When you ask a group of recruiters about which search engine they prefer you are likely to get many and diverse response starting from AltaVista, Google, Yahoo, live, etc… You also might hear people say "I used to prefer (fill in the name,)" but changed to yahoo or Google or live because it was better. And the one thing that you will soon realize is that everyone’s definition of better varies as well. Since search engines are free and user can go from one search engine to another search engines compete for our loyalty.

The reasons for liking a particular search engine are as varied as the algorithms and the relevance ranking systems that separate them the rest. Some people will prefer a search engine just for its size others because they heard it was the best and they believe it, others because their search engine gives them good results or because they are innovative or some may even use it just because all their friends use it. All crawler-based search engines have the same basic parts, but that is where the similarities end. They all have different algorithms and ranking systems.

That is why the same search on different search engines often produces different results. So the question that is just begging to be asked is “What makes a search engine a good one?” The easy answer would be (drum roll, please) – “The one that meets your preference”. All joking aside, there are several things to consider in evaluating a search engine for the value it brings to your sourcing efforts.

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