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Search Engines of Desire

In the November issue, Fast Company took a look at people and teams working to unseat Google as the alpha dog of Web search. Today, Microsoft is launching its new search service.

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Will Microsoft be able to oust Google from its lead position? The early numbers don’t bode well. Let’s compare some searches:

Bill Gates
MSN: 802,000
Google: 3.8M
Yahoo!: 3.9M

Britney Spears
MSN: 1.8M
Google: 7.5M
Yahoo!: 8.5M

Linux
MSN: 17.5M
Google: 162M
Yahoo!: 84M

Interesting that even “Bill Gates” falls so short in MSN’s search count, much less Linux. But the question might be this: While quantity of search count is impressive and a leading indicator of a search engine’s quality, does MSN’s results quality overcome the low counts? When will we have a search engine that returns, say, 10 results… and they’re the perfect 10?

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