"I was thinking about you all day today and what a great
person you are."
"I wanted to be #1...After 2 months I reached the top position for my most popular keywords."
Above The Fold!
Classes of Search Engines
There are many different classes of search engines. For simplicity sake we broke these up into 5 main categories. Our first category is not actually a search engine, but a human compiled search engine. These are actually referred to as web directories.
Web directories are typically far smaller than search engines due to the fact that they are human compiled. The major benefit of web directories is that they provide "hard links" which search engines can spider.
Directories do not provide much traffic, but links from many various directories will help improve your search engine rankings. Learn more about web directories.
Now we can actually get into search engines. There are so many out there that it is hard to know what ones are useful for what purpose and how to use each search engine. Luckily since search engines play such a vital role on the web, there is a large amount of data on search engines readily available.
Search Engine Ratings
No rating system is completely pure and the usage statistics are constantly changing for these search engines, especially among the consolidation and re focusing of portals. Some interior site searches in the Yahoo! network are still counted as a search. Those types of searches inflate Yahoo!'s rated search distribution.
- Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ratings
- comScore Media Metrix Ratings
- SearchEngineWatch: Search Engine Ratings & Reviews
Search Engine Relationship Charts
Major Search Engines
Major search engines are those that generate the most traffic. Many of the secondary search engines offer rehash listing of what these search engines provide.
Getting listed in major search engines is important because that is where your traffic will come from. Google, Yahoo! Search, Teoma, and the soon to be released MSN search are the major search engines. THe best way to get listed in the major search engines is to build links into your site from other websites.
PPC Search Engines
PPC search engines charge advertisers for each person that clicks on their ads. If you struggle at search engine optimization, or need immediate results PPC search engines are the answer for you.
Even if you are serious about search engine optimization a properly performed PPC search engine campaign will help your bottom line. Overture and Google AdWords are the largest PPC search engines.
I recommend testing conversion rates across a broad array of search terms on Google AdWords and Overture before (or in conjunction with) your SEO campaign. It is not the quantity of traffic that you get which matters, it is the quality. PPC search engines can help you find your highest converting terms so you are 100% sure what to optimize for before you start optimizing your website. The free report on the right side of this page will give you a ton of useful tips to help you optimize your PPC campaigns.
Meta Search Engines
Meta search engines sift through results from major search engines. Each meta search engine has its own unique ranking algorithm which weights these results from other engines differently. If you list well in major search engines then you will list well in meta search engines by default. One bad thing about meta search engines is that they tend to heavily mix (and rank highly) many PPC ads into their search results.
Other Search Engines
Other search engines are newer, niche specific, or smaller search engines. Generally I usually do not worry much about other search engines but I thought it would be useful to have a category with some of the more interesting ones.
Search Engine Facts vs Fiction:
Clear up common search engine misconceptions.