Most everyone uses a search engine, whether it’s Google or one of the others out there; although the statistics about whether or not you use Google are more than a little skewed in Google’s favor. Why is it such a popular tool, and what other options are out there for the enterprising Internet user?
Google is Overwhelmingly Popular
At the same time as we are writing this blog article, there are over 99,000 Google searches per second, all of which total 8.5 billion searches per day. This accounts for about 92% of all Internet search results. This is why Google is synonymous with the act of searching and why people use the word “Google” like a verb.
Why is Google Used More Often?
Google’s reputation as a go-to search engine is well-earned, as it easily yields the most accurate search results out there. It is capable of crawling 30 trillion web pages to ensure you get the best results for your search, all in less than half a second.
Google can be manipulated to a certain extent through the use of search engine optimization, and businesses can use these tricks to increase their search exposure. Google can also potentially expose people to online threats, if inadvertently. These flaws do little to slow down Google’s monopoly of the market share, though, and the competition has a hard time keeping up.
Your Searches Are Customized, Too
There is also the fact that Google customizes its search results based on a variety of factors, all of which contribute to the algorithm it uses to show you content. The same search results will yield different options based on the individual who is searching, mostly because Google uses things like geographic location and search history to yield the most accurate results possible.
Granted, having your search results customized like this is not always a good thing. Research has shown that a filter bubble could become an issue for users because of this. A filter bubble is when people are only shown things that they are likely to agree with or relate to, limiting their perspectives considerably. It helps to get validation, but if the validation is flat-out wrong or unethical, well, it might be time to open your eyes a bit and see some search results that might rub you the wrong way.
Since the search results will eventually skew too far in one direction, the content which you are exposed to will almost inevitably mirror your own worldview. This could be seen as a negative, or even a breach of privacy depending on your sensitivity to these types of things.
Even with these flaws, Google maintains its considerable lead over the competition, although it is not as popular as it once was (although the difference between its previous 98 percent versus its current 92 percent is somewhat laughable in this context).
What Are Your Options?
If you want to try out different search engines, there are others out there that you might find useful. Next time, we’ll go over some Google alternatives.