Google might be stunting your online experience. Today, 75% of desktop and laptop searches pass through the world’s most popular search engine. Google’s next closest competitor, the Chinese search giant Baidu, accounts for just 12%.
No matter what we always depend on the search engine to get any kind of information. It has got all the answers to our queries. We, mostly use Google search engine to find our answers. Another search engine whose popularity is close to Google is the Chinese Baidu.
Although search engines answer all our queries, it is to be noted that their answers are often dynamics and tailored. A search engine has a tendency of gathering all the information and learning more from every input given. Even if it is more reliable but it also has a tendency to narrowing our wild imagination. Thus, affecting our thinking capability.
Following is the reasons why you should think about changing your search engine:
Gives you biased result- Since Google keeps a track of data record, based on previous search profiles, it tends to give you the result what they think you are going to click on. There is nothing wrong with it. If the answers are scientifically correct then we shouldn’t have any problem with it. But, what goes wrong is our exposure to other challenging viewpoint diminishes. It creates a boundary for our answers and thus, segregate the society. We blindly believe what the search result shows us, and forget the existence of other answers.
Track their users- Other than Google, search engines like Qwant and DuckDuckGo, are gaining popularity. Obviously, their popularity is very less compared to Google but still, gradually they are entering the market. The reason behind their gaining popularity is that they don’t track their users. So, users can easily avoid “filter bubbles” and thus, there is no limitation to what they want to know and privacy has prevailed.
Advertisers are directly connected to them- Understanding our search behaviour, Google’s search engine passes the information to the advertiser, who keeps on promoting their product accordingly. Without our knowledge our intentions and desires are passed on, reshaping our mind.
Forget to differentiate between personal and digital life- gradually our dependency on Google makes us forget its existence as a digital entity. We start thinking about it to be our personal gateway, giving solutions to all the problem. Once, you come out of your comfort zone, initially, you might be a little annoyed but you can feel your physical presence, forgetting about your previous search history and locations.
Thus, my personal belief is that using a different search engine can help you to explore the unexplored part, giving a real-life experience with unfiltered answers. You can definitely try other options and feel the incongruity.
So, I looked into private search engines as a way to still find what I was looking for, without the tracking.
- DuckDuckGo — This is the most popular and well-known of the privacy focused search engines. DuckDuckGo’s traffic grew 55% in 2017, a trend that most private search engines also enjoyed.
- Search Encrypt — I chose this search engine for its “encryption” features and expiring search history. Another reason is the browser extension for Chrome. Because using Google was such a habit, I’d find myself going there occasionally. Search Encrypt’s Chrome extension would redirect my searches to its private search engine, which helped me switch.
- StartPage — StartPage is very similar to searching Google, because they source their results from Google. However, StartPage removes all identifying info from your query and sends it anonymously. Users get privacy in exchange for giving up some of the “convenience” features that Google offers.