On Search Engines

  • My thoughts on search engines are... [ol] [li]Web savvy people already have a favorite engine that can be easily added[/li] [li]Everyone else is used to and expects the default to be Google -- Even the iPhone uses Google even though the competing Android platform is by Google[/li] [/ol] That said, have metasearch engines been considered?

  • "Everyone else" uses whatever is put in front of them, basically. I see no reason to automatically encourage the Google hegemony which is largely sustained by it being a default. And that's when Google aren't stealth installing Chrome on naive users' computers when they download something else. If Microsoft did underhanded stuff like that, the net would erupt in fury.

  • I don't think anyone tries an engine that isn't Google, then sticks with it based on the results alone. And making something unexpected the default will make people feel cheated.

    People choose something that isn't Google because they want something that Google doesn't offer, but most people don't know what that is. I think a way of accepting this is for the first search a new user does to bring up a selection window that explains the reasons for choosing something else. E.g.

    Please select your default search engine:

    • Alphabet Google. This engine saves your searches across your Google devices and customises the results to your online and offline behaviour.
    • Alphabet Google Local (https). This search engine does not use your previous search history and instead gives results based on popular searches from people in your country.
    • DuckDuckGo. An anonymous search engine that aims to respect privacy and supply unbiased results based on (whatever it is that DDG uses to rank results).
    • Microsoft Bing. Microsoft's search engine that (does whatever it is that Bing does)
    • etc

    This way people can choose what suits them, rather than being given arbitrary choices that mean nothing to them, then going back to Google.

  • People need to understand that there's no such thing as free software. Vivaldi will also need to get funding from somewhere just as Opera did.

    Quit looking the gift-horse in the mouth. Choose your own default search engine and be happy.

  • Well if a decent engine wants to pay to be the default then let them. :lol:

    Google "helpfully" shows wikipedia and other sites first. No google, I know what it is I wan to see if there's other weird people into it. Bing is working "okay" for me but it seems like it's doing a google and listing all the major sites I would already think to check first, not helping me find new things. I guess it depends on what you consider helpful. For me two or more pages of sites I am already aware of it not really why I am using a search engine. I do like Duck Duck Go but I am also from the late 90's / early 2000's school of internet users.

    This isn't a complaint so much as an observation based on the fact that I have seen the confusion when people search and don't end up on google or even know they can type www.google.com to get there. People actually think google is just there without realizing how the web works.

  • @TurkishCoffee:

    Well if a decent engine wants to pay to be the default then let them.

    Not such a good idea I think, and this also applies for meta searches: Most people will stop using the browser if it doesn't internet like they expect, and that expectation now is that typing something into the address bar will search, on google, in their country TLD, possibly with them logged in, but definitely with the kind of customised search results that are gained from referring to previous searches. If the browser doesn't do this it needs to explain why; if it doesn't (or if it does poorly) it'll be deleted pretty quickly.

    Not entirely sure this applies to Vivaldi as they're aiming for powerusers I think, i.e. users that know what they should expect when using different engines and know how to set up alternatives, but in general browsers presently need to ship with Google as the out of the box default.

  • That's true, and part of my original point- people expect google. But it all depends who Vivaldi wants to target. I used Opera back when it had banner ADs in the browser to support it so maybe I am a little too understanding of the financial reality of launching software.

    I guess it will come down to the dev team's goals but so long as the user can change the default I don' t really think it makes a difference.


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