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Google, the king of search engines, does have competition, although none seem to be a threat to its number 1 position. Dogpile is a metasearch engine, one of the top ten that compiles results from several other search engines in its results. Infospace, another metasearch engine owns Dogpile, yet both combined do not get the visitors that Google does. Dogpile lists search results from Google, Yahoo! Bing, Ask.com and About.com after clicking on a "Go Fetch" button. After an analysis of searches by both search engines, you'll be able to understand why Google does a better job at finding what you want on the Internet.
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Searching for a Person
Any phrase or word string can be used for experimenting with Dogpile and Google search results. In this article, three sample searches are used to find out which search engine-Google or Dogpile does a better job finding relevant results. If you want to try this experiment, there are a plethora of methods for searching Google, including the types of phrases you should use.
Since many people do searches on themselves and others, the first sample search will begin with the name of the author of this article-Matthew Bamberg. The name will be enclosed in quotes so that the search engines look for both words as they are written in the keyword search box.
In order to be objective in an experimental search using Google, the first thing to keep in mind is to not be signed into the site. If you are signed in, your searches will be geared to what you have searched for in the past.
The results of the two searches are similar. Google lists the Matthew Bamberg's website (matthewbamberg.com) first under its title "Matthew Bamberg-Author, Photographer, Educator" while Dogpile lists the stock photo agency "Dreamstime," a Google sponsored keyword advertisement, first with the title "Matthew Bamberg" listed without any information about him. Nice work by Dreamstime, a microstock photography website that sells photos and illustrations for photographers, for buying those keywords to get their site listed first. Dogpile's fine print, "Google Sponsored Ad," is so small that it's barely noticeable. Four more similar keyword ads are listed before the nonpaid search results begin.
Bamberg's webpage is the first nonpaid listing at Dogpile. Next is Bamberg's blog, "Digital Traveler" and then Bamberg's Facebook page. The third listing on Google is Bamberg's other blog at Wordpress.
The remainder of the listings on the first page of both websites are similar, consisting of Bamberg's books, literary agency and other photography websites that contain his name.
The most notable results are on the second and third page where both Dogpile and Google list various file sharing websites that link to free (and illegal) copies of his books. All search engines have quite a bit of work to do to eliminate those websites.
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Searching for a Company
Consider a search for the Baltimore Orioles on Google; the first website to be listed is, predictably and logically, the website for that sports team. The second is a copy of the website put out by MLB.TV, which you have the option of blocking. On Dogpile the Baltimore Orioles official website is listed after a couple of sponsored websites; one of those listings (Baltimore Sports News) leads to a San Diego sushi catering company. A few more sponsored websites follow the listing of the team's official site. Overall, a thumbs down for Dogpile.
Google then lists the Orioles schedule (put out by MLB.TV) and then a couple of news listings about the Orioles. Google goes on to list the Wikipedia entry for the baseball team, a website about the Baltimore oriole bird from allaboutbirds.org, ESPN's Baltimore Orioles website and then Yahoo's website for the Baltimore Orioles.
Dogpile then lists the Wikipedia entry for the team, another sponsored website, The Baltimore Sun's Orioles website, another sponsored ad, ESPN's site, the MLB mirror page and then more sponsored ads.
On the Dogpile search there seems to be more sponsored ad links than nonpaid links.
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Searching for an Item
Searches for camera models and other tech devices are popular. A camera many people research is the Canon 5D Mark II, which is a good third sample search.
Searching for those keywords without parenthesis on Google leads to drastically different results than the two previous searches written about above. The first entries, sponsored ads, are in a yellow background at the top of the page. That's refreshing to see; you have more of a choice here as to whether you want to search the sponsored ads or not because their listings are much more obvious than the ones described above on Dogpile.
After the sponsored listings, which are bhphotovideo.com, calumetphoto.com and ibcart.com, you get the first nonpaid listing which is Canon's website for that camera model. The listing sums up the specs of the camera giving its resolution and sensor type (full-frame sensor).
Next in line in the first page of listings are: Amazon's page for the camera, bhphotovideo.com's page and third is well-known photographer Ken Rockwell's article about the camera. The next listing is Wikipedia's. Also, on the page is a link to a YouTube video about the camera.
The first six entries on Dogpile are sponsored ads. Again you have to look at the light, fine print to find that out. Another thumbs down. Next comes the nonpaid Canon website, then two more sponsored ads, followed by Wikipedia. The next nonpaid link - dpreview - is one of the best camera review sites on the Internet. This website contains dependable information about cameras, including the Canon 5D Mark II. Google hadn't listed that one on the first page, a placement it certainly deserves.
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The Skinny on the Searches
After evaluating the searches, one can come to the result that you're better off using Google. There are just too many sponsored ads hidden among Dogpile's search results. Even though Dogpile uses several search engines, you have to go through pages and pages of listings to find the nonpaid, more legitimate links.
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Screenshot by Matthew Bamberg