11 30 22

What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 2

What are the major differences with the search engines, and which search engine should you use? Let’s go over Bing, Duck Duck Go, and Qwant.

Last time, we started our discussion on the best search engines by talking about the behemoth, Google. While Google is, by far, the most popular and commonly used, and arguably the most accurate search engine, it doesn’t mean it’s always the right search engine to use. Let’s talk about some other alternatives and see where they might fit in.

Microsoft Bing – Kind of the Same, but Different

Bing gets the silver medal for being the world’s second most popular general search engine. Even so, it only gets about 3.5 percent of the world’s internet searches.


Bing is also the most similar to Google, at least as far as how it works under the hood. It’s focus is on providing accuracy and uses anonymous information from you and your search history to curate the results.


Whereas Google takes a very minimalistic approach to search, Bing usually has a visual treat for its users everyday. Each day, Bing decorates the background of its search page with a photograph with a little snippet of information about the photo. It might be some event happening somewhere in the world, a rare animal from a rainforest, a historical photo, a beautiful skyline, or literally anything else. No, it’s probably not what you were looking for, but it is kind of neat.


But on top of that, Bing also throws curated headlines, local weather, and sponsored posts right at you too. You’ll either love it, hate it, or have no feelings about it. Either way, the first impression you’ll have with Bing is that it’s busier, even before you do a search.


Something we didn’t mention last time when talking about Google—Google uses a mobile-first approach. That means sites that load well on mobile devices tend to get prioritized on Google. If your website is old and doesn’t scale properly for smartphones and tablets, you’ve probably noticed a drop in traffic over the last several years—this is why.


Bing doesn’t really care about this, but it also indexes a much smaller number of pages than Google, so the results are going to be pretty different. If you are looking for images or videos, Bing also has more options for filtering and displaying information, so it slightly outperforms Google there.


The user experience with Bing isn’t horrible, it’s just different. If you are used to using Google everyday, the transition to Bing will just feel a little strange, but it’s a decent alternative, and making the switch for a week or two is a fun experiment. We’d love to hear what you settle on.

Duck Duck Go – The Private Search Engine

Most popular search engines collect user data to curate search results. For instance, Google uses it to improve the results it gives you. Google also uses that data to help advertisers make informed decisions.


First and foremost, this data collection probably isn’t going to hurt you. It’s definitely a little weird to think about, but in the long run, it’s not necessarily tied to you as a human being. Let’s put it this way:


Let’s say, in the course of a week, three thousand people do a search for “soda,” two thousand people do a search for “pop” and a thousand people do a search for “coke.” Of those six thousand people, you are somewhere in there, looking for a soft drink. Google gathers this level of data to tell advertisers what words people use to look for certain types of products. Those advertisers can then make the decision on how they word their ads and what terms they pay money for. The data is, more or less, anonymous. Not every single company works this way (Facebook and Zoom have had data privacy scandals involving personally identifiable information), but that’s generally the gist of how this information gets used.


It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however, and some people have just decided to take more steps to be as anonymous as possible online, and Duck Duck Go is a good search engine for those who don’t want Google to know what they are looking for.


Duck Duck Go will give you totally different results from Google and Bing, but it doesn’t use any information about you, anonymous or otherwise. It also does little to warn you when something is fraudulent. Don’t get us wrong, you can run into scams, malware, and other threats from Google results, but Duck Duck Go has fewer layers of protection.


It also means the results aren’t going to be as localized. Looking for a nearby restaurant will only base your location on the location of your Internet Service Provider, so it might not be as accurate.


All that said, Duck Duck Go is a relatively safe option, and if you are uncomfortable with Google knowing what you search for and using that to curate your results, it’s a pretty solid solution.


An alternative to Duck Duck Go that follows a similar privacy philosophy is Qwant, a French search engine that doesn’t collect user data.

Which Search Engine Is Right For You?

