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Keeping Google on its digital toes

johnnyopinionsGoogle it — a phrase used anytime somebody wants to know something. Simply get on the internet, go to Google, type in a question and thousands of answers will appear. Google has become so popular and trusted that the term “Google” is synonymous with any kind of online searching. The website is constantly changing and improving to become more useful for users, and it seems like there would be no reason to ever use any other search engine; however, other alternatives still exist, like Microsoft’s search engine called Bing. While Google may seem like the greatest technology to have ever existed, it is important that people still use Bing and other smaller search engines, both because some search engines are superior in certain areas, and also in order to keep the massive entity that is Google on its virtual toes.

According to Net Market Share, 73 percent of all searches globally are done through Google, with Bing coming in second place at just over 9 percent. Nearly everybody in the world prefers Google, but there are still some who use Bing. While it may seem as though Google is the obvious choice when it comes to search engines, there are actually many reasons why a person might opt to use Bing over Google. One large reason is that anybody with a Windows computer begins with Microsoft Edge — which used to be called Internet Explorer — as the default web browser, and Microsoft Edge uses Bing by default. Therefore, unless a person with a Windows computer changes the computer’s default settings, he or she will likely use Bing instead of Google. Additionally, Bing does have many traits that differ from Google, some of which convince people to utilize it instead of Google.

Microsoft claims the word Bing is an onomatopoeia meant to emulate the sound of an epiphany, but a running joke is that Bing stands for “Because it’s not Google.” Besides the few perks Bing has to offer over Google, perhaps the most important reason to use Bing is just that — because it’s not Google. Competition keeps Google constantly striving to improve its service, ensuring that it never ceases implementing next level innovations and impressive technologies. As Google loses users to smaller search engines like Bing, the company is encouraged to strive toward bigger and better things. Supporting smaller companies doesn’t just encourage Google to be better, it also helps the smaller companies make innovations that could change the way search engines operate forever.

That being said, Microsoft is anything but a small company, which means Bing can be put in largely the same category as Google. Therefore, in order to truly encourage growth through competition, it is necessary that even smaller companies be utilized in place of both Google and Bing. Luckily, the internet is an immense place where anybody can make amazing websites, and the same holds true for search engines. For instance, the search engine Quora does more than simply provide links to websites that may contain the answers — it has an enormous community of people who each share their expertise with one another. With the personalized answers that can be provided within such a community, deep and abstract questions that would not produce results within Google can be answered. For instance, a question on Quora asks, “What is the most interesting fact that you know and I don’t, but I should?” to which have been made thousands of replies, each more interesting than the last. The greatest aspect of Quora is that it enables users to find answers to questions they didn’t even know they had. Wolfram Alpha is a different type of search engine that compiles computed facts and statistics to answer nearly any knowledge-based question. DuckDuckGo, a search engine that records no data about those who use it, is perfect for those who are made uncomfortable by how much information Google knows about its users.

There are many alternatives to Google, each with its own advantages, and it is important to support these alternatives. While Google often seems like the perfect search engine, it is only that way due to the fact that it has always had competition from other search engines like Bing, forcing the company to continue releasing better and more accurate results in order to maintain its position on top. Google does not quite have a monopoly on online searches, but it is dangerously close. The only way to combat Google’s power is to seek, find and utilize other search engines that can both better serve certain functions, as well as provide useful competition for Google.

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