Search Engine Showdown


Search Engine Statistics: Unique Hits Report
by Greg R. Notess

Data from March 6, 2002

Pie Chart

Based on an analysis of the same four small searches used for the overlap analysis, this chart shows how the results found by only one search engine (unique hits) were divided up between the search engines. Google, WiseNut, AllTheWeb, Teoma, NLResearch, and MSN were the only ones of the ten search engines that found unique results that none of the other search engines found.

For more detailed analysis, the table below shows the number and percent of unique hits for each search engine. Unique hits were those URLs that were found by only one of the ten search engines. The percentage figure refers to the percentage of unique hits as compared to the total hits which that particular search engine found on that search. Times refers to how many times in the five searches a unique hit was found. Only Google found unique hits on each search.

Given these results from this very small sample, Google found the most unique hits (41) but AllTheWeb, WiseNut, NLResearch, Teoma, and MSN all found hits that neither Google nor any of the others found.

Search Engine Unique Hits Unique % Times
AllTheWeb 7 18% 2
AltaVista 0 0% 0
Direct Hit 0 0% 0
Google 41 43% 4
HotBot 0 0% 0
iWon (Inktomi) 0 0% 0
MSN (Inktomi) 2 7% 2
NLResearch 4 15% 1
Teoma 3 13% 2
WiseNut 14 30% 3

This example is from a total of 334 hits from four searches found by ten  search engines. Of the 334 total hits, only 141 represented non-duplicative Web pages. And of those, 71 were unique hits in that they were only found by one of the ten search engines.

See also past unique hits reports:

While decisions about which Web search engine to use should not be based on size or unique hits alone, this information is especially important when looking for very specific keywords, phrases, and areas of specialized interest. See also the following statistical analyses: