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10/30/2007
06:47 PM
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Survey Favors Dogpile's Metasearch Approach

A recent J. D. Power study ranks the search engine compilation site highest in customer satisfaction.

Dogpile.com, the metasearch engine that combines many different search engines, has been deemed highest in customer satisfaction among search engines, according to a new survey of users.

The company, which announced the results Tuesday, said it had scored highest in the second year in a row in the J. D. Power and Associates Residential Online Service Customer Satisfaction Study. Dogpile crowed that it also extended its lead over Google -- its nearest competitor. The study examined ease of use, functionality and results.

"With the vast amounts of information available on the Web today, it's not surprising that different search engines return different results," said Jim Voelker, CEO for InfoSpace, which owns Dogpile.

Google typically comes out on top of search engine rankings when it comes to sheer numbers of queries. For instance, Comshare reported rankings in July that placed Google in the lead with 6.6 billion searches to 2.5 billion for Yahoo, 1.3 billion for Microsoft, 959 million for AOL Time Warner and 587 million for Fox Interactive Media. But a customer satisfaction is also an important distinguishing trait.

"This top ranking is a validation of the benefits of metasearch, and shows that one search engine is not necessarily enough," Voelker said.

While there are different ways of defining and tracking metasearch, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have shied away from recommending any metasearchers in their workshops and suggest that searchers use different search engines on their own. The Cal researchers note that users can craft their own metasearch engine; Google's Custom Search Engines (CSEs) offering allows users to search Web pages, for instance.

Dogpile also cast aspersions on the results of top search engines, citing a study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Queensland University of Technology. The study, according to Dogpile, found that the first page results on Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's search engine overlap less than 1%. Dogpile said the results reinforce the value of Dogpile, which it returns the top results from those search engines.

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