Searching for "Midwest earthquake" delivered better results on the stragglers. Ask shined with a display of the four most recent earthquakes, their locations and their magnitudes--in a window above the general search results. Meanwhile, Yahoo and MSN both offered news coverage once the query got more specific.
"Overall, I wish I'd seen more 'direct answer' style boxes like Ask provided on a general search from all the major search engines," Sullivan says. "At the very least, I should get news results--and in this, only Google did the right thing for a general query."