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On this page, we take a look at:
Top Search Engines - Indexes vs. Directories - ODP and Other Alliances

Top Search Engines
When you're in a rush to get people to visit your site, you often can't take the time to submit your site to every search engine. So, the most obvious strategy is to submit it to the top search engines only.

The Biggest Search Engines
As reported by Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch Web site, these are the top search engines according to number of pages indexed:
  1. Google
  2. FAST (All the Web)
  3. AltaVista
  4. Inktomi
  5. Excite
  6. Northern Light
The Most Popular Search Engines
However, just having a large index doesn't make a search engine the most popular. Danny "the Search Engine Guru" Sullivan also gives us the Jupiter Media Metrix findings on the top search engines according to audience reach, published in October 2001, which are:
1. Yahoo
2. MSN
3. America Online
4. Lycos
5. Netscape
6. Google
7. Excite
8. iWon
9. NBCi
10. GoTo (Now Overture)
11. Ask Jeeves
12. AltaVista
13. LookSmart
14. Direct Hit
15. Dogpile
16. Bay9

Indexes vs. Directories
As you probably already know, search engines are either computer-generated indexes or human-edited directories. My experience has taught me that indexes are easier to get into simply because you don't have to please some faceless editor. Plus, you usually can get into indexes faster, especially since directories usually have a backlog of other sites to review. Here's a breakdown of some of the sites listed above (and others) according to their type:
Direct Hit
FAST (All the Web)
Northern Light
Ask Jeeves
GoTo (Now Overture)
Open Directory

ODP and Other Alliances
Most search engines don't rely on their own indexes alone to return search results. Many use more than one index from partner search engine sites. Therefore, knowing which search engines service others is important since you can get into one search engine's results through another's.

You down with ODP?
One of the most popular search engine site to partner with is the Open Directory Project, or ODP. ODP, while owned by AOL, is not a search engine that normal surfers go to for searching. Still, it should be considered a popular search engine because so many other sites pull results from its index. Therefore, you should always, always, always submit your site to ODP.

You can find out where a search engine is getting their results or to whom they are providing results by checking out the search engine's home page. But if your want an easier way to look up this information, visit good old Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch page. Below is a short and sweet list of popular search engines that provide results and the partners they work with.
Search Engine
Results Go To
Netscape, Yahoo
HotBot, Ask Jeeves, iWon, MSN, Lycos
iWon, AOL, HotBot, GoTo, LookSmart, MSN
MSN, AltaVista, Excite, iWon
AOL, Netscape, Lycos, Direct Hit, HotBot, Google

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Top Search Engines - Search Engines vs. Directories - ODP and Other Alliances

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Original Content and Design by Robin Morris
Copyright © 2001

This page was last updated on November 28, 2001.
This site is posted for information purposes only. I make no guarantees that your site will be number one in search engine rankings. However, following the advice given herein can only help. Good luck!