RelevantKnowledge Search Engine Ratings

RelevantKnowledge was a web site ratings firm that released data from August 1997 until its merger with rival Media Metrix in October 1998. The chart below shows RelevantKnowledge ratings that were available until the merger. Now, technology from both companies is used to produce a single set of ratings that are released under the Media Metrix brand. See the link below to the page within Search Engine Watch about Media Metrix.

Trend Comparison

Below is a look at the RelevantKnowledge ratings over the time they were released. They show audience reach, which is the percentage of web surfers estimated to have visited each search engine during the month. Because a web surfer may visit more than one service, the combined totals exceed 100 percent. Data for some of the less-popular services was not made available each month, which is why there are gaps on the chart.

RelevantKnowledge Search Engine Ratings Trend Chart

KEY: YH=Yahoo, NS=Netscape, EX=Excite, IS=Infoseek, LY=Lycos, AV=AltaVista, WC=WebCrawler, HB=HotBot, LS=LookSmart, GT=GoTo, SP=Snap

In September 1997, the large spike for Excite that continues into October is primarily due to RelevantKnowledge releasing only "network" figures for these months, rather than per domain figures. Thus, reach for the "Excite Network," which includes Excite-owned WebCrawler, was combined into a single Excite figure. The same is true for other services in these months, but it is much more noticeable with Excite, because WebCrawler draws significant traffic on its own.

In January 1998, there were significant rises with nearly all the search engines, but there are no good reasons to explain why. I suspect the rises may have had more to do with RelevantKnowledge revising its measurement system than any real gains. This is especially so as similar rises were not seen in the Media Metrix ratings for the same period, except with Infoseek. There, a rise makes sense, as Infoseek was in the midst of a US television campaign.

In February 1998, Infoseek's gain on Excite lost steam, while LookSmart jumped into the top ratings, for the first time.

In June 1998, AltaVista's rise was almost certainly due to its new placement that month on the Netscape Net Search page, while Yahoo's drop was likely due to its removal as a prime partner on the page. This was reflected on the Media Metrix ratings, also.

More Resources

Search Engine Alliances Chart

A page within this site summarizing how the major search engines compare in a variety of marketing arenas.

Media Metrix Search Engine Ratings

A page within this site summarizing Media Metrix ratings of the major search engines.

NetRatings Search Engine Ratings

A page within this site summarizing statistics from NetRatings about the major search engines.

Former RelevantKnowledge Site