By Scott Hamilton
Senior Expert Emerging Technologies
I saw a info-graphic earlier this week describing the differences between Google and Duck Duck Go, the two top search engines in the United States and it got me thinking bout what else is out there. I figured you MI by t be interested in knowing some of the details as well, so this week I am going to cover some of the high level differences between the major players in the internet search space.
There is a very big negative to the tracking information Google gathers on you to improve the search results, it means they know a lot about you and your habits, they use this information primarily to target advertising in order to better market to you and increase their advertising revenue. They also use it to filter certain results out of your search guiding you to the most popular sites and possibly guiding you more towards misinformation.
Duck Duck Go (DGG), takes a different approach, they use keyword based advertising, without storing or using any of your private browsing or search history, basically this means that you will see result in order of popularity based o. The number of people who have followed a particular link whe searching the same keywords. If you do the same search on both DGG And Google you will get very different results, especially if you search a controversial topic like “COVID-19 vaccine”, “2020 election” or “political parties” You have more privacy, but the advertising might not be as personalized.
For example if you search for a car battery on Google and have searched before for parts for your Ford, you might get an ad for the Ford dealership, an ad for the new Ford Mustang and and the best battery for your exact car. However the same search on DGG would result in generic ads for car batteries, a jump starter box and a parts store.
Where both companies rely on advertising dollars based on the number of times an advertisement is clicked, one markets directly to you based on your history (Google) and the other markets to the general population based on keywords from a assignee searcH (DDG). Obviously Google results will seem to be better until you try age search for something different like parts for your brand new Chevy as an avid Ford owner, then you will see lots of targeted links for Ford parts and accessories.
The important thing to realize is that both search engines see you as the product they sell to advertisers, but Google labs more about you as the product and DGG learns more about their advertisers as the customers. DGG views both you and the advertisers as consumers of their service and at Google you are part of the targeted advertising product.
There are several other search engine options out there but based on my research DDG is the only one that focuses your privacy rather than their pocketbook. Until next week stay safe and learn something new.