Searching… ๐Ÿ”Ž

Where do you go when you want to find something on the internet? If you are like most people, you start at Google. Over the last year, a whopping 92% of searches conducted were with the Silicon Valley tech giants. But where do the other 8% go?

There are actually many alternatives to searching the web with Google. Once you scratch beneath the surface you’ll find a range of search engines all promoting a slightly nuanced set of features.

DuckDuckGo is a US-based search engine that claims to be private. Unlike Google, they don’t remember what you search for and promise to not track you. The results they show? Well, they mix together results from two other search engines โ€“ Bing and Yandex.

Ecosia is another alternative to Google. Based in Germany, they promise that 80% of their profits will go to tree-planting projects. The results they show? Also taken from Microsoft Bing.

In fact, if we zoom out, there are only six search engines that scan the web and rely on their own catalogue of the internet:

  1. Google (USA)
  2. Microsoft Bing (USA)
  3. Gigablast (USA)
  4. Brave Search (USA)*
  5. Yandex (Russia)
  6. Mojeek (UK)

* Note that Brave Search use Google as a ‘Fallback’ when they don’t have enough results of their own.

Competition is healthy for the internet and what’s healthy for the internet will ultimately be good for you. Google having a monopoly on web searches is not healthy.

And so, dear reader, we have reached that part of the post where I make a radical suggestion. If you currently use Google to search the web then maybe you should… switch?

Try Bing. Try Ecosia. Try Qwant or DuckDuckGo. Why not go back in time and use Yahoo or AOL. Give Mojeek a shot – they are one of the only six indexing the web!

Set one of the above as your default search engine and see how it goes. For most searches, I’m sure you’ll find the answer you’re looking for. And, for the few times you don’t? Well, Google it.

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