Why stop using Search?
It’s a well-known but unnerving fact that Google monitors and stores your searches so it can target you with advertising – a shameless invasion of your privacy that allows the company to build a profile of who it thinks you are. There’s also the highly controversial issue of your search results being adjusted to benefit the web giant.
Google was recently fined a record £2.1bn by the European Commission after a seven-year investigation found the company had unfairly promoted Google Shopping above other, similar shopping-comparison services in its search results. Alarmingly, that’s not the only area where Google adjusts the results. There are similar ongoing EU investigations into both Maps and local business listings.
Google also customises what you see based on your past preferences (known as the ‘filter bubble’) and makes changes to the results rankings in subtle ways, such as downgrading sites that offer pirated content or push hate speech, terrorism or racism, for example.
It prioritises newer content, too, so sites that aren’t regularly updated slip off the first page of results. Most of us won’t have a problem with having fresh, non-controversial links prioritised, but the fact remains that Google presents results based on its own agenda, so you may not always get to see the most relevant sites available.
What to use instead:
Microsoft’s Bing (https://www.bing.com) is its closest rival, and is growing in popularity.
According to Microsoft, Bing now has a 9% market share globally and in Europe, but that figure is much higher in English-speaking countries: 26% in the UK and 33% in the US.
For a blind test of Google and Bing, enter a search query at Bing It On You’ll see results from the two search engines side by side and can rate your preferences through five rounds you may be surprised by the winner.
Another reason to use Bing is that its reward scheme has just launched in the UK. Bing Rewards gives you points for searching on the site, which can be used to enter competitions, make donations to charity and buy Skype credit, Groove Music passes, Microsoft gift cards and more.
Bing suffers from some of the same privacy issues as Google, so it won’t appeal to everyone, but it benefits from stunning, interactive homepage photos that are updated every day.
One Google replacement that’s definitely worth considering especially if you value your privacy is DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com).
This ever-improving search engine stores no personal information, and doesn’t track you or show personalised ads.
The quality of its results is mostly very good because they are pulled from more than 400 different sources. You can easily add the search engine to your browser with a couple of mouse clicks, making the switch fairly seamless.
DuckDuckGo also offers more than 9,400 clever ‘bang’ commands that let you quickly search specific sites including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, BBC iPlayer and, er… Google.
( Source : Internet )
( Image : Google )