While most users would expect one of the major three to be number one, surprisingly, none made the top two. The winner, by far, is DuckDuckGo. The name takes a second to type, but the search is faster than any other search engine. Unlike many other search engines, you're only presented with a single ad, which is placed unobtrusively in the top right corner. Another benefit is you never half to click through pages. All results are listed on the first page, which continues to display more results as you scroll down. The vast majority of results within the top 30 were relevant and from reputable, well known sites.
A close second was Ask. There are more ads, which are placed within search results. The biggest benefit is the related searches, which are more detailed than those offered on DuckDuckGo. There were more forums listed in the results, but all results were relevant through the first several pages.
Next up are the big three in the following order: Bing, Google and Yahoo. Bing's results were more relevant and slightly faster than Google. Google took longer to search due to offering alternate searches while typing. While this is a nice feature, it does slow the search engine down. Yahoo offered more relevant results than Google, namely less forums and ads, but was slower than either Bing or Google. Overall, there was little difference between the three with the exception of layout.
The next two were relatively slow, but did offer decent results. On popular searches, they worked well, but niche searches were hit or miss. Yippy offers an easy way to filter searches, which may make it faster than other search engines for those trying to find specific sites. Snap wasn't much different than Yippy in terms of speed, but otherwise left me less than impressed.
The slowest search engine by far is Dogpile. It was once very popular and is trying to make a comeback. It's major downfall is mixing in ads from Google, Yahoo and Bing with the results. Ads do not stand out from results, making it hard to find what you are looking for. Some searches took as long as two seconds to display results.
The final list is as follows:
While this test focused on general purpose searching, depending on what you are looking for, one search engine may be faster than another for you. In order to determine which one actually is the fastest for your needs, try them all out and see who makes the top of your search engine list.
Image Credit: DuckDuckGo Logo