Data from search engine analysis run on March 5, 1999
This chart compares the size of the databases of the Web search engines. For this comparison, I used 25 single keyword and phrase searches that should have been processed identically by each search engine. Since Infoseek and Northern Light automatically recognize word variants and plurals, those terms that could be pluralized were OR'ed together in search engines that do not support automatic plural searching. This may skew the results slightly.
This comparison is based on the reported number of hits from each database, verified by visiting the last page of results when possible. This is not a measure based on precision, recall, or relevance but only on the raw database size. For earlier comparisons see below:
While decisions about which Web search engine to use should not be based on size alone, this information should be part of the decision. See also statistics on the lack of overlap between the search engines, unique hits, dead links, and the change over time.
Note 1 *With HotBot now grouping hits under the site, it is nearly impossible to calculate a total number of hits. The number reported as of the date of this comparison is actually the number of sites, or an estimate thereof. After consulting with technical people at both HotBot and Inktomi, the numbers were obtained by running the same searches on Anzwers and Canada.com. According to Inktomi, both of these databases were running on the same cluster as HotBot. While there is no guarantee that the same will hold true on any other date, it should provide an accurate representation of the HotBot database for the date on which these comparisons were run--March 5, 1999.
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