Google seems to be the most popular search engine going these days. I daresay that if you ask any of our students where they go to find information, they would say Google. I also watch time and time again students click on the first entry that comes up after a search, thinking it is the most relevant. What many people don't know is that Google's search technology operates on popularity, on how many people "link" to that particular page. So in other words, the sites move up and down the list according to how many links are coming in to the site. Order of the results often has little to do with relevance.
Ask.com (formerly also known as teoma.com or askjeeves.com), on the other hand, works the opposite way. Relevance and popularity are based on how many links are going out of each site. It is based on subject-specific popularity and in most cases Ask.com will give the more relevant results first.
Students just need to know that Google is not the only game in town and that there are other options. For more information check out this article in eSchool News Online.