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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Testing Search Engines

Learning Exercise: Testing Search Engines

Testing Search Engines
Activity that compares two search engines
Course: Library science, Introductory information systems, Introductory English


Submitted by:
Ralph Westfall
Date Last Modified:
May 16, 2000


  1. Go to the search engine you usually use
  2. Enter your keywords and search for information
  3. Check through the first 10-20 items in the results list and see if any of them appear to be close to what you are really looking for
  4. Click on the links for the pages that look useful, to see if any of them really are what you are actually looking for
  5. Note the position(s) in the list (1st, 20th, or whatever) of any pages that actually are close to what you are looking for
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 with the Google search engine
  7. Compare the results (if possible, instructor should summarize results by search engines for the whole class)

    • which search engine produced more pages that were useful in the first 10-20 results?
    • how close to the top of the list were the most useful pages from each search engine?



  • College General Ed


search engines, information search, World Wide Web, Internet


web browser

Learning Objectives

1. Discover availability of search engines other than the one(s) the student typically uses. 2. Learn how to compare search engines

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental activity
  • Team
  • Unsupervised