Search Engines

These are some of the more popular web search engines. Summary Data
I first investigated this site 12-99. "configuring windows explorer" rank 1st of 4, and without double quotes, 4th of several pages. (Pretty good considering that I never tried to register with them.) However, the links produced Access Denied errors :( This was because the site referenced only the directories and not specific web pages and because my home page ended in .htm instead of .html which the server looks for when only a directory is supplied. (Problem fixed 12-15-99.)

On 9-19-01, I created a new page on eml viruses which I never registered with any search engine. As of 11-20-01, when searching on "eml viruses", my page is number 1 of 1,870 with Google, and with "elm virus" it is not in the first 8 pages.

Google does not display the description metatag in the search results. Instead, it displays about 80 characters around the matching words.

Allows you to type in your own description and to specify which groups your site is in. Takes several weeks before listing is available. Still not listed 7-27-98.
On 11-2-98, only Configuring Windows Explorer - Registry EditFlags was found. The description was from the meta tag dated 8-8-98.

Searching on did not locate any Windows Explorer pages.
Searching on "configuring windows explorer" found the main index page (Ranked #1 of 19155).
Re-submitted url again.

Searching on eml viruses ranked my page 1 of 739. Uh, Yahoo claims that its searches are currently powered by Google, but Yahoo found only 739 matches and Google found 1,870.
Searching on "configuring windows explorer" found the directory (Ranked #1 of 28). Clicking on it opened my dummy page with the link to the real page (htm vs html).

When I registered WindowsExplorer, it was immediately placed as
The description was from the meta tag.
Only indexes the summitted page, none of the sub-pages.

Links at bottom of page will apply the same search to other search engines.

Submitted on 9-30-98.

Still nothing as of 4-24-98, 7-27-98, 11-02-98. WinExplorer is number 4 on 2-25-99 without double quotes; all 7 of 7 with double quotes. Does not use meta tags.

Registered both of these on 7-27-98 and 9-30-98

Only the submitted page is immediately available. It says that it will spider the site later.

Searches are sort of case sensitive (tested on 4-17-98)

configuring windows explorer returned 3 hits (all lower case)
configuring windows Explorer returned 4 different hits (only Explorer was upper case)

On 4-24-98, its a little different.

configuring windows explorer returned 7 hits
configuring windows Explorer returned 4 hits (sub-set of the 7)
Configuring Windows Explorer returned 3 hits (sub-set of the 4)

The 7 from 4-24 contain all 6 unique hits from 4-17. It appears that the search algorithm changed!

On 7-27-98,

configuring windows explorer returned 21 hits (I had 6 of the top 10)
configuring windows Explorer returned 16 hits (I had 13)
Configuring Windows Explorer returned 2 hits (I had 1)

On 9-30-98,

configuring windows explorer (without double quotes) returned 385195 hits (I had the top 12)
configuring windows explorer (with double quotes) returned 21 hits (I had 13)
configuring windows Explorer (with double quotes) returned 10 hits (I had 4)
Configuring Windows Explorer (with double quotes) returned 0 hits
windows explorer (without double quotes) returned 30288 hits (My 1st reference was 53)

On 2-25-99,

configuring windows explorer (without double quotes) returned 389180 hits (I had 14 of the top 15)
configuring windows explorer (with double quotes) returned 20 hits (I had 16)
configuring windows Explorer (with double quotes) returned 19 hits (I had 16)
Configuring Windows Explorer (with double quotes) returned 17 hits (I had 14)
windows explorer (without double quotes) returned 37531 hits (My 1st reference was 2)

On 6-01-99, returned 90 hits (4-13-99 is most recent, more HTML pages) returned 64 hits (3 were not mine)
configuring windows explorer
Submitted WinExplorer 10-28-98 Still not listed 2-25-99. Both HTML and Windows Explorer re-submitted 2-25-99.
Rank This
Used to determine your rating on several search engines. Click on the icon for the engine you want to check. Rank This is no longer useful. Based on its own discussion group, it appears that it began failing in May 1999. I discovered the problem on 11-19-99, and verified it again 12-15-99. It simply reports that you are not ranked at all. As of 10-09-00, this link is dead.

Meta Tags

Several search engines suggest using meta tags to define the keywords used to index a page and to provide a description for each page. For instance, when AltaVista indexes a page, it places all the words in the Description and Keywords meta tags in the index. When a description of your page is returned, either the first few lines of text are shown, or, when you use the Description meta tag, its contents are shown. Other search engines use other techniques.

The meta tags for this page are

  <META NAME="description" 
    CONTENT="Web Search Engines,
             The difficulty of getting listed and
             a comparision of how one of my sites was rated,
             Last modified 10-28-98">
  <META NAME="keywords" 
    CONTENT="HTML, examples, search engines,
             search engine ratings, 
             search engine comparisions">

In Death of a Meta Tag, it is suggested that, as of 10-2002, only one of the major search engines (Inktomi) still uses the keywords meta tag.


Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / HTML_Examples / Searchen.htm