Is anyone using Google search less than before? ( kbin.social )

I ask because I've been doing a lot of research the last few weeks and Google search has really let me down. I've been finding better results on DuckDuckGo and Bing. Is this a recent thing with Google or am I out of the loop? Any other search recommendations?

Edit: In no particular order, some recommended alternatives to Google
SearXNG
Whoogle
Ecosia
Brave
Dogpile
DuckDuckGo
Kagi
Swiss Cows
Qwant
Bing

BrikoX ,
@BrikoX@vlemmy.net avatar

DuckDuckGo uses Bing results. Also DuckDuckGo is not your friend.

I personally use SearXNG for best results. Public instance list.

Cap OP ,
@Cap@kbin.social avatar

@BrikoX Thanks for that link on DuckDuckGo - interesting read.

corytheboyd ,
@corytheboyd@kbin.social avatar

That article is about their web browser. Agree that it doesn’t exactly instill confidence that their search engine is squeaky clean. Regardless, DDG results are much more useful than Google results, as the entire first page isn’t ads.

Catch42 ,
@Catch42@kbin.social avatar

This. It was an interesting read and gives me doubts, but it's undoubtably better than using google and I can set it to my default search engine in safari

BananaTrifleViolin ,

Iwould honestly not use Safari either. Mozilla Firefox is the way to go (unless you're on iOS where there actually is no real choice, although the probably still better to use the Firefox front end)

tivasyk ,

«DDG results are much more useful than Google results» -- not if one is searching in anything but english; not sure for english either (had very poor results myself whenever i tried it) but at least can't disprove it.

marron12 ,

The English results are pretty good from what I've seen. Hit and miss in some areas though, like if you want to search in quotes.

Simple searches in other languages seem to work OK. It might depend on the language though. Google does better overall.

Darkrai ,
@Darkrai@kbin.social avatar

Thanks for the link on SearXNG never heard of that before.

Glome ,

For me searxng hasn't been working (tried multiple instances, throws mixed errors). I've been using whoogle and it works pretty well.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

My site doesn't seems to be index. Is there a way to let SearXNG instance know about my URL?

BrikoX ,
@BrikoX@vlemmy.net avatar

It doesn’t crawl the sites itself, it just parses the rusults from all the existing search engines and combines them.

Ask Google and Bing to index your site. support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9012289#requ…
www.bing.com/…/url-submission-62f2860b

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

My site (melroy.org) is both indexed very well in those search engines. But still not ending up in searxng for some reason..

enigmatic_cloud ,

I honestly went back to Google after seeing every fucking link in DuckDuckGo behind MSN. Almost every alternative search has Microsoft’s claws in them.

Glad to see a potential alternative in SearXNG. Thanks for the info.

tivasyk ,

same here (concerning going back to google every time); unfortunately can't share optimism for searxng: afaiu it's not a search engine but an aggregator/frontend, i tend to get all the same sh*t with it no matter which combination of search engines / settings i tried. finally just gave up for the moment with an internal promise to do more testing in a year or two.

BananaTrifleViolin ,

Yeah although this is specifically the Duckduckgo web Browser rather than their search site. The only web browser to use is Firefox, set up the privacy and tracking settings correctly plus add in privacy extensions.

Duckduckgo website doesn't track you in the same way, but still it is a company and should not be treated as a virtuous entity.

FIST_FILLET , (edited )
@FIST_FILLET@kbin.social avatar

DuckDuckGo is not your friend

please, PLEASE, never forget that the CEO of DuckDuckGo is also the founder of the "Names Database". it is insane to me that anyone trusts DDG. where do you think they get all the money for marketing from? i've seen a DDG ad on a fucking bus stop in the middle of nowhere

edit: throwing in an honorary mention for Qwant, which is an EU-based privacy-oriented search engine. i've been using them for a couple of years now and have yet to hear anything bad about the company. SearX is also supposedly a safe bet

technologicalcaveman ,

I use searxng too. For the most part I usually get what I need from it when I do a search.

