to the search engine. Although those features don’t change the
way people search, they might affect which search engine people choose.

Overview of Google

Each of the major search engines differs in some small way. Google is the king of search engines, in
part because of the accuracy with which it can pull the results from a search query. Sure, Google
offers all kinds of extras like e-mail, a personalized home page, and even productivity applications,
but those value-added services are not what made Google popular.
What turned Google into a household word is the accuracy with which the search engine can return
search results. This accuracy was developed when the Google designers combined keyword searches
with link popularity. The combination of the keywords and the popularity of links to those pages
yields a higher accuracy rank than just keywords alone.
However, it’s important to understand that link popularity and keywords are just two of hundreds
of different criteria that search engines can use in ranking the relevancy of web pages.

Overview of Yahoo!

Most people assume that Yahoo! is a search engine, and it is. But it’s also a web directory, which
basically means that it’s a list of the different web pages available on the Internet, divided by category
and subcategory. In fact, what few people know is that Yahoo! started as the favorites list of
the two young men who founded it. Through the acquisition of companies like Inktomi, All the
Web, AltaVista, and Overture, Yahoo! gradually gained market share as a search engine.
Yahoo!, which at one time used Google to search its directory of links, now ranks pages through a
combination of the technologies that it acquired over time. However, Yahoo!’s link-ranking capability
is not as accurate as Google’s. In addition, Yahoo! also has a paid inclusion program, which some
think tends to skew search results in favor of the highest payer.

Overview of MSN

MSN’s search capabilities aren’t quite as mature as those of Google or Yahoo! As a result of this immaturity,
MSN has not yet developed the in-depth link analysis capabilities of these other primary search
engines. Instead, MSN relies heavily on web-site content for ranking purposes. However, this may
have a beneficial effect for new web sites that are trying to get listed in search engines.
The link-ranking capabilities of Google and Yahoo! can preclude new web sites from being listed for
a period of time after they have been created. This is because (especially where Google is concerned) .
the quality of the link may be considered during ranking. New links are often ignored until they
have been in place for a time.

Because MSN relies heavily on page content, a web site that is tagged properly and contains a good
ratio of keywords will be more likely to be listed — and listed sooner — by the MSN search engine.
So, though it’s not the most popular of search engines, it is one of the primaries, and being listed
there sooner rather than later will help increase your site traffic


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