It’s pretty unlikely that another search engine is going to topple the big G, but if you are more concerned about your online privacy, Duck Duck Go or Qwant are pretty good solutions. As with anything, you should always be mindful of what information you are giving up, and be careful what you click on. Even if the search engines themselves are safe, the websites they point to might not always be secure.




11 28 22

What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 1

What are the major differences with the search engines, and which search engine should you use? First, let’s talk about the world’s most popular search engine by far, Google.

Even if you lived under a rock, you’ve probably done a Google search or two. There are, in fact, other search engines, each with their own pros and cons. We’re going to compare some of the most popular search engines and talk about what makes them different.

Google is By Far the Most Popular Search Engine on the Planet

At the time of writing this, it’s calculated that every single second, a search is performed on Google 99,000 times. That adds up to 8.5 billion searches every day. It’s predicted that more than 92 percent of all internet searches are done on Google, but it’s possible that number is even higher.


Either way, people all over the world are more likely to say “I’ll just Google it” instead of “I’ll just search the web.”


You don’t hear anybody say “We’ll let me just Bing that,” and use Google’s closest search engine competitor, which handles about 3.5 percent of all searches, worldwide.

So what makes Google so special?



Google is extremely good at giving you accurate results based on what you are looking for.


Google uses hundreds of different signals to determine what should and shouldn’t come up when you search for something, and it does it all within half a second or so, while sifting through over 30 trillion web pages to give you the best results possible.


Is it perfect? Of course not.


Can Google be tricked? Eh, sometimes. People are always trying to get their websites to rank for certain terms. This process is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a legitimate process for businesses trying to compete against their competitors on the search engines, but it can lead to bad, misleading, or undesirable results showing up on the search results page. That being said, Google is good about making it very difficult to manipulate your ranking without actually putting in a lot of hard work, so it’s less likely that inaccurate results will show up compared to the other search engines.


Still, Google tends to get you to the best result, and it gets you there the fastest.


Google Searches are Custom-Tailored to You

Here’s the other really cool thing about Google. Everyone’s search experience is a little bit unique to them. Google takes a lot of context into consideration, including your location, your past search history, the device you are on, and other information that Google knows about you, and provides curated results.


This means when you are traveling, as long as the device you are using knows its location and is letting Google know this info, you can search for a pizza place and get localized results. Google takes a ton of data points into consideration for every single query.


This isn’t always a good thing though.


Studies have been done in the past that show that Google’s search engine can sometimes contribute to a filter bubble. While this is much more common on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the same can apply in some ways to Google searches.


Think of it like this. If you surround yourself with people who, for instance, truly believe that the moon is made out of cheese, you might start to see more and more information about the cheese moon than you did before. Your newfound cheese-moon friends will share news articles about how the moon is cheese. They will share memes and come up with silly nicknames for cheese-moon non-believers (like Non-Brie-lievers). They will get into fights on social media about whether the moon is more like Mozzarella or more like Gorgonzola. They will claim that all the non-brie-lievers are trying to shutter and bury any facts about how the moon is made out of cheese by sharing peer-reviewed articles from “fringe” agencies like NASA.


The point is, this creates sort of a bubble effect based on the way content algorithms work. If a platform like Facebook or Google knows that you’ll spend more time using them by keeping you happy with all the cheese-moon-affirmational content your heart desires, it’s going to be a little less accurate. If you spend a considerable amount of time seeking out results based on any particular filter bubble you are in, platforms like Google will likely curate some results that keep you trapped inside that filter bubble.


The trouble is that you won’t mind, your opinion about the cheese moon isn’t going to change, and everything you use online is helping you affirm this.


So yeah. Google is neat, and generally accurate, but it has been proven that sometimes it can go a little too far for some people. Over the last few years, Google has taken major steps to find a balance, which is actually the main reason Google doesn’t have the 98 percent market share it used to. Many folks have walked away from Google simply because it started to cater less to their fringe beliefs when it comes to hot button issues.

What are the Alternatives?

Now that the Big G is out of the way, in our next blog, we’re going to go over some of the alternatives. Be sure to stay tuned to our blog and social media.