Double_A ,
@Double_A@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

Yeah there is definitely something going wrong with Google. I noticed that the search results got much worse in the last weeks. Either it’s full of SEO Blog Spam, or it straight out doesn’t find anything. Especially for technical error messages it stopped finding results. I have to directly look on Github or Stackoverflow now.

tal ,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

The SEO spamming-the-Internet-with-AI-generated-websites crowd has been pulling ahead in the arms race with Google, I think. They've been making up more and more of the results.

briefingWizard936 ,

I can't be bothered to turn off my VPN and since Google Search is dropping CAPTCHA bombs on me every time I try to access it I dropped it. I Throughout the week I rotate between Startpage, DuckDuckGo and Bing. However lately I'm more inclined to use Bing Chat and ChatGPT.

sadreality ,

I started dropping services that ask CAPTCHA every time... shit is so fucking annoying. They treat us like idiots and most of us just take it.

Got to vote with our feet!

RodPhoto ,
@RodPhoto@kbin.social avatar

Same, captcha was unbearable when using VPN so I just went to Bing. Fuck Google.

asteroidrainfall ,
@asteroidrainfall@kbin.social avatar

Honestly, Bing is unironically good. I started using it because I wanted to play around with Bing Chat back when that was in beta. Before that I was a believer in more privacy focused search. It’s funny, since they limit the chat to Edge I never even use it.

escapedgoat ,

As someone who works in IT Security, the captchas are a necessary evil at this point. Without captchas, sites get slammed with millions invalid or malicious requests every hour. The sites I work with will see error traffic spike 3000% or more from credential stuffing attacks alone. These attacks are so highly distributed that simple IP tracking and banning all but ineffective anymore. And about 99.99% of the malicious traffic comes from VPNs and hosting providers. Unfortunately botnets and the people that run them are getting smarter and smarter about constructing the traffic to avoid bot detection.

tldr; the most effective tool to keep a site up and running and accounts secure is unfortunately captchas for VPN users.

briefingWizard936 ,

My ISP puts us behind country wide CGNATs. So if a site bans an IP it's possible they'll turn the lights out for a whole region.

mpaluta ,

I recently switched to Kagi. I’m happy to pay for it because it aligns my incentives with theirs. It’s not yet as good as old Google, but it’s way better than new Google.

I really enjoy being able Raise or Block domains in search results. Within my common search areas like programming or personal finance, I try to find blogs and forums I trust and Raise them in future searches. So my searching is getting better over time as I tell the engine what I like and don’t like.

I also block useless domains like Quora.

throwmeinthekbin ,
@throwmeinthekbin@kbin.social avatar

I think Google search hitched their wagon to Reddit (whether involuntary or not is up for debate) and now it's coming around and biting them in the ass. The "hack" of sticking Reddit or using the tag "site:reddit.com" to the end of whatever your search query was has long been figured out by the masses and I can't help but think the search algorithm has been trained to look there more often by default as a lazy way of doing SEO.

Now that Reddit is rotting from the inside, Google is really having to scramble to do something and fix their SEO spam issues and build trust in their results. What is already a not so great product at the moment in Google Search will soon turn into a bad one if they aren't careful. I think they have coasted for so long as being the default since there was no one else that could challenge them. But with ChatGPT and other LLMs quickly improving, Google has a real danger of losing their biggest cash cow in Seach. Hell if they aren't careful, they could even find their way to non-existence since so much of their revenue comes from serving ads and search listings.

They're really at a turning point and need to be extremely careful in how they move from here. With their recent track record and what they've shown with things like the current Search debacle they're in, Bard, how they've managed Android hardware and software the last decade, etc., I'm not so sure they can do it.

Greenskye ,

Google as a whole has felt like it's built on top of a growing sinkhole. Everything seems fine on the surface, but I look back at the last ~10 years of google and which of their products has not been killed or gotten worse? When did I start to hesitate to try anything new from Google? And now all the sudden in 2023 we're comparing search engines again?

They've stopped the crazy innovation they were known for. They've continually eroded core products. Their 'ecosystem' barely functions together with bizarre limitations and multiple obvious tie-ins never capitalized on. If anyone was going to build an effective AI, I was sure it'd have been Google first. Why does it feel like they're last to the starting line?

I'm about a year away from just fully jumping ship from almost every google product. And my family/friends would be 2-3 years beyond that (many of them are fully Apple anyway).

sadreality ,

Google is a trash company. although Maps and Youtube are strong products that are hard to replace. Search and email have been enshittified over last decade like no other.

