How do you choose the search engine that you use?

tswayne

I ran across the "Bing It On" challenge that Microsoft came up with in an attempt to get people who use Google to switch their search engine.  You can try it yourself at bingiton.com.  To a degree this is job related, as I do take SEO into consideration when posting content online. Frankly, though, I generally only consider the effects on Google searches because of their dominance in that area. This morning I've been playing the "Bing It On" think like a video game to see what results were different from the different search engines. The way it works is that you type in 5 different searches, it gives the results split screen without revealing which is Google and which is Bing, and you pick which results were better. At the end, it gives you the count. I've averaged 3 picks of Google and 2 of Bing, but the results page claims that Bing had a 2 to 1 advantage in overall results. I guess I'm just a bad boy who plays by his own rules. :-) And uses emoticons.

My takeaway from this was why do we use the search engine we use? I use Google because it was the obvious best mainstream search engine for years after it debuted. Remember AltaVista, Lycos, WebCrawler et al? Yeah, I had trouble too, because they sucked compared to google "back in the day." Do people actually evaluate the results they get, or do we all more or less just choose our search engine blindly?

Topic: Internet
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ttopp
Vote Up (8)

 

Google so moved the bar when it debuted that it became the default search engine for almost everyone I knew very quickly.  It was very different from what came before.  I watched a documentary recently about Google, and they said that when test groups tried it out, they would often sit there and not do anything because they were waiting for the rest of the page to load.  It was revolutionary for a search engine to basically be a blank screen with a search box when everyone else was doing something like a portal site.   When you do something so well that your name become a verb ("I googled it.") you know that you are doing something right.    

 

In that same documentary, Larry Page made the same point as Chris did - if someone does it better, Google will lose its users.  I don't think many people feel a lot of loyalty to a search engine.  They recognize that, and I think that helps keep Google arguably the best search engine.  That also explains a lot of the effort to unite the Google universe, so that there is more than a search engine tying users to Google, be it Google+, Docs, YouTube, or whatever.  If you use those services, you are likely to use the handy search box at the top of the page instead of going to some other site like Yahoo or Bing, especially when there is so little difference in the results.

 

jimlynch
Vote Up (8)

I've found Duck Duck go to be a pretty good search engine, it doesn't spy on you the way that Google does.

http://duckduckgo.com

See their privacy page:

http://duckduckgo.com/privacy.html

"DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell. The rest of this page tries to explain why you should care.
Why You Should Care - Search Leakage
Why You Should Care - Search History
Information Not Collected
Information Collected
Information Shared"

lauren
Vote Up (7)

Even though Google has several updates and releases, still this is the only one I am using for my SEO needs, if you do it right, positive result will surely ahead, but if you use the seo the craziest way, this will turn your site loosing all your investment.

Courtesy of OneIms

Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (7)

I choose my search engine based on my perception of quality of results. Of course, perceptions can be subjective, especially if you factor in habit and brand preference. But search engines are something you can test out pretty easily, so it's not hard to determine if there's one out there better than what you're currently using. I actually used to like AltaVista, but when it became obvious that Google was better, I switched. I have absolutely no loyalty when it comes to search engines, browsers, etc. Whatever works best.

BTW, I also took the bingiton test. I chose Google three times, Bing once, and judged one test a draw. Now, if the results were reversed, I'd give Bing a hard look. (Again, no loyalty.) But while it was competitive -- all the side-by-side search results were at least somewhat similar, and some were virtually identical -- Bing hardly made a compelling case for me to dump Google.

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