With around 66 percent of organic searches being done through Google, and the closest competitor, Bing, hovering just upwards of fifteen percent, one might not think Google had a whole lot to worry about in regards to staying on top.
But in an age where everyone is getting a bit more concerned with the amount of information they’re required to share online, and more specifically, what’s being done with that information, it’s not hard to separate oneself from the search giant as a competitor that offers something completely different. Don't collect the information from your users.
The question is, do people want something different?
DuckDuckGo , while not the only competitor to Google, and not entirely new, did recently unveil an undeniably sharp video last week where they explain how their search engine offers users “regular” or “unfiltered” search results.
It should be obvious that when signed into your Google account, as much data as Google can collect during your time online will be used to “personalize” (their term, as opposed to “filter”) your search results. What is somewhat surprising is that Google is still collecting data from you even when you’re logged out.
Google does allow users to opt out of both signed-in and signed-out searches, which would seem to level the playing field between themselves and DuckDuckGo, who advertises that they never collect this kind of info, and thereby never limit the results.
With Google coming under fire for their privacy collection practices lately, especially from Europe, it’s easy to argue that DuckDuckGo is initially providing a better search option by not collecting data from their users. However, it’s impossible to deduce that this means that their actual search results are better than what you would receive from Google, or even Bing, who collects users’ info from Facebook.
Another point made during DuckDuckGo’s video is “when you search online, you expect your results to be the same as everyone else’s.” While the video provided convincing evidence that results between search engines do vary, widely, it fails to attempt to prove why this is a problem, or that "you" expect the same results as everyone else.
The fact of the matter is that having multiple options, and certainly ones that provide stark contrasts to each other, is a great thing. One point that DuckDuckGo’s test failed to mention—When searching for the word “Obama” in its own engine and in Google, there is one striking similarity between the two.
Not surprisingly, they each return the same sponsored link at the top of the page.
A resident copywriter and editor for TechWell, SQE, and StickyMinds.com, Noel Wurst has written for numerous blogs, websites, newspapers, and magazines. Noel has presented educational conference sessions for those looking to become better writers. In his spare time, he can be found spending time with his wife and two sons—and tending to the food on his Big Green Egg. Noel eagerly looks forward to technology's future, while refusing to let go of the relics of the past.