Switching search engines

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Philip
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Like most people I’ve relied on Google as my default search engine virtually since I first opened a web browser. Over the years I’ve tried switching to different search engines, such as Ask.com (Ask3D was ahead of its time and its features were eventually incorporated into every other search engine) and latterly Bing, particularly because I love their daily homepage picture. However the actual search results have always been lacking, and I would quickly realise the error of my ways and revert back to Google.

I’m sure some of you have heard of DuckDuckGo. This is an independent search engine that has gained traction due to its focus on privacy and because of it now being included as a default search engine option in Firefox, Chrome and Safari (both on Mac and iOS).

I’d not considered switching before, as the privacy gains would be negated by my continuing to use YouTube and Gmail amongst other Google services. However, when I heard about !Bang Search Shortcuts, I immediately saw how useful and efficient they would be (I do site-only searches all the time*) and thought I’d give switching a serious go. So far I’ve found a few instances where I need to fallback to Google, which is easy to do with the !g bang, but mostly I’ve been impressed with how painless the switch has been. They even support system-wide dark mode, which neither Google or Bing currently do.

Has anyone else attempted switching away from Google or am I alone in this crazy venture?


*I looked into submitting a TV Forum bang, but they only accept bangs that will be used by many hundreds of people.
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Jamesypoo
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I've never really used anything other than Google, mainly because the results never seem as good.

Not heard of DuckDuckGo either but their !bang thing is a standard out of the box feature in Chrome and I use them all the time. You can create your own for personal use, no need for anything to be submitted/approved etc.
cwathen
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Well originally I was a Yahoo fan, switched to Google around late 1999/early 2000 and it's been my homepage ever since.

These days privacy is a concern but then I've used Gmail for over 15 years, I have a Youtube Premium account, I have an Android phone with a Google account on it too, I use Chrome and have it logged in so that bookmarks and history syncs across devices...at this point I'm so far into their ecosystem that I doubt getting search results from a different provider would take very much telemetry away from them anyway.

I would agree from an ideological standpoint that plurality of search providers is important, but on the ground I haven't really felt the need to give up Google when they still seem to have the best search results.
Philip
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Jamesypoo wrote:
Mon 03 Feb, 2020 14.12
I've never really used anything other than Google, mainly because the results never seem as good.

Not heard of DuckDuckGo either but their !bang thing is a standard out of the box feature in Chrome and I use them all the time. You can create your own for personal use, no need for anything to be submitted/approved etc.
I use a similar feature in Firefox called keyword searches, though I cut that out of my first post because it was already getting too long for such a minor topic.

Safari on iOS doesn't have an equivalent feature though which is why it's handy to have DuckDuckGo (honestly, the amount of times I type 'site:something.com' was enough to make me try switching)
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Nick Harvey
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I swore by Lycos in the early days of the internet because it seemed to pick up new pages quicker.

Like most people now, however, I just stick with Google.
Martin Phillp
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I used Lycos and AltaVista, but have stuck with Google for over 10 years. Have tried DuckDuckGo which is much raved about in the computing press, but despite the ads, the tracking etc, I still prefer Google.
TVF's London Lite.
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WillPS
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Is it just me who's been motivated by Microsoft Rewards to switch to Bing then? I'm even considering moving over to Edge, all for that penny or so extra per search.

I used AltaVista, Yahoo and Clusty variously in the early 00s but by the time Gmail was launched I was pretty settled on Google. Like others I've still got that, now with almost 16 years of personal emails chilling out on it. Google keep serving me ads for 'mature over 60s dating' and stairlifts though so I'm pretty sure they have the wrong idea about who I am. (Or do they know something I don't about me...?)
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dosxuk
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I'm already using Edgeium as my primary browser on a couple of machines after getting utterly fed up with Google's constant feature removal from Chrome and lack of ability to complain about it.
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