I find this quite curious.

When you search:



Basically, unless you spell it out for it, you won't see Google anywhere near the first position.

alt text

I find this borderline annoying :)

I don´t really need to layout for you what Google's business is, it should get relevant results, and the most relevant result, for any of this searches, would of course be Google.

Is this because they don't have relevant content at their homepage?

Because they only have their "app" in the homepage and no text? I guess they are not short in link-building! (or SEO techniques)

I simply want to know if anyone could help me understand why this could be happening.

  • 2
    Google has never ranked well for "search engine(s)". Ever.
    – John Conde
    Nov 30, 2010 at 21:40
  • great question! this gave me a good laugh! hahaha Apr 13, 2011 at 15:45

6 Answers 6


Can you explain why Google would need to have itself appear as a result for the phrase 'search engines' when someone is already searching for search engines while using Google? One would think that if someone is searching for something on Google, they would know that Google is a search engine.

As for other search engines, Google is their biggest competitor. They don't have any business reasons to place Google first.

Finally, Google doesn't have the phrase 'search engine' on their home page. And if someone is going to link to Google's homepage, they are far more likely to do it using the anchor text 'Google' than 'search engine'. Google has transcended being simply a noun or a brand and has become a verb. People now google things, just as they use a kleenex rather than a tissue.

  • It is not a matter of needing to appear first, of course they don´t need! But should´t their system detect that google might be an relevant query for someone searching "search engine"? I'm sure they did not address this case in particular, so the generality, google should rank good. I just find it strange.
    – Trufa
    Nov 30, 2010 at 22:33
  • There really isn't any reason for their system to detect it, mainly because of the points in my last paragraph. The phrase doesn't appear on the page and it's unlikely anchor text. Nov 30, 2010 at 22:44

The reason is purely because Google does not have the word "engine" anywhere on the page. Not in the page title, meta description, URL or page text. If the page title said "Google search engine" then they would undoubtedly be #1 or #2 across the board.

Interestingly, google.co.uk shows up in Bing search results for me. The snippet likely comes from DMOZ since the home page has no meta description (they do that to save every last byte of bandwidth). Google.com's snippet makes no mention of "engine".

Finally, why would they want to rank for "search engine"? Google is already ubiquitous, they don't need the 3 people each day who type "search engine" into a different search engine...

  • Yes, I agree they dont need/want rank there I just thought it would be natural, I'll agree with "The reason is purely because Google does not have the word "engine" anywhere on the page."
    – Trufa
    Dec 1, 2010 at 2:17

Yeah, that's true.

But think a while... you go for google to search for other things over internet other than search engines. It will be more commom search for "white fur shoes" than "search engines" in a search engine.

Well, yes, they have a nasty SEO. But it doesn't makes any difference for them. Follow an old joke just for fun [it is still funny nowadays]



If you are curious, you can check the Google's SEO Report Card. :)

  • 1
    That is some excellent material sir! I'll take a good look.
    – Trufa
    Dec 2, 2010 at 12:57
  • That's really funny Dec 2, 2010 at 13:38

you are thinking about this a little wrong,

Most popular reasons to having SEO is getting traffic to your site and in most cases then conversion of this traffic if you are selling something or using advertising such as adsense (google) or adbrite for profit, otherwise you're a none profit type of site (google isn't they get advertising money as 95% of their profit)...

so with this in mind how do people get to google most of the time?

  • bookmark or directly type in google.com
  • or type'google' to your browser
  • or default search engine (note: if google or not, it will show google.com)
  • or finally it's your home page and you start typing there

anyway you see that they have (probably) 0% of people searching for 'search engines' to find/get to google, therefore they don't target those keywords anywhere on their site.

Also this is a good indicator to show that their organic results are not tempered with in their own favor

hope this helps!

  • @Eduboris Thanks for the answer, I get this, what you say, but as you say (and I believe) that they don't tamper with the results, what would you answer if you had to choose the most relevant result for the "search engine" query? I´m guessing at lease the wiki article.
    – Trufa
    Nov 30, 2010 at 22:29
  • yes you are right, so if someone searches 'search engines' they most likely want specific information about search engines such as a wikipedia article explaining it as opposed to an actual search engine website such as google.com or bing.com etc.
    – Eduboris
    Dec 25, 2010 at 18:39

SEO is not a goal in and of itself. It's a tool to do one thing, namely get more traffic to your site.

Google does not need SEO, because they are a search engine. You're not going to look for a search engine, you're already using one - using a search engine to look for a search engine is just plain silly.

It's like including the table of contents in your table of contents - while not wrong, it's a bit useless. After all, you don't need help finding the table of contents - you're looking at it.

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