Suggest a Site for the Search Engine Torture Test

Help the editors of Search Engine Watch by suggesting an "ideal" site that should invariably appear in the top ten search results for a specific query.

Danny Sullivan and I are planning an extensive "torture test" of the major search engines, and would like some input from SearchDay readers. Specifically, we're looking for sites that should be a no-brainer for search engines to display in the top-ten for a specific query.

What do we mean by this?

Well, for the query "cancer" we'd want to see a widely recognized authoritative agency or government sponsored medical information site.

For "lionel trains" we'd expect to see the toy manufacturer's home page. We'd also want to see an authoritative hobbyist association, and perhaps an online retailer that specializes in toy trains.

For "Kofi Annan" we'd want the Secretary-General's home page at the U.N., and perhaps current news about his activities.

The possibilities are endless. What we'd like from you is just one example of your favorite "no-brainer" web site -- a site you're utterly familiar with, and are convinced that it's the single best information source for a specific topic.

Note: we're not interested in the search terms that would be used, only the URLs of specific pages. The idea is that the page (or site) should be such an excellent information source for a query that we should be able to deduce the query simply by looking at it.

And please -- this isn't a popularity contest, so don't "vote" for your own site. We won't be publishing suggestions, just using them to help us formulate our own hands-on evaluation of the search engines.

Send your suggestions (URLs only, no search terms) to Important: Please put "Torture Test Suggestion" (without quotes) as the subject of your email.

Thanks! Watch for the results sometime later this month or in early October.

A Curious Google Mirror

A literal mirror of Google allows Chinese users to circumvent the country's blocking of the search engine. The New Scientist reports that the site, elgooG, which is a clone of Google with reversed letters and logos, will accept reversed queries and return actual Google results. Results are also displayed backwards, however, and can only be easily read in a mirror.


Google Mirror Beats Great Firewall of China
China's widely criticised blocking of the web's most popular search engine Google can be defeated by viewing a strange Google mirror site through a mirror, New Scientist has discovered.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Online access news
ISPs gird for copyright fights...
CNET Sep 9 2002 11:14AM GMT
Online portals news
Yahoo trims sales staff...
ZDNet Sep 9 2002 10:39AM GMT
Online search engines news
Google gains mindshare with InfoSpace deal...
The Register Sep 9 2002 8:53AM GMT
XML and metadata news
Intro to XML grammar...
CNET Sep 9 2002 3:07AM GMT
Online search engines news
Inktomi compelled to buy buildings for $114 million...
San Francisco Chronicle Sep 8 2002 11:51AM GMT
Technology features
They Made Headlines During the Boom. Where Are They Now?...
Fortune Sep 7 2002 1:43AM GMT
Online search engines news
Google, games, & governments...
ZDNet Sep 6 2002 11:45PM GMT
Measuring Search Engine Success: Rankings and Traffic...
High Rankings Sep 6 2002 4:54PM GMT
Tech latest
Travel agents tripped up in Orbitz suit...
CNET Sep 6 2002 12:49PM GMT
XML and metadata news
W3C publishes plan for mixing XML markup languages... Sep 6 2002 9:57AM GMT
Online marketing news
Pop, Pop, Pop Go Those Web Ads...
Wired News Sep 6 2002 9:38AM GMT
Online search engines news
Media Watchdog Groups Criticize China for Blocking Web Search Engine...
VOA Sep 6 2002 3:08AM GMT
powered by

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.