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February 27, 2006

Test: Movie showtimes in search engines

Posted by Kim Peterson at 11:51 AM

The MSN Search team said today it will respond to movie searches with a list of current showtimes for theaters near the user. It uses the IP address of your computer's Web browser to figure out where you are geographically, and then matches that location up with its movie theater data.

I thought it would be a good time to test where the major search engines are in this area with the film "Madea's Family Reunion."

MSN Search returned only one Seattle theater, ignoring the second one here playing the film as well. Yahoo's search links to trailers and reviews - which MSN does not - but not local showtimes.

Google's search doesn't give trailers or reviews and asks users to type in their Zip codes to get theater information.

I like Ask Jeeves the best. It returns the movie poster, the movie's official site, trailers and reviews. It doesn't give the showtimes automatically but asks for a Zip code entry, as Google does. And it doesn't ignore that second theater either.

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