What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 1

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, and why you may prefer one over the other.  

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. 

In comparison, Bing, Google’s closest search engine competitor, handles about 3.5 percent of all searches worldwide. So, what makes Google so special? Accuracy. 

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? 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 search engines, but it can lead to bad, misleading, or undesirable results showing up on the search results page. 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 cool thing about Google. Everyone’s search experience is a little bit unique to them. Google takes a lot of contexts 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. So yes, Google is 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 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? 

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 every day. Each day, Bing decorates the background of its search page with a photograph with a little snippet of information about the photo. On top of that, Bing also throws curated headlines, local weather, and sponsored posts right at you too.  

The user experience with Bing isn’t horrible, it’s just different. If you are used to using Google every day, 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 can be a little weird to think about, but in the long run, it’s not necessarily tied to you as a human being. It is mainly used so advertisers can decisions 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. 

Because of this, some people have 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.  

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. 

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, consider Duck Duck Go. 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. Are you looking to improve your internet services or cybersecurity! Let our experts at Symmetric IT Group help. Book a call today. 

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