If Google thinks for you, use THEIR search engine. Other…


For years, the internet has been dominated by the all-seeing Google. Google has been so successful in executing and protecting its brand that we culturally understand that for “Google” is something about searching the Internet, despite the existence of alternative search engines.

Google holds a huge advantage over all other search engines. Over 88% of all web searches are conducted through Google, while the second largest web browser, Bing, claims less than 6% of all web searches. While alternative search services have been around for years (such as DuckDuckGo, Ask, and Startpage), there are only two English-language indexes: Google and Bing. Most of the familiar search “alternatives” come from these two sets of data.

Alternative search engines are therefore not so alternative. Really, the only benefit to using an alternative search engine is privacy. But when it comes to search results, you’ll end up with a very similar search no matter which engine you choose.

Now, a new search engine has appeared, offering a game-changing alternative.

Before introducing you to this future competitor, it is important to understand why Google’s monopoly is so important, and why the introduction of a real alternative search engine is essential to the free exchange of ideas.

Why is Google’s monopoly a problem?

” What’s the problem ? some might wonder. “Google is reaping the rewards of a great product.”

It turns out that Google’s monopoly is very important because it affects the free exchange of ideas in the public square and our electoral process.

“The control our search engines have over us is very sneaky,” says Nathan Jacobson, developer and web designer at the Discovery Institute. ” This is not obvious. When you go to the New York Times, you know the editors picked a certain set of topics to cover, articles to share, they picked certain writers to employ, so it’s sort of understood that you’re getting an intentional experience. The information transmitted to you is not all information. It is a carefully selected subset of information.

In other words, the common assumption is that Google is a neutral information library when in reality it is just as much an information curator as the New York Times.

“It’s not even that consciously mean or deceitful,” Jacobson explains, “it’s just that if you come from a certain point of view, you’re going to rate certain sources of information as more credible and authoritative and favor those in your search results.”

If you think about the traditional idea of ​​the public square, Google acts as a sort of moderator, allowing certain voices to speak louder and longer than others. Unfortunately, due to the biased nature of human beings, this leads to biased results in our search results.

Take, for example, research conducted by psychologist Robert Epstein:

Research psychologist Robert Epstein began studying what he called the “search engine manipulation effect” in 2014. It involved the placement of news articles and other links returned to users in a search query. Google search. Because Google search had become so efficient (again the algorithms) and the site itself so widely used, Google’s customers had come to expect that the higher an item would appear in the results list. research, the more relevant and trustworthy that item should be. Epstein discovered as early as 2014 that he could alter the choice of undecided voters in an election by perhaps more than 12% simply by manipulating the order of search results – a swing that could determine close competition.

Josh Hawkley, The Tyranny of Big Tech, page 100

Epstein conducted extensive studies of these Google search queries during the 2016 presidential election. “What he found was a pronounced search bias on Google in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.” He estimated that Google’s algorithm “probably nudged 2.6 million voters undecided about Hillary Clinton.

Moreover, such conservation is a threat to the exchange of competing ideas. The overwhelming majority of Google users only see the first set of carefully weighted search results. The vast majority of results are left in the shadows.

Jacobson compares this to the traditional public forum. “Make anyone speak. But what if someone controls who speaks, where and at what time? ” he asks. “What if the favorite voices get downtown, a soapbox and a mic at noon while the undesirables are programmed in the early hours of an alley where the police regularly tell them to shut up?”

The effect is a monopoly on conversation, even if everyone’s freedom to speak in a vacuum is preserved. “The ability to control what people hear is almost as great as the power to control what they say,” says Jacobson. “And so much power in the hands of a single company should give pause to anyone who worries about the concentration of power.”

Brave search

A solution to a monopoly like Google is the introduction of competition into the playing field.

Enter the new search engine competitor, Brave Search. Unlike other search engine alternatives that pull from the same English-language indexes created by Google and Bing, Brave Search works from its own index, only the third one that is widely available and based in English.

(Other large-scale indexes are Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia, with the latter making a foray into the English-speaking world at yandex.com.)

Jacobson explains that, building on its acquisition of Tailcat, Brave Search “anonymously uses users’ computers to crawl the web and contribute to its index.” Maintaining an index of the web is a “massive undertaking” considering the amount of new content uploaded every twenty-four hours.

Brave Search isn’t a fully mature product yet, but the beta version launched for public use this summer on search.brave.com.

Not only does it provide an alternative to Google’s search algorithms, but it also prioritizes the privacy of its users:

Out of the box, Brave Browser blocks third-party trackers and cookies that monitor your activity as you travel the web. But the browser also gives you control over what you do and don’t want to be blocked – from ads and cookies to Facebook and Google login buttons.

Clifford Colby and Rae Hodge, “This Google Chrome rival is the browser to use if you’re worried about online privacy. What to know” on CNET

Google remains dominant for now. Brave Search is not as well known as Google and will have to do some work in the area of ​​public awareness. Additionally, Google remains the best engine to use for niche searches. Nevertheless, Brave Search is already a solid alternative and should go from strength to strength.

Another potential alternative to Google’s monopoly would be to hand control of the algorithm to the people. Wacky? Imagine a technology that would allow you to weight your own search instead of relying on Google’s almighty algorithm. At this year’s COSM event in Bellevue, Washington, you will have the opportunity to hear from a speaker who will introduce this technology.

Update: In addition to Google and Bing’s indexes, a little-known search engine in the UK by the name of mojeek.com has also built its own index. Although far from exhaustive, it exceeded 4 billion pages in 2021.


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