Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, July 13, 2007

Google-Free Friday Has Me Asking For Google, Please!

Danny Sullivan and crew at Search Engine Land have come up with a way to add some spice to those Fridays in July when we'd all rather be doing something other than working. They're calling it Google Free Friday, where searchers try using search engines other than Google. Actually, today's suggested Free day has been moved to Monday, due to the launch of Sphinn, the new social networking / forum / Digg-like venture. (Which, by the way, is - well - I don't even have a word for it. Unique, fascinating, huge, maybe even crazy? But that's another post.) Since I had planned to go Google-Free today, I decided to give Ask a whirl anyway.

I was looking for some information for a friend on retirement plans and annuities. The information was relatively specific, so I went to Ask and entered a multi-word search, complete with quotes around a couple of the terms for specificity. I got back, in a word, garbage. Well, in the organic results, anyway. Actually, the ads were well targeted - if I had been looking to invest, which I wasn't. I was looking for information, which is usually best found in the organic SERPs. Ask left me asking more questions. In fact, the #2 result was some senseless splog. Ugh.

So, on this pseudo Google Free Friday, I turned to Google. Within a minute or two, I'd found exactly what I was looking for, and more. Folks, this is why Google is the #1 search engine, and why their share keeps getting bigger every month. It's called relevancy.

I'll still keep trying different search engines on Google Free Fridays, just for fun, but if this experience is any indication, I'll be running back to Google every time.

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