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6/98 Company Name Test: Directory Results

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NOTE: Click Here for the most current Company Name Test

Scoring Information

100% Company home page was listed first or was listed within the first category listed at Yahoo, since categories are listed first there.
75% Company home page was listed among the top results.
50% Inside pages from company web site were listed in top results.
25% Pages from a secondary company web site were listed in top results.

The Results

  • Read across to see how well each search engine did for a particular term.
  • Read down to see how well a particular search engine did for all terms.
  • AJ=AskJeeves, SP=Snap, LS=LookSmart, YH=Yahoo, AVG=Average.
  • Results are as of June 25, 1998.

Term

AJ

SP

LS

YH

AVG

altavista

100%

25%

75%

100%

75%

excite

100%

100%

75%

100%

94%

infoseek

100%

75%

75%

100%

88%

hotbot

50%

100%

75%

75%

75%

lycos

100%

75%

75%

100%

88%

northern light

50%

0%

50%

75%

44%

webcrawler

100%

75%

75%

100%

88%

looksmart

50%

100%

50%

100%

75%

snap

50%

75%

100%

75%

75%

yahoo

75%

100%

75%

100%

88%

microsoft

75%

75%

50%

75%

69%

netscape

75%

100%

50%

75%

75%

geocities

100%

100%

50%

100%

88%

Average

79%

77%

67%

90%

78%

Notes About The Results

In the March 98 test, Yahoo was pitted against the search engines and took top honors. It continues to be the victor, even when pitted against competing directories.

About the only fault with Yahoo is that its site descriptions and link names could be clearer, especially in comparison to its competitors.

For example, Yahoo list the Microsoft category prominently as the second item in its results. Clicking through brings up these links:

yahoo.gif (4435 bytes)

Many people looking for the Microsoft web site will realize that "Home" is the correct link. However, moving this up higher would probably be helpful.

Adding some descriptive text can also be an aid. Consider this from third-place ranked Snap:

snap.gif (4025 bytes)

Good descriptions like these are fairly typical, at the service. That can be a plus for those looking for more guidance, as opposed to the comprehensiveness that Yahoo provides. My personal favorite was how Snap lists itself. It was the only search engine or directory that showed a sense of self-awareness:

snap2.gif (4038 bytes)

AskJeeves scored second-place on the test, and its results are notable for being so perfect for this type of query. Looking for the Microsoft web site? AskJeeves responds with:

askjeeves.gif (2100 bytes)

Click on the "GoTo" button, and AskJeeves takes you straight to the Microsoft web site.

As for LookSmart, the service ranked last for this type of search. It was especially poor for the more important terms of "microsoft," "netscape" and "geocities." These sites were lost among the mass of listings. The situation was much better when searching for search engine sites. In most cases, it was easy to spot the home page listing high in the results.


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