Let’s face it, where would we be without Google?…
This weeks task, asked us to use three search engines: DuckDuckgo, Google and Instagrok to research an item. Although I’ve googled a bazillion things over the years, when forced to research a topic, it seems that every possible word in the english language escapes me. Not to be too visceral, but like peeing in a cup at the doctors, you get stage-fright.
With this conundrum in mind, i thought of something that was relevant to my current interests. After racking my brains, I decided to research the topic: Veganism. After contemplating trying it for a week, I thought it would be an interesting and relevant topic to research.
It has bought the world to our fingertips. Within seconds, one can settle an argument or solve a question. But as Yoda would put it, with great power, comes great responsibility. In contemporary society we have relied on Google as a friend, a confidant, a doctor, a teacher, a map, an encyclopaedia and a tool for communication. Yet as a result, will society become more reliant on self-diagnosis? Will we seek advice from a source that doesn’t judge, that gives us straight answers and that keeps our anonymity (to a certain level)?
Familiar with the search engine already, I found it easy to use and efficient. It lists the most popularly visted and relevant websites first, making it easy to sift through unnecessary content. The ability to search through images, news, videos, blogs (etc.) that are related to your topic, is also an obvious plus. With more content to read then time to spare, this website becomes the source of all search engines envy. Overall, Google supplