7 Reasons To Switch Your Search Engine in 2024

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It’s always a good time to change up habits. And the number one habit we all have is to search on Google. Google has a 95%+ market share, and for good reason. Over the past 25 years, they’ve literally changed the world and the internet.

But, in 2024, it’s about time to change how you search a little bit. Over the last 60 days, I’ve been experimenting with DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Kagi. Here are seven reasons to switch your search engine—not all the time, not cold turkey, but some of the time.

Alternatives Have Improved

For decades, Google has been the premier search engine since its inception in 1998, eclipsing predecessors like AltaVista with its user-centric approach, innovative funding model, and superior data and algorithms.

However, in recent years, competitors have gotten much better. With Google’s algorithm patents expiring, companies such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, and emerging players like Kagi are now providing viable alternatives. Internationally, Baidu & Yandex are also performing impressively (but don’t use them unless you prefer that your data go to the Chinese & Russian governments).

While Google still excels in certain areas, platforms like DuckDuckGo and Bing are great for most needs. After over two months of using DuckDuckGo, I rarely find the need to conduct follow-up searches on Google.

Now, Google is still the best in local and live content, but for general queries and evergreen content, the alternatives all offer a better experience, partly due to challenges Google has faced over the past three years.

Google Is Focused on Money & Engagement

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Google for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act through anti-competitive practices and abusing its dominant position in search to unfairly promote all their other products.

Google’s shift from its original 1998 business model, which prioritized directing users to external sites, now aims to keep users within their world, maximizing profit. This approach mirrors engagement strategies used by social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, but it has compromised the quality of search results.

Google’s design now prioritizes immediate answers and longer user engagement, particularly for lucrative queries that can drive up their stock value. As a result, the once-simple interface has become overwhelmed with shopping ads, knowledge graph entries, and “people also ask” features, sacrificing the simplicity of straightforward listings.

Make Google Compete Again

Google has incredible technology and they have incredible teams, but their monopolistic position has made them lazy. Their product has suffered and honestly, they need just a few people to switch over to competitors to make them go crazy, get their act together, and fix their product.

Every search conducted on alternative platforms like Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Kagi significantly impacts Google’s revenue, incentivizing them to enhance their offerings.

Get a More Diverse Set of Search Results

Having worked in search marketing for ages, I’ve seen the dominance of big terms and sites grow, despite expectations otherwise. Google often favors a small circle of major sites, repeatedly showing names like WebMD for health or leading financial firms for money queries.

This pattern doesn’t showcase the Internet’s diversity, although it works for basic searches. Alternatives like DuckDuckGo, Bing, and particularly Kagi, offer a broader view.

Kagi excels with its customizable search options, letting users focus on discussions, small sites, or specific types like Wikipedia or e-commerce, a level of tailoring absent in Google’s one-size-fits-all approach.

Fewer Ads and Less Clutter

Google’s search layout, once a simple mix of a few ads followed by 10 blue links, has evolved into a cluttered array of shopping ads, boxes, and drop-downs over the past decade. This complexity increases the paradox of choice and confusion, aiming to keep users on Google and encourage ad clicks.

Companies must bid on their brand names, as Google’s algorithm doesn’t guarantee top placement without paid ads. This practice borders on coercion for advertisers and creates frustration for users, who only notice the clutter when comparing Google to cleaner interfaces like DuckDuckGo, which sticks to a minimal ad approach.

It’s Always Good To Hold Back Some of Your Data

In 2024, your personal data is going to end up with a tech giant like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and/or Apple. Still, it’s rewarding to keep some privacy.

Using alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo, Bing, or Kagi, and accessing sites like Amazon and Wikipedia directly, helps preserve a part of our identity from Google’s analytics, preventing them from making all the money off our personal data.

Changing Up Your Habits

Over the last 25 years, “Googling” is a habit that’s as engrained as drinking coffee. It’s just part of daily life. But just as it’s good to know who you are apart from your stuff, your caffeine, and your habits, it’s good to know what you like to find apart from Google.

Choose what you want to explore beyond Google’s suggestions. While Google excels at certain searches, it’s easy to switch your default search engine in Chrome, Safari, Edge or Firefox. I’ve set DuckDuckGo as my default in the address bar, keeping Google accessible but not prioritized. I haven’t noticed any changes or downsides in 60 days…other than the clutter whenever I do return to Google’s SERPs.

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