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There are many Search Engines that you can use to find something on the Internet. Usually you will not search beyond the first couple of pages of results that appear, unless you are hunting for something very specific. They all use different algorithms, therefore they give different results. Obviously it is very desirable for the owners of an internet page to be listed in the first two pages of results.

Webmasters use various techniques to get a favorable listing, the design of the first part of the page is very important. Commercial websites frequently pay to get a favorable listing and buy advertising on the search pages. All the most popular search engines indicate which listings are "sponsored". However, in addition, commercial users use other techniques to obtain top ranked placement, by placing large numbers of pages with similar titles and arranging for cross-linking between them and other similar pages, because most placement algorithms use the numbers of external links as one of the elements. See the Comparison Table which shows the placement of pages in response to random queries.

     In December 2009 I used the four most popular search engines to check how a few randomly chosen web pages fare in this huge competition for favorable placement. In July 2010 I repeated the test and was pleasantly surprised to see some results improved, only Yahoo, with its emphasis on commercial sites, showed lower ratings. No advertising has been placed nor have any fees been paid.
The excellent placement of the "Vienna walk" and "Salzburg map" pages was very surprising, considering that these are pages written in the year 2004. Obviously they are sufficiently interesting that many other reference sources have linked to them.
I was also surprised by the poor showing of the "tour Warsaw" pages, which are frequently updated. A review of the listings on the first four pages of "tour Warsaw" listings reveals that most of them are for commercial websites (travel agencies, tour agencies, government agencies, etc). I noted that Yahoo and Bing appear to give somewhat more weight to commercial webpages, than Google.

     The results will change with the wording of the query. Note the three different queries to find a pre-World War II map of Warsaw. On the website there are many pages about sailing in the Caribbean. However the query "Caribbean sailing" gave many listings of yacht charter companies, cruise lines and resorts, but none for pages.
Adding the word "destinations" to the query produced high ranking results, because that word appears in the Title of one of the pages. If you, the reader, wish to check the results in the table, don't be surprised if you get slightly different results. Obviously placement of any page changes somewhat from day to day, even hour to hour.

Walk in Vienna#3nonenone#4
tour cracow#7#5#10#8
tour Warsawp2 #7nonenonenone
royal mile Warsawp2 #3nonenonep2 #2
photos warsawp2 #2p2 #2#6p4 #3
central poland tour#3#6#8#2
central europe history #7p2 #7#2#4
1939 map warsaw#7 & p2 #1p2 #4p2 #5#2 & #3
warsaw map prewarp2 #1#3#7none
warsaw map 1938#1 & #2#3#1#1
map salzburg#3p4 #1none#6
caribbean sailing destinations#1#5#1#1
sailing grenadines#1none#6#1
conception island#6#3#4#9
sailing historyp2 #7none#8none
html code foreign characters#8#2#1p2 #1
special character tables#3nonep3 #3p2 #3
fighter in Warsaw#7#10#6p2 #5
Warsaw memorials#1#1#2#1
NOTE The indicated position of the pages is after the designated "sponsored" listings. All placements are on the first page of the results, except where p2, p3 or p4 appear to show that listing first appeared on the indicated page. "None" means that no page was shown in the first four pages of results. Obviously the search engine will eventually find the page relevant to the query, but perhaps in the 12th or 20th page, which is not very interesting. These results are from test on 2 July 2010
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