Best Search Engines
Finding our club on the web:
Can people find us on the web? Google was the worst in 2005 - 2006!
by Emilio Trampuz (June 2005)
Updated in May 2006
can’t remember the exact address of our web site, you can always use
a search engine (like Google), type in the words: “Mountain High
snowsport club”, and you will find us on any search engine.
But, what about people who don’t know our club’s name? What if
someone simply wants to search for any ski club in the Portland
area? They would probably type in the following search words: “Portland
ski club”. Would they find our club?
It depends on which search engine they use, and the results are
surprising. Google is among the worst. Each search usually results
in hundreds of “finds”. It’s no good if we are buried under hundreds
of other search results. Ideally, we should be found in the top 10
results. Here’s how our club was ranked by the
various search engines (from best to worst): Rankings updated as of
did not find us among the top results for quite a while. Now they do
find us, but in position 21, on the second page of their results.
Only Google is as bad as that!
don’t find us at all in 2005, when our web site was still relatively
new. But, they soon improved greatly, and MSN is now displaying our
web site prominently, among the top 10 results, just like ever other
search engine (except Google).
Google used to put us way down, in position 109, in June 2005. After that, for several
months, Google completely dropped us from its listings, thanks
to their brand new "Page Ranking" system! Then, in May 2006, after
much tweaking on our part to adapt to Google’s quirky requirements,
Google finally found us again, and listed us in position 19 (at the
bottom of page 2). Only a week later, Google moved our site a bit
lower in rankings, to position 21 (on the 3rd page).
Since everyone else finds us on the first page now, AOL and Google
are the worst. AOL's results are the same as Google's because
they use Google's search engine.
Just a few days after we published all of the above in our June
newsletter, almost as if they had read our article, Google surprised
us by suddenly listing our club in 8th place. Much better than at
any time during the past year. But, still not quite as good as
other search engines, most of which put as in 3 or 4th place.
Besides, why did we have to wait over a year to be listed properly?
In case you think that
Google has somehow singled out our club, here are a couple of other
1. Search for "Denver
- Yahoo finds the club in 1st place.
- Google hides it in 14th place (on page 2). It also shows an
indirect link to the Schussbumer club in 9th place, through
CitySearch. Why does Google give precedence to an indirect link over
the club's own web site itself? That's just not right. If I am
looking for a ski club, I don't need information about the City as a
Denver Sports and Social,
- Yahoo finds this club in 2nd place (of the same search as above).
- Google does NOT find it among the top 100 results! It's just not
there! Google is useless here.
So, what does
Google put among the top 10 results of a search for "Denver ski
club"? It puts the following in 8th place (even though this is not
even a club at all): Denver Hotels : Travel : Tourism Guide :
Denver Ski Resorts,
www.denver.com/hotels/ski.html. Google is selling us
hotels and travel resorts, when all we want is a local ski club!
2. Search for
harder for new web sites on Google. So, it's harder for us to
find NEW content on Google.
club member, Deirdre Lawrence, has set up a new web site for British
expatriates living in Portland, Oregon. You can see that site, if
you wish, at:
www.PortlandBrits.org. It's a simple, well laid out site. About
2 or 3 weeks after the web site was set up, you can now easily find
it using a Yahoo search:
http://search.yahoo.com/ or a search on AllTheWeb:
www.alltheweb.com. In fact,
you'll find it among the top 10 results by using the search words:
But, you can't find
Google (using "Portland Brits" as your search words). I did not find
it among the top 120 results. Note that a similar sounding web site
named: brit.meetup.com/207/?gj=sj5 doesn't count. That's a
different, older web site. Generally, it seems that Google can
lag behind other search engines up to 6 months before they start
listing NEW web sites. And even then, the new web sites will have
such a low page ranking initially that they will be almost
invisible, buried under tons of other results.
is, unfortunately, the most popular search engine, probably because
many people are not aware that its results have been sub-par during
the last year, and especially bad since early Spring of 2006.
Google incompetent or is it doing this on purpose?
tightened its rules to stop those who were abusing internet
searches, but in doing so, it went overboard and is now hurting
innocent people like us.
explanation is that Google is now a public company, looking
primarily for quick profit, and thus gives unfair advantage to those
web sites who pay them for a better listing.
Fortunately, people can also find us indirectly, by looking into
some of the other web sites that list our club, such as the NWSCC
web site, or SkiSite.com.
way, did you notice there are two Yahoos? The newer Yahoo Y!Q
is meant to be used for searching longer pieces of text, such as
quotations from articles or books.
City Ski Club
think Google has unfairly singled out our club, try searching for a
Kansas ski club.
finds the Kansas City ski club,
www.kcskiclub.org at the
top of the list, in position 1.
puts this club in position 37, somewhere on page 4 of the results!
UPDATE July 2010: Google
has greatly improved since 2006. It now displays our club (and
all the other clubs mentioned above) usually within the top 3 search
How to switch to a
different Search Engine
change your search engine from Google to something else? Well, as
usual, there's always more than one way to accomplish something on a
computer. I hardly ever use the browser’s own built-in search
engine. For some reason, I found the other two methods a bit more to
my liking. But, I'll address all 3 ways:
METHOD 1: USE THE SEARCH ENGINE'S WEB SITE
this method whenever you want to try out a different search engine
for the first time.
Whenever you need to search for something, simply go to the
appropriate search engine's web site. You might want to save their
addresses in your list of "Favorites" (or "Bookmark" them). Once
you get to the web site, simply type in your search words.
of the top 5 or 6 search engine web sites listed above. The first 6
on the list gave equally good results. Only AOL and Google placed
our club much further down on their lists.
METHOD 2: USE A SEARCH ENGINE'S TOOLBAR
this method all the time, since it's always on top the screen.
search engines offer a free "Toolbar" that you can download from
their web site. You can find a Toolbar at: Google, Yahoo (under
Search Services), AltaVista, A9, and others. You can even have
multiple toolbars installed at the same time. The toolbar simply
inserts itself as an additional line across the top of your browser
window. That way it is always visible, no matter what page you
might be currently browsing.
Whenever you need to search for something, simply type in the search
words in the space provided for that on the toolbar. This is
probably the quickest and most convenient way.
CHANGE THE DEFAULT SEARCH ENGINE WITHIN YOUR BROWSER
browsers should allow you to change to whatever Search Engine you
want. There's usually a place to do that somewhere within your
browser's Tools, or Options, or Preferences. The actual method of
making the change is a bit different in each browser, but the
principle is the same.
Internet Explorer, first click on the "Search"
button, and then click on the "Customize" button in the upper part
of the Search window. In the new window, select "Use one search
service". Then click OK.
process used to work well in the past, but it looks like Microsoft
messed something up lately. One of my computers allows me only to
switch to Yahoo, while another computer only allows me to switch to
MSN. Both computers run the same version of Windows XP. So, I am
not sure what is going on here. But, it;s one more reason to use
either Mthod 1 or 2 above, instead of trying to change the default
in my browser.
Mozilla Firefox, it couldn't be easier!!! Click on
the little text-box in the upper right corner (where you are
currently probably displaying a letter "G" for "Google"
or "Y" for "Yahoo"). This will
give you a short list of other Search Engines you can select. Yahoo
is one of them.
can click on "Add Engines" (at the bottom of the list), and then
select from a longer list. If you don't seen the Search Engine you
are looking for, go down to "Additional Resources" and click on
"Browse through more search engines".
you added your favorite search engine to the list in the upper right
corner of the screen, then select it, so that it's initial letter
appears in that box. From now on, all searches will be done through