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Monday, May 16, 2022

Dogpile: Search Results On Major Engines Diverging

InfoSpace-owned metasearch engine Dogpile, which recently refreshed its homepage and made other, minor changes, published the results of its second “search overlap” study. The first study, released in 2005 and commissioned from the University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University, found that 84.9 percent of results on search engines were unique to one engine and not found on competitor sites. The study involved Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask and also found that among 12,570 random user-defined queries just over 1 percent of first page search results were the same across the engines.

The 2007 study has found further divergence and even less overlap: only 0.6 percent first page search results were the same across the engines.


Here’s a high-level summary of the findings of the April, 2007 study, this time conducted in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology and Pennsylvania State University:

  • The percent of total results unique to one search engine was established to be 88.3 percent.
  • The percent of total results shared by any two search engines was established to be 8.9 percent.
  • The percent of total results shared by three search engines was established to be 2.2 percent.
  • The percent of total results shared by the top four search engines was established to be 0.6 percent.

The majority of first page results are unique:

  • On average, 69.6 percent of Google first page search results were unique to Google.
  • On average, 79.4 percent of Yahoo! first page search results were unique to Yahoo!
  • On average, 80.1 percent of Live first page search results were unique to Live.
  • On average, 75.0 percent Ask first page search results were unique to Ask.

Top search result was different across engines:

Only 3.6 percent of the #1 ranked non-sponsored search results were the same across all search engines for a given query, down from 7.0 percent in the July 2005 overlap study.

Sponsored links on Google and Yahoo:

  • Only 4.6 percent of Yahoo! and Google sponsored links overlap for a given query.
  • For 22.8 percent of all queries Google did not return a sponsored link where Yahoo! returned one or more.
  • For 9.9 percent of all queries Yahoo! did not return a sponsored link where Google returned one or more.

You can find the complete study here.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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