The Effectiveness of Web Search Engines to Index New Sites from Different Countries

Pirkola, Ari
June 2009
Information Research;Jun2009, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Introduction. Investigates how effectively Web search engines index new sites from different countries. The primary interest is whether new sites are indexed equally or whether search engines are biased towards certain countries. If major search engines show biased coverage it can be considered a significant economic and political problem because of the international nature of the major search engines. Method. We examine what share of the sites of recently registered domain names from a certain country appears in a search engine index after a given period of time following registration of the domain name. We consider how effectively the Websites of new Finnish, French U.S. domain names are indexed by two US-based major search engines (Google and Microsoft's Live Search) and three European search engines (Virgilio, www.fi Voila). Results. The results showed that Google provided the highest coverage of the five search engines that US-based search engines Google and Live Search indexed US sites more effectively than Finnish and French sites. These findings are in line with earlier research findings based on a different method and different countries. The Finnish www.fi indexed only Finnish sites and the French Voila only French sites. Virgilio indexed European sites more effectively than US sites. Conclusions. The biased coverage of Google and Live Search raises concern because of their international nature. The coverage bias by the European search engines only seems to have local or regional significance.


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