Company Name Test, Feb. 2000: Introduction

Company Name Test: Feb. 2000

By Danny Sullivan, Editor, Feb. 29, 2000

Go to your favorite search engine and enter a company name. What comes up? Ideally, most people probably want the company's home page be listed at the top of results. Realistically, you'll probably get some pages from deep inside the company's web site. Quite possibly, you won't get any pages at all.

This is a particular challenge for search engines. They aren't really built for simple or single word queries like this. But with some tweaking, they can deliver the ideal situation described above. That's a real benefit to the many non-web savvy people who turn to search engines when they don't know the web addresses of companies they'd like to reach.

I've added a twist to the current company names test. Instead of searching for actual companies, I looked to see whether I could find the campaign web site for each leading candidate in the 2000 US Presidential election.

Keep in mind that there are many different ways to test search engines. In particular, the Company Names Test does not measure how well a search engine might perform to find obscure information. So, don't use this test as the sole judge of which search engine is "good" or "bad."

Report Card & Scoring Criteria
At-a-glance look at how well each search engine did in the test.

Illustrated Guide To Scores
Detailed look at how each search engine performed. Because of the many pictures, this page may take up to 2 minutes to load on a 28.8K connection or about one minute on a 56K connection.

Can You Find Your Candidate?
Article that summarizes results from the point of view of how findable each candidate is.

Past Company Name Tests:

Sept. 1999
This test checked to see how well the search engines could locate the top five most recognized e-commerce web sites.

June 1998
A repeat of the March 1998 test, below, but with a larger list of search engines.

March 1998
This test checked to see how well the search engines could find each other and some other prominent web sites.