Default Search Engine

Guess what is my default search engine in my default browser (Firefox)?

Hint: It’s not Google.

Disclaimer: This piece of writing is purely form of my opinion. I did not do any research beforehand and hence the information stated may not be accurate. Hence, please do spot the inaccuracies and I’ll take note of them. Thanks.

Why?

In the recent months, I’ve been concerned about my heavy reliance on Google. Let say if Google gone evil (which it may already does[citation needed]), then it can easily blackmail me, because it knows my searching history and even has access to my emails. Hence, Google knows what person am I and can easily uses the data it had to offend me. Well, I know that a company, in honor of user data (using its privacy policy, etc), will not do that. But a more realistic scenario may happen, which is government requests Google to do so.

I’ve been exposed to Bing since I bought my Surface (Surface RT – they dropped the name “RT” already) last October 2013. It forces the users to use IE as browser. At first, I was frustrated since “IE sucks”, but then I give it a try, and well, IE is not that bad, although still not good. It comes with the default search provider, Bing.

Trying to mitigate my data on Google, I started to move on from Google, starting with the default search provider, to Bing. Over some months, it performed cool, although some searches is way better searched if done using Google, which was not an issue since I used keyword search feature of Firefox, hence I can quickly use Google to search using the awesome bar (term for “address bar” in Firefox).

And then I came across the fact that Microsoft, through Bing, is also doing the same thing like Google: they saved the search history “to improve future searches” but still susceptible to “government requests”.[citation needed] Hence, I decided to move on one more time, this time to the search engine that does not track you, DuckDuckGo. Well, my first impression on it was bad: need some learning on the UI (to determine where is what) and search result was worse compared to Google and Bing. This may be relieved by it having those “small features” that is not implemented on both Google and Bing, like the ability to emphasis on results at Stack Overflow on technical questions. Over time, I used to it and occasionally switched to Google when the results at DuckDuckGo was so bad to be read.

It was just recently that Mozilla states that their default search engine will be Yahoo (for US), Yandex (for Russia), and Baidu (for China). This move, in my opinion, is purely financial since Mozilla needs money to survive. The change, however, has frustrated quite a number of its user. But rest assured that everyone has the right to change its default search engine, like me, who had used two search engines other than Google.

You may think that I’ve been so much on anti-Google. It’s not that Google is bad, but from my view, Google is growing very quickly and I feared that Google dominates the world and eventually everything is dictated by one company, which is bad.

Conclusion

My default search engine, unlike most of everyone else, is not Google. I’ve tried Bing and DuckDuckGo, and I admit that Google’s results were better than those of them. But, in the sense of user privacy, users have a choice to choose their own default search engine, and there exist a search engine that does not track the user’s search history: DuckDuckGo. So, choose your search engine wisely. 🙂

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