Yahoo! & Google’s overlaping results fewer than you’d think

August 29th, 2004

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There’s a brand new meta search engine on the block called Jux2. Its premise is to find the overlap between the top 10 results across two major search engines. So far I’m really impressed with it. It even has a toolbar for Mozilla FireFox.

Jux2 conducted some tests to determine just how much overlap there is in the top search results on Google versus Yahoo! The results of their tests are very interesting. Such as:

  • Analysis of Google and Yahoo! search results on the 500 most popular search terms found that, on average, Google and Yahoo! shared only 3.8 of their top 10 results. Furthermore, 30% of the search terms had 2 or fewer overlapping terms, and only 17% had 6 or more overlapping results among the top 10.
  • The overlapping set of top 10 results between Google and Ask Jeeves was even smaller: 3.4 out of 10. And between Yahoo! and Ask Jeeves, smaller yet: 3.1 out of 10.
  • Analysis of 91 random searches on Google and Yahoo! found that the two engines share only 23% of their top 100 results. Furthermore, only 4.8 of Google’s top 10 results even made Yahoo’s top 100. And only 5.4 of Yahoo’s top 10 made Google’s top 100.

For me, Jux2’s findings were a good reminder that the algorithms of the major search engines are markedly different, more so than one might imagine. So a metasearch engine that compares and contrasts two partially overlapping sets of search results makes a lot of sense. I think I’ll try Jux2 for a while and report back on my experiences.