Default to Google: it’s a hard habit to break

From time to time SearchEngineWatch produces useful reviews of search engines other than Google.

Recently DuckDuckGo has been in spotlight. This was a useful article because the author really tried hard to give DuckDuckGo a proper trial and with some good results. However, as I too have found, making the break from Google is still hard to do and I’d pretty much agree that my reasons for continuing to “google” are the same as those given by the author.

That said, a lot of the time my searching only starts on Google which I use as a launch-pad to then go onto more specialist sites for the information I’m hunting down. But it’s that word “time” again – Google is quick to surface the right kind of results, and the searchenginewatch author found that she didn’t have time to play around with terms on DuckDuckGo when she could revert to Google and quickly find what she wanted. Importantly though, she does point out that this isn’t wholly down to the glory of Google, but more because we are so used to it, we know “how to work it” to get what we need.

Google probably remains the people’s favourite mostly due to its users’ familiarity with the engine and their lack of time. As long as we keep finding what we want and more quickly than via other search engines, loyalty will probably remain.

Since it tracks our searches (DuckDuckGo’s prime differentiator is its privacy) Google also has the advantage of being able to learn from the sheer volume of searches that take place. It processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which, Internet Live Stats states, translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide ( It’s quite dizzying watching the stats counter!

To do my bit to redress the balance, I will visit DuckDuckGo regularly to see how it compares and also for a change of scene. If you’re keen to have a change of scene too, searchenginewatch also recently published a handy list of 14 alternative search engines to try.

I always quite liked Dogpile!


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

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