Different search engines are currently producing very different results, according to a new study.

The research could be of great importance to search engine marketing customers looking for the right company to provide optimisation solutions.

Research commissioned by metadata firm WebFetch and carried out by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology and Pennsylvania State University, has found that overlaps from first-page results is less than one per cent across the four major search engines

The study considered Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask and found that due to their use of entirely different algorithms to rank pages only 0.6 per cent of the 776,435 results were the same across all four search engines.

Dominic Trigg, vice president of search and directories at InfoSpace, the company behind WebFetch, said that searchers who use just one engine are seriously limiting their search potential.

Figures released from comScore last month show that Google provided more than half of all online searches in May, making it still the most poular search engine on the web

Of the 7.6 billion searches recorded, 50.7 per cent were made by Google, with its closest competitor Yahoo! retaining 26.4 per cent.

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