Cottrill Research, LLC

Why You Need To Know About Google Alternative DuckDuckGo

Why You Need To Know About Google Alternative DuckDuckGo

“The Internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see.” – Eli Pariser

In a fascinating nine-minute 2011 TED talk, the author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You, Eli Pariser, explains how Facebook, Google, and Yahoo News are participating in “invisible algorithmic editing of the web.” This is where, based on past search behavior, two people searching Google at the same time will get very different search results. He proves the point by showing screen shots of results for an exact search, “Egypt,” performed by two of his friends. Put side by side, different results are indeed displayed. In short, Google “personally tailors your query results” and “there is no standard Google anymore.”

Are there alternative search engines to use that do not track user behavior and allow for privacy? One engine, DuckDuckGo (tag line – “The Search Engine that doesn’t track you”), was started in 2008 and in 2009 made the “bold move” to “not collect or share any personal information on its users.” Quartz recently wrote about DuckDuckGo, focusing on its impressive recent growth in usage even though it is “a fraction of Google’s size.” Author of the article, Dan Frommer, equates the growth to two distribution deals: “In September, Apple started including DuckDuckGo as a search option in its Safari browser for iOS and OS X. (Google is still the default option.) Then in November, Mozilla added DuckDuckGo as a search option for its Firefox browser.”

Other search engine alternatives offering privacy that are worth investigating are Ixquick/StartPage, and Qwant.

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