For me, Google has its role, but I think its chase for ever more-personalised and more-specific search results is leading it further away from being a useful tool. In the good ol’ days, if a search happened to bring up a lot of low quality sites, I refined my search and tried again.
Now, I get either an echo chamber of stuff Google thinks will appeal to me (read: my demographic), or sites with mediocre content but matching domain names, or completely irrelevant stuff that happens to be local or have a good Page Rank — and trying to get round it with clever rewordings just appears to bring up the same stuff.
In addition to these concerns, I’m not best pleased about Google taking to the courts over patents for things that really shouldn’t be patentable, or the way it handled the whole China thing.
I still use it, because in my opinion it’s still the best search engine out there, but if you can’t find what you want, you want to stick it to some sort of nebulous and ill-defined ‘man’, or you disagree with Google for any reason at all, here are a couple of alternatives to make you feel better.
Alternatives that aren’t Bing or Yahoo, at least not directly.
Blekko is a very techy search engine that makes use of slashtags. It’s incredibly flexible, but quite difficult to use to its fullest capacity.
That said, you don’t need to use it to its fullest capacity.
It claims to be “spam free” — it certainly appears to be spam free, to me. Regardless, its results seem to be good quality, it’s easy to use, and if Google have decided to tit about with their algorithms so you can’t find what you need, Blekko appear to me to be a more straight forward, no-nonsense alternative.
So named because every ‘click’ results in money being donated to charity. A worthy homepage to have, but it uses Yahoo search to find its results, so it’s not the most original or niche of search engines.
This digital marketing blog suggests that they incurred the wrath of Google a few years ago for being a rival, but the comments imply that it was what SEO types call “duplicate content” that was really to blame. Makes a good story though, eh?
To set it as your homepage in Google Chrome, click the spanner icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen, go to options, select the “Open this page:” part of the form, and enter “http://www.everyclick.com/” there.
While I’m Here
Here are some other links I found this week that I think are interesting, cool, or stupid. I’m probably way late to all these, but I really stopped caring about that many moons ago.
Economics Blog. No, I don’t know why I started reading it, but it’s fascinating, sensible-but-lively analysis of economic news with a political slant. No, I still don’t know why I started reading it…
Hey, small posts are much more fun. Wish I could go SLAOW at the moment…
EDIT: I accidentally said everyclick was associated with Ask instead of Yahoo…it hasn’t been associated with Ask since 2008. Sorry!