Spiders, also known as web crawlers, search the Internet to find results that match your search query. If you have ever searched for the same subject on different search engines, you will notice that the results can be drastically different.
Most people stick with the default search engine in their favorite browser. Tap or click here to find the best internet browser for your needs. A study by BrightEdge found that 68% of all online activity begins with a search engine, so it’s essential to think a little about which one you use.
There are many ways search engines can set themselves apart from each other, from appearance to functionality. In this article, you will learn how search results differ from platform to platform. You will also see what kinds of results you can expect from your queries.
First, let’s look at your options
For this comparison, we compared four options. Here is a brief overview of what some of the biggest search engines have to offer:
- google: It is obvious. With a market share of 91%, it is by far the most popular search engine. It’s usually easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in Chrome. Unfortunately, Google isn’t exactly known for protecting your privacy. You can expect a fair amount of tracking and targeting, especially compared to the options below that sell for your privacy.
- DuckDuckGo: Known for prioritizing user privacy, DuckDuckGo has around 25 million happy untracked users. There is no targeted advertising and search results are not based on your search history. You can use it as an extension with all major browsers.
- Home Page: Dubbed “the most private search engine in the world”, Startpage uses the capabilities of Google without tracking its users. Using it feels like you’re on Google, but you don’t have to worry about the company tracking and selling your data to the highest bidder.
- Bing: With more autocomplete suggestions than Google and best video searches, Bing is a solid (albeit much maligned) search option. It also prioritizes established articles that have gained a lot of traffic over time to newer articles with tons of relevant terms. Use it here.
Now that you have a good general idea of each search engine, let’s take a look at how each works. For this, we will test the engines with two searches that have recently been in fashion.
This is how they measure
Let’s go beyond what these search engines promise and look at the actual results. We’ve done some research into each option to give you a better idea of what you’ll get. To note: These searches were conducted using an incognito window in each browser, with a VPN enabled. This allows us to get the least targeted search possible.
Pick up any newspaper or turn on the TV news and you’ll come across at least one story about the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Our first search was “Omicron Symptoms”.
Google didn’t show any ads at the top of the page for this search. The best hits are stories from a variety of local, national, and medical news outlets. Below, the top organic result is a 4-day report from NBC. No information from the CDC or any other official medical source was present on the first page of the results.
Next, we searched for “ice cream Phoenix”. Google results start with an interactive map, where you can filter local options by rating, price, and hours of operation. It is convenient.
This is followed by organic results, made up of “best of” lists from various sites, which makes sense given this search. Further down the page are some ice cream recipes, which doesn’t really make sense in this context.
DuckDuckGo also did not return any ads for the search term “Omicron Symptoms”. The first result displayed is a summary of COVID symptoms, vaccination information, and more from the CDC.
Below you’ll find recent news, then organic results starting with a Yahoo News story. Since the COVID variant dominates the news and this type of coverage will be the most up-to-date, prioritizing the news makes sense. We liked that DuckDuckGo returned CDC results right off the bat.
For our “ice cream Phoenix” search, DuckDuckGo also started with a map. This one is much simpler than Google’s version, showing locations on a map without all the filtering frills. Still, it does the job. The same rounded type results are shown below. No ice cream recipes can be found here.
The homepage is the only option to display ads for the search term “Omicron Symptoms”. Advertisements about this research included COVID testing and treatment for symptoms of MS and sickle cell disease. Although ads are a diversion, keep in mind that contextual advertising is how Startpage makes money.
The search engine does not collect information about you and does not sell it. After the ads, Startpage offers a roundup of recent news, followed by organic news results. The experience is similar to Google.
For the search “ice cream Phoenix”, Startpage has the most streamlined results. There are no maps or other extras. It is simply a list of the same type of summary lists that the previous two search engines displayed. Depending on your preference, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Simplicity is nice, but we like having the map there.
Bing’s results for our “Omicron Symptoms” search varied the most – and, surprisingly, were the most impressive. A CDC and World Health Organization information board is on the right. News is on the left, followed by other relevant search terms, recent opinion pieces, and a timeline of events.
For the search “ice cream Phoenix”, Bing takes a left turn from competitors. Bing, as we said earlier, is a video-focused search engine. And the relevant video here? Ice Cream Phoenix from Jefferson Airplane. It’s an odd combination of results, almost as if Bing can’t decide.
We have a map displaying glaciers, local results including ratings and times, and then options to watch and listen to Jefferson Airplane Melody. Hey, at least Bing was thorough.
Now that we’ve gone over the different results you’ll get, let’s zoom out a bit for a general overview.
We compared the advantages and disadvantages of each search engine
If you want a private search engine, keep a few things in mind. They each have different policies and techniques to protect your privacy. Some are much better at protecting you than others.
Here are the privacy pros and cons of four of the most important search engines you can use:
|Search engine||Benefits||The inconvenients|
|Offers Incognito mode to prevent search terms from being stored on your profile, among other things
Google has detailed settings you can navigate to stop different types of data and ad tracking, but be aware that data tracking is still at the heart of these services.
Here are eight ways Google constantly invades your privacy and how to fix them.
|Tracks every email you type, everywhere you’ve been, and everything you search for (even in incognito mode)
When you use private browsing, your device does not store cookies, files, or history, but the sites you visit may
Does not hide your IP address when browsing
|DuckDuckGo||Has no-track partnerships with Amazon and eBay
Offers a Maps feature that does not track your location
Doesn’t track your IP address or search history, so you don’t have to worry about search filter bubbles or targeted ads
|Always shows you ads, even if the ads are not personalized
Protects privacy but lacks built-in virus and malware protection
|Home Page||Does not save your personal information
Completely hides your IP address by replacing it with 0.0.0.0.
Offers an anonymous view, which redirects you through a firewall
Encrypts all your user searches with HTTPS to prevent people from spying
|The most streamlined results of any search engine; no fancy maps or extras
This might be too simple for those who like cards and other treats
It works for profit, so it generates revenue from advertisements
Click on these advertisements and you are at the mercy of whatever data collection tools the advertising company uses.
|Bing||Bing does not share corporate data with Microsoft
Doesn’t hit you with targeted ads
Comes with InPrivate mode, which does not attribute your searches to you. It’s like incognito mode in that your history and files are not saved on your device
|Hackers have breached its defenses in the past, exposing user information
Security researchers arrested him for leaking user data in 2020, reports WCCF Tech. This includes GPS location, searches, websites you’ve visited, device information, and more.
Advertisers can target you based on your operating system and the device you’re working on, such as a smartphone or laptop
If you’re looking for more privacy advice, we’ve got you covered. Here at Komando HQ, we help you keep as many cards close to your chest as you want. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it can also limit the amount of personal data that is leaked when hackers attack Big Tech companies.
Last year, we rounded up a ton of tips you could use to stay more private and secure online. You might have missed some of our most useful guides, so we’ve collected them all in one place. Don’t Miss: Tap or click here for Kim’s top safety tips in 2021.