Many countries have search engines directed at servicing their native community of users. For example, in China, there is Baidu and in Russia you have Yandex. Regional search engines such as these provide advantages in that results are in the local language and competition for top spots in results pages is greatly reduced. Like China and Russia, Germany also has its share of regional search engines. In fact, there are a number of them targeted towards the country’s user community. Here, are a few of the more popular ones.
Abacho (abacho.de). This is a search engine and portal much like Yahoo. It has news, items of interest, chat, and free email. While Abacho is a German search engine, it also serves regionally in the countries of Spain, Switzerland, France, and Austria. Three other German domains are redirected directly to Abacho and they are Eule.de, Crawler.de, and Aladin.de.
Fireball. Fireball (fireball.de) is a search engine that allows page submissions from only German URLs (.de). However, it does take some of its search results from Altavista thus it is possible to do English language queries. Fireball also has the option to view its pages in German or English. Web pages submitted manually go through an editing process and those that are not at a top-level domain, have illegal or pornographic content, negative comments, or are doorway pages will get rejected. When submitting a page to Fireball, you are allowed to specify five relevant keywords for it. They stress that the keywords must be relevant or your pages can be permanently banned forever.
Sharelook.de. This site is actually a directory. With directories, you have to select the appropriate category upon submission of your website. Sharelook.de advertises 100,000 entries in its catalog database.
Suche.freenet.de. This search engine is part of the overall freenet.de website which is a German web portal of information similar to Yahoo. The difference is that it is all in German. The search engine uses Yahoo’s Overture to power its results thus by submitting to Yahoo, your site should show up in Suche.freenet.de. Suche.freenet.de owns what was originally one of the largest German online directories: dino-online.de. Today, entering dino-online.de in a web browser will take you directly to Suche.freenet.de. This search engine also uses the Open directory, Dmoz.org, to feed results.
Web.de. This site is also directory like Sharelook. Web.de advertises that by submitting your pages to their directory, you will be listed in one of the top directories in Germany. Turnaround time for processing page submissions is two days.
Witch (witch.de). This is a phonetic search engine meaning that if you don’t know the exact spelling of a search term, you can spell it the best you can and Witch will try to figure it out by translating phonetic spelling to actual spelling. Witch puts priority to German language pages. The pages are manually reviewed and this process takes around 10 days. Search phrases can be up to 50 characters long.
Germany also has regional access to global search engines. These include Altavista.de, Google.de, Lycos.de, and Yahoo.de. Lycos.de, for example, is part of the famous Lycos.com search engine. One might ask why a global search engine would offer their services from a regional domain. The reasons all have to do with reducing the competition of pages trying to reach top spots on search engine result pages (SERPs). If a page is submitted in German and with a top-level domain from the same country it will more than likely get indexed in the regional database. Otherwise, it will have to compete with other pages at a global level which takes much longer to achieve top rankings in SERPs.