Search engine spiders and algorithms

I’ve been doing a search engine optimization for a few years, and I don’t really think there’s much difference between the major search engines. There might be some little differences, most noticeably:

  • MSN still displays very spammy pages every once in a while.
  • Google updates some pages faster and makes an effort to find breaking news/content.
  • Google gets a lot of pages in its index.

A little less noticeably:

  • Google puts huge emphasis on links and link quality.
  • It’s possible to get new pages with a lot of new links to the top of MSN fast.
  • Yahoo! might put a bit more emphasis on “on-the-page” content than the other engines.

Overall though, I think the major search engines rank really similar pages. And I think that optimization efforts that are good for one engine, generally work for the others.

Lately people have been talking about semantic search. Especially because Yahoo! is marketing their latest product as a move toward semantic based search and because a new semantic engine has come out. I’m not really going to discuss it because I don’t think it’s that important. I kind of see semantic search as the solution to a problem with search results that nobody has properly identified or stated. I haven’t seen anything that makes it seem particularly useful or feasible.