Funny enough, when talking with other IT Pros, one of the toughest Google properties for them to give up is Search. IT Pros like to "Google it" or do some "Googling" or work on their "Google Fu." The release of Google's Search product in 1997 was hugely monumental and the company's Search engine feature has become an Internet staple for modern society. It's become so embedded in our daily lives that the word "Google" became an official dictionary term relating to using the Google Search engine to locate something on the web. To its credit, Google revolutionized the web by developing and releasing the search engine. Google's search technology has a simple, clean interface and provides many with results that are "good enough."
We've known forever that Google uses its Search engine to track search habits to deliver advertisements. Without the ability to sift through user data, Google's revenue is severely diminished. Google regularly modifies their search algorithms to ensure they get the utmost revenue dollar for user searching. This causes web sites to scramble to alter their SEO policies just so they can be ranked higher in Google's search results. I've heard several times over the last year where IT Pros say that their "Google Fu" wasn't working well that day, but in truth Google's Search capability has been degrading over time due to the adjustment of results to ensure higher ad revenue. The search function is still adequate, but it's no longer the best available.
And, with all the hub-bub around Google's intent to never stop reading through your emails and the fact that they believe they own everything you give them through the use of their online properties, including search, it's time to give it up. Search is the basis for all of Google's other services.
As deeply embedded as Google's Search is, it may seem like a tough thing to give up, but, in reality it's one of the easiest. And, it's becoming easier all the time.
I have to come clean a bit. Giving up Google Search was not part of my recent quest to remove all things Google from my life, but it was one of the primary factors that led me to believe it was possible. I had actually traded Google Search for Bing a few years ago. Even when using an Android smartphone or tablet, I'd choose to use Bing for search instead just because I like it better. Obviously, that didn't protect me completely from Google's Search since it's embedded into all of their other services.
Bing, you say? But, I thought it sucked, you say? Microsoft has been steadily improving Bing's capabilities. I've attempted to use other search engines, but always settled back to Bing. The search results are comprehensive and spot-on, the output format is uniform and accessible, and it incorporates your friends' (if you allow it) similar information on your search topic. And, you can't discount the fact that the Bing home page is always beautiful. The Popular Now feature (the little strip at the bottom) for the main page is how I keep up on the hot news of the day, which for me, is important.
But, still, it’s a search engine. Does it work? Those same IT Pros who were having "bad Google days" tried Bing on my suggestion and found exactly what they were looking for – on the first page. And, no one has ever accused me of not being able to locate something on the Internet. Neither has anyone ever suggested that I'm uninformed about technology, news, even movies and TV. Bing is much better than Google Search in so many ways.
Around my house, my family "Bings" for things on the Internet. I never hear "I Googled it." This is not something I mandated, but the result of a simple suggestion that they all try Bing. Dropping Google's Search engine is a huge first step to eliminating Google from your life.
I dare you. Take the 30-day Bing challenge and report back.
This is a continuing series. To catch what you missed, jump back to the original page for links to each installment: Life without Google