Eleven major search engines were reviewed between April 5 and 11, 2000.
The engines were searched using five separate travel industry categories:
Airline Tickets, Airlines, Cruise Lines, Hotels, and Car Rental. Engines
were scored based upon their results; these scores and results are broken
down into separate tables.
SNAP tied for first. Overall scores are below. Explanatory notes follow
THEY RATED OVERALL
categories were searched: Airlines, Airline Tickets, Cruise Lines,
Hotels, and Car Rental. No Boolean connectors or additional search
characters were used in the search string.
points above were derived by summing the search engine scores and
dividing by 5.
possible average score = 90, plus possible "extra credit"
in some categories.
Search engines fell well short in their searches compared to those results
based upon consumer preferences. The search engine results were compared
against objectively and scientifically derived rankings provided by
PCData, which ranks sites according to estimates of unique monthly visitors.
PCData uses a consumer pool of 120,000 users to determine web rankings
from PCData is used by Omega World Travel for its new internet ranking
and search directory, TOP9.com. A subsidiary of Omega, TOP9.com is the
internet's first search directory to use consumer intelligence data
to categorize and rank the most popular websites by industry categories.
engines offered reasonable performance at the "micro" level,
that is, in searching out obscure and narrowly focused sites. However,
they did a poor job on the "macro" level when searching for
selected travel industry-related key words, as the attached reports
clearly demonstrate. Even the highest-scoring engines only reflected
about half of what consumers prefer. The lowest-scoring engine provided
search results that reflected only 12% of consumer preferences.
search engines also provided inconsistent results compared to each other.
In addition, the same URLs were often listed multiple times within the
top 10 or 20 sites returned from a search.
Major search engines do an extremely poor job of providing search results
that reflect what consumers actually prefer. At best, the highest scoring
engines only produced half of the sites consumers most often visit.
While search engines are useful, their inconsistent and wide-ranging
delivery of URLs appears to present difficulties for typical users.
industry may wish to more closely examine how their respective sites
are presented in the major search engines, in order to ensure that quality
products and services are being presented to search engine users in
an appropriate manner.
ABOUT THE STUDY:
The search engine analysis was performed and tabulated between April
5 -12, 2000, by Omega World Travel subsidiary TOP9.com. Rankings for
the search engine comparisons were provided by PCData. Rankings are
based on unique monthly users and as such represent the best available
rankings which reflect consumer preferences.
The search engine study was intiated after researchers for the TOP9.com
search directory discovered that the results provided by major search
engines did not seem to correlate with the most popular websites in
To: Full Report | Press
Release | Index of Tables
Omega World Travel
| PCData | TOP