To Google, or not to Google…

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Google… we all know it, we all use it, we’ve grown to love it so much so that it has it’s own place in the dictionary.

It has become so big it could be claimed that it is (“buh buh bahhhhh”) TAKING OVER THE WORLD! (see this cool little Beast File for more).
However, the proof is in the pudding; gone are the days of Yahoo Search, and I think there even used to be an Australian on called Wombat or something… Now Google is the default browser for pretty much everyone, heck, even Apple’s Safari acknowledges Google’s power.

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Interestingly enough, there are other email providers, calendar services, interent file storage and search engines out there, and they have big things to offer.
So,  I’ve decided to check out what some of the other search engines have to offer…

My topic: Cinema Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson. With his latest movie The Master just released in America and screening at The Astor in December he is a popular topic of conversation among cinefiles.

My search engines: the all powerful Google, duck duck go, and Instagrok.

The Results:

Google

It scares me that this is my default browser – a search engine that filters my results based on my other searches.
However, it is simple, it has a basic, user-friendly layout and it does give the information, the web address and a preview making it straightforward.
The options to search for pages relevant to your location (ie. ‘Pages from Australia) is very useful and you can easily switch your search to images, videos, blogs etc.

It takes me quickly and simply to news, images, IMDB and the Wikipedia page for Anderson (all links that I use frequently when looking for information on any subject).
What’s bad about it? The only thing I dislike is the idea that I’m letting Google do the thinking for me…

duckduckgo

Duck Duck Go appears to promote itself as doing the things that we have come to love from Google and  not doing the things we don’t love Google for.

It also has some great features, such as being able to search content straight on a specific website by using a shortcut. If I wanted to look for pages on Paul Thomas Anderson on Facebook, all I’d need to type into the search bar is Paul Thomas Anderson !facebook. If it can gain  popularity it could become the new favourite, with features such as the Instant Answer Box giving you the information you are most likely to need  – saving you multiple clicks – and being able to calculate problems and answer questions without needing to dig deep.

I think this one will be worth giving a go. Although, it does not have a link to images like Google Search does I want to give it for a go and see what I think after that.

Instagrok

grok (v): to understand thoroughly and intuitively (definition: dictionary.com)  

 

Being a mind-mapper, I really like the interface and the visual linking.
I see the value of this search engine, but I feel it needs further development.
Currently I see this as a good way of getting an overview of a subject, displaying links and connections well. However, I would not use it primarily as a search engine at this stage.

One feature that could be really useful is the Journal tab to the right of the Graph tab (the main viewing window). It allows you (once signed in) to link in websites, images and edit what could otherwise be known as a Google Doc.
This looks lie a great tool for research and noting down useful sites, but it is not as straightforward as Google, nor as immediately informative as Duckduckgo.

Overall Ranking:

3rd place: Instagrok

2nd place: Google

1st place: Duckduckgo (hopefully with a follow up in a week after trialling Duckduckgo more thoroughly)

I have made Duckduckgo my preferred search engine for Safari, because having as the default browser for Google Chrome was just too ironic, so we’ll see how it goes from there…
However, it was deceivingly difficult to do it – another sign of how much google has infiltrated our lives.  I had to install a program in order to add browsers other then Google and Yahoo, but I have succeeded!

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