by September 4, 2000 0 comments
Year Winner
2000 Rediff.com

The number of Indian sites has been growing exponentially–at
the end of the last fiscal year, it had crossed the 80,000 mark. Among these a
lot of search engines came up too. And we decided to introduce this as a new
category this year. But surprisingly, the winners are not dedicated search
engines, but portals that also have a search facility.

Indian Search Site

User’s Choice Club  UPI
Rediff.com 100
indiatimes.com 59
indya.com 30
indianinfo.com 26
Khoj.com 24

Rediff.com is the winner and Indiatimes.com comes second with
59 points. Indya.com and Indiainfo.com also managed to enter the User’s Choice
Club, scoring 30 and 26 points respectively. The only dedicated search engine to
have made the cut is Khoj.com.

On the Web, you are nowhere without a good search engine. And
portals were quick to cash in on this. As the average Indian user warmed up to
the Net and Indian content on the Web, the top portals started branding their
search facilities as their answer to finding relevant information on the Web.
Rediff advertised in mass media, highlighting the number of results and
step-by-step instructions on how to run a search at their site. It even
attempted to brand its facility as Rediff Search. Indiatimes quickly moved in
with its claim that its search was the best and made use of the best technology
available, and even dared anyone to test it out. With so much mass media
coverage for the two, it really isn’t surprising that they have come out as
the winners.

Other portals also sat up to make their search facilities
prominent. Some of them highlight the hottest topic of the day as hot keywords,
and list the number of hits that their search generates for it. But eventually
it really isn’t the number of hits that makes a search engine. It’s the
relevance of the hits and their accuracy that count the most. Ease of use, the
speed of search, the categorization within the directories at the site and their
comprehensiveness is what will finally separate the wheat from the chaff.

There are some good Indian search engines around that are slowly working
their way up. With a bit of publicity, they could make the cut next year. But
will they rise and shine or just wilt and die, we’ll have to wait and see.

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