Something better than Google. Yes!

To say that Google dominates the general search-engine market is an understatement. It’s now at 66%, according to comScore. (The remaining Big 5 search engines in the U.S. are Bing at 15% market share, followed by Yahoo, Ask and AOL.)

I’ve never found a reason to try anything else seriously . . .  until now.

This reason to switch is DuckDuckGo, an open-source search engine that believe it or not, has no advertising and is funded by donations.

Launched in 2008, on February 13 it finally conducted over one million searches in a single day.

In a moment I’ll list its most recognized benefits, but first I’d like to point out one that gets almost no attention (for a service that as a whole gets almost no attention).

Drum roll.

Rather than breaking up a search into 10-item segments so that you have to keep clicking to access more, you can scroll down through all the links without clicking on anything.

Yes, just grab your mouse and scroll away.

We’ve all read the findings on Google usage, that hardly anyone passes beyond the first page of search results and the percentage who forge beyond the first 30 or so is tiny.

And if you are at slot number 50? You might as well simply not exist.

Try DuckDuckGo and you’re past the 30-hit point in mere seconds.

Furthermore, without ads (generally speaking), as well as Google+ links and other garbage, you get a cleaner look that is distraction free.

As you play with DuckDuckGo, you quickly perceive why Google allows only 10 hits per page. They intentionally slow you down so that you have to accept their choices in the interest of saving time. Plus each click for another 10 hits increases awareness that if you have passed “the best,” you are heading into inferior hits.

In addition, the Google style pushes you to look at the ads. Before you click away from page 1, you are more likely to look at the ads than if you just start scrolling down.  In addition, Google may place ads on other pages in addition to the first, while DuckDuckGo doesn’t really have multiple pages, so no place to place additional ads even if they ran them.

Now for two additional benefits of DuckDuckGo.

First, it protects user privacy by not recording user information (unlike Google!). Founder Gabriel Weinberg claims it “does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell.”

And second, it excludes perceived content mills, such as Demand Media’s eHow.

Why not give DuckDuckGo a try?

Start exploring DuckDuckGo by searching your own name or the name of your business / website. It’s instructive to see how a search engine other than Google presents you.

What do you think? Please comment.

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2 comments on “Something better than Google. Yes!
  1. Don Wallace says:

    DuckDuckGo definitely seems worth bookmarking. This is a good recommendation for the reasons you gave.

    A few random things:

    Before DuckDuckGo there was DogPile – a really old search engine aggregator. (DuckDuckGo’s results are more smoothly integrated. DogPile was a pain to use.)

    In Google, if you perform a search and even if you are not logged in, you may click the “Settings” (gear) icon. One of the selections is number of displayed results per page, which goes up to 100. Subsequent searches will contain that many results in each page.

    Privacy wise, I find a more worrisome intrusion with “trackers” – the bits of code that monitor what sites you visit. These trackers can actually map what sites you visit across sites, and the content you view on each one. The biggie here is, of course, Google Analytics, which is *everywhere*. A Firefox plugin called “Ghostery” blocks all known trackers (including Google Analytics).

    Lastly, for the truly privacy concerned, there are “cookie blocking” plugins available for Firefox which can block cookies for individual web sites – such as Google.

  2. Don, thanks for your words of wisdom.

    I never knew you could see more than 10 results per page on Google! Isn’t it interesting that so many optimization experts have services to help you “get to page 1” but they never mention that you can get around these page breaks in what you see.

    I understand that optimization targets the typical user, who is not aware of this, rather than the client for the optimization service. Still. the SEO industry benefits if the majority of Google users are stuck going thru results in groups of 10. There’s a lot of resources on the internet, but if you only see them in small groups, you quickly conclude that what you really want isn’t out there.

    So website owners are more motivated to fork over cash for expert optimization because no one will keep going to the fourth screen and beyond.

    If you use these cookie blocking plugins, can you still do online banking and such?

    -d

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