Comparing access.log and WWW search engines

Comparing access.log and WWW search engines

Post by Mark Jord » Sat, 09 Nov 1996 04:00:00


Recently I compared the number of referrers in my site's access log to
results from searches for the URL using Alta Vista and Infoseek Ultra.
What I've found is a bit unusual, so I'd like to know if anyone can pick
holes in my methodology.

Using MS Access to isolate HTTP requests and their referrers (pages with
links to them), I have confirmed (by actually checking the referring URLs)
that that in September and October our server received requests from
links on about thirty Web pages outside our own site. This means that at
our site is linked on _at least_ thirty other pages.

When I searched for our home page's URL (, I came up
with five measly unique pages that link to a page on our site. The
engines and queries I used were:

Alta Vista      link:*
Infoseek Ultra

Why this huge discrepancy? I have submitted my site to a number of
publicity services, and my own server logs and confirmations of referrers
indicate that my site is linked much more than the search engines

Could the coverage of the engines be that patchy? Try doing this with
your own URLs and see what your results are.


Mark Jordan



My name is Stefan Hjaltason and I am a webmaker
I'm located in Hafnarfjordur Iceland but I am making webpages for people
all over the world. If you are interested to look at something I have
done, I have made homepages for two Internet providers. BBS SNOL and
VILLA BBS. The url for BBS SNOL is   and for VILLA
BBS it is    one of them is in Iceland and the other
one in USA. Please feel free to send me e-mail for more informations. My

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