A quiet Friday morning….drinking coffee, reading the news, nothing unusual here. I remember that I need to buy socks. Good quality socks, the kind that don’t hole easily. I Google it:
That’s ugly. An e-commerce result in the ‘knowledge graph’? Poorly formatted text that offers no value whatsoever?
It suddenly occurred to me that I’d performed the search with AdBlock Plus active: what would display if I wasn’t blocking Google’s ads?
That’s one ugly search results page. Not a single unbiased result above the fold.
No more of this nonsense, Google, no more. I head over to DuckDuckGo:
That’s more like it.
For a fair comparison, I disable the ad blocker on DuckDuckGo too:
One discreet ad that doesn’t alter the page layout. Alright.
This is not the first time I’ve had to abandon Google in an attempt to find what I’m looking for. Over the last 18 months I’ve noticed Google results becoming less and less relevant to my actual search intent.
You see, in an effort to try and second guess my requests, Google ends up just downright missing the point. And, you know, getting more ad clicks.
Not only does DuckDuckGo give me better results, it also has:
- Better privacy: “DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information.“
- Customisable settings: You can pick and choose the types of results you’re looking for, and how they are displayed.
The main difference between Google and DuckDuckGo is choice.
Google is like a dictatorship, it interprets my search query, decides what’s best for me and serves me what it wants. I have no power, no influence, and I can’t tell it when it’s wrong.
DuckDuckGo is more of a democracy, it listens to my preferences and works with me to deliver better results.
I’m not abandoning all Google products (Analytics, WMT and Gmail are among my favourites), but when it comes to search, I’m DuckDuckGoing elsewhere.