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Search Engines at a Glance

Search Engine Advantages Disadvantages
  • Searches a very large number of websites.
  • Ranking algorithm is based on several factors; usually produces at least some relevant results.
  • Clean, straightforward search page.
  • Has the capacity to be quite specific with the use of advanced search features and other tools.
  • Search for websites, images, video, discussion, stores, maps and news.
  • Due to immense popularity, creates temptation to only use Google instead of exploring other options.
  • Ranking algorithm is proprietary, so it's difficult to tell why a site appears in results as it does.
  • Advanced search features are sometimes difficult to find.
  • Advanced search offers option of only searching for Creative Commons licensed pages.
  • Search database is updated daily.
  • Main page is cluttered with various news and other items.
  • Part of Microsoft's internet portal site (formally MSN).
  • Offers many different search capabilities.
  • Offers opportunities to create an advanced search strategy.
  • Front page somewhat cluttered.
  • Many features still in beta.
  • Advanced search options appear in separate pop-up window instead of all on one screen.
  • Finds relevant results than only listing popular websites by identifying the most authoritative sites on the Web.
  • Binoculars icon gives you preview of web page before clicking on it.
  • No truncation and no case sensitivity.
  • Smaller database originally developed by Teoma.
  • No cached copies of pages.
  • Offers advanced search options and customizable display.
  • Good multilingual support.
  • Audio search.
  • Too many options may be confusing at first.
  • Difficult to tell sponsored results from regular results.
  • Proprietary search operators (e.g. NEAR)
  • Many unique resources, such as full-text searching of books.
  • Search categories help a searcher hone in on the most relevant sites.
  • Many services previously available, such as search histories, bookmarks and a diary, have been eliminated.
  • Metasearch - searches Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask and others and compiles top results.
  • Offers advanced search options.
  • Only takes top results from each search engine, so results are not as deep.
  • Sponsored results are mixed in with regular results.
  • Provides tools enabling you to filter out or in sites according to your evaluation of the sites.
  • Shows you how often you've looked at a given page.
  • Adds search features and buttons as you use it more, rewarding you for your experience.
  • Adds search features and buttons as you use it more, punishing you for being a new user.
  • May seem gimmicky to those used to Google or Ask's clean interfaces.
  • Clustered search results allow quick narrowing of search.
  • Various levels of customization are available.
  • Clean, uncluttered look.
  • Respects privacy, does not store personal search details.
  • Includes sponsored results.
  • Advanced search options are very basic.
  • Lets you create a list of sites (Searchroll) that you want to search, rather than searching everything on the web.
  • May be useful for long-term research projects.
  • You can use Searchrolls that have been created by others on various topics, some created by 'High Rollers' or well-known people in relevant fields.
  • You don't get all possible results.
  • Bias of the creator of the Searchroll is reflected in results.
  • Less than 100 dead links at any time.
  • Various levels of customization are available.
  • Clean, uncluttered look.
  • Respects privacy, does not store personal search details.
  • Includes sponsored results.
  • Meant for specialized audiance.
  • Specializes in scholarly research materials.
  • Developed and maintained by academic librarians.
  • Links to electronic journals.
  • Browse feature is somewhat clunky.
  • Many resources are fee-based or limited to a certain group of users.

For more comparisons visit: Search Engine Watch


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