Sanity checking Google

Go on, try using a search engine other than Google.  Please.

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s even more important these days as Google is doing a lot of things that can skew your search results.  Karen Blakeman’s recent blog entries should be enough to make anyone think twice about solely relying on Google:
Google personalisation: web history isn’t the only problem

And the next Google killer is….Google!

So what to try instead?  For starters, how about DuckDuckGo (yes, funny name), Bing (I’m still loving the photos!) and Dogpile (which combines results from Google, Bing and Yahoo).  Karen also recommends Blekko.

Even though I do use alternatives, I’m still sometimes surprised/dismayed/horrified/”yikes, Google didn’t find me that!  Humph!” at how different the results can be from those Google had given me.  Put it this way, if I hadn’t searched across more than Google for data on a small, new company that I was asked to research recently, I would have missed out on some very significant information that Google just wasn’t showing me.

It’s not that Google is completely useless, but it increasingly likes to “do things” with our searches.  I highly recommend Karen’s blog if you want to keep tabs on Google’s little missions of mischief!

This entry was posted in About Google, Featured sites, Information literacy, Psychology of search, Search engines and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sanity checking Google

  1. Sarah says:

    Your suggested alternatives of Blekko and DuckDuckGo were the real heroes with the results they gave for the search I was carrying out. This was researching one of those small, private US companies which had also changed its name a few years ago just to add to the sleuthing fun. Bing was similar to Google and brought up a number of irrelevant hits due to messing around with the company name I’d typed in, in case I’d misspelt it…which I hadn’t (on Google this is where the “verbatim” command on Google can come in handy, of course).

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