Data from March 6, 2002
Little overlap despite database growth!
This analysis compares the results of four small searches run on ten different search engines. The four searches found a total of 334 hits, 141 of which represented specific Web pages. Of those 141 hits, 71 were found by only one of the ten search engines while another 30 were found by only two.
Several of the largest search engines have shown significant growth
since Feb. 2000, when the overlap comparison was last run. Even so, almost half
of all pages found were only found by one of the search engines, and not always
the same one. Over 78% were found by three search engines at most. Each pie slice in the chart represents the number of hits found by the given number of search engines. For example, the
Even with three Inktomi-based databases (iWon, MSN Search, and HotBot), there was not identical overlap between the three. However, the Inktomi database are relatively similar.
Search Engines Analyzed:
See the more detailed analysis of unique hits to gain a sense of how the 71 pages found by only one search engine were distributed.
While decisions about which Web search engine to use should not be based on size alone, this information is especially important when looking for very specific keywords, phrases, and areas of specialized interest. See also the following statistical analyses:
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