HubertManne ,
@HubertManne@kbin.social avatar

maps was ruined compared to what it used to be. I can't remember when but I found it super useful and then one day they changed some stuff and doing stuff just became crap.

Aesthesiaphilia ,

Popups. Any time you open Maps app now, you get a "latest in area" popup that's some local events but mostly just sponsored ads.

Cap OP ,
@Cap@kbin.social avatar

@sadreality Maps and Youtube are strong products

Agree 100%

SirEDCaLot ,

Absolutely.

I think there’s two issues.
One is that Google’s search has gotten a LOT less useful over the last few years. I blame enshittification- it used to just search for whatever you typed in, now there’s a lot of ‘you typed X but we think you might mean Y’ type stuff that produces tons of irrelevant results. You can turn on Verbatim mode and that helps a little but it’s still not ‘just search for what I fucking typed in and not something else’.
The real advent of enshittification was when Google+ the social network came out- they removed + as a search operator and now you have to enclose something in quotes for ‘must include’. It’s been going downhill since then.

The other is that Google is either losing an arms race or simply not trying to weed out SEO spam sites. So you ask a question like ‘error 0x0000001b blue screen’ and you get pages and pages of ‘how to solve error 0x0000001b [FIXED]’ that are just ‘error 0x0000001b is a common error lots of people have, it can be caused by many things, to fix it reboot your computer and if that doesn’t work try safe mode and if that doesn’t work try OfficialDriverFixRegistryCleanupUtility.exe number one free recommended utility to solve all system problems’ (only spread out over 3 pages).
Or you get a bunch of 10 minute videos that illustrate a 20 second fix.
No thanks.

TurboRotary ,

What do you use instead?

SirEDCaLot ,

Still Google TBH. Just with more frustration.

At some point I’ll give DuckDuckGo another try…

TurboRotary ,

I've tried Bing, but the search result page is so full of videos and other media elements that it makes it hard for me to go through the results quickly. The DDG interface is less cluttered and it supposedly shows the same results as Bing, but I find it's much slower to load and perform searches.

Rottcodd ,
@Rottcodd@kbin.social avatar

I spent years honing my google-fu only to see it become completely useless when google apparently decided that it was no longer interested in returning actually useful results and would instead return nothing but ads and a random assortment of clickbait in which one single word matches one of my search terms.

eltimablo , (edited )

I googled a very broad, two-word phrase ("MySQL overlayfs") and not a single one of the top 30 results had both of those words in them. It's like Google has regressed to pre-Altavista days.

Calcharger ,

When I have specific questions that I want to have expanded on, I use GPT4 and then do some reference checking on Google

callyral ,
@callyral@readit.buzz avatar

I use Ecosia, not sure if it's the best for privacy but I think that it's better than Google on that regard. They also plant trees so that's nice.

kuontom , (edited )
@kuontom@kbin.social avatar

Google Search has been accusing me of being a robot a lot lately, making me solve a bajillion captchas. So I've stopped using search engines entirely. I've bookmarked a lot of the sites I regularly visit and have realized I don't really need Google, apart from for getting the correct links to said websites because I can't remember their .orgs and .coms.

Fiddler ,
@Fiddler@kbin.social avatar

Switched to DuckDuckGo years ago. Using Google only occasionally. Recently I have been distancing myself from both, using a combination of search.brave.com (works at least as good as DDG) and SearXNG.

explodingboy ,

Switched to DuckDuckGo a while ago. Used to be able to get much better results by adding "site:reddit.com" to the search phrase. Esp. when searching for technical information or solutions to problems.

addie ,
@addie@feddit.uk avatar

Google's search results have been second-guessed 'not what you were looking for', SEO crap and minimum-quality filler for a long time. Putting Reddit in as a search option was about the only thing that kept it usable, and now that everyone's deleting their comments and leaving, that's going to go to shit as well.

For me, when I'm trying trying to recall a song name, and you search for "song lyrics" then half the words in the chorus, Google just won't help you any more. That put me off it years ago, have been on DDG since.

Kobrah ,

I have mostly transitioned to Ecosia (which uses Bing) for most of my searches. I got sick of irrelevant results and half the screen covered by Google asking me to log in.

Volkditty ,

I just made the switch from Google to DuckDuckGo in the last week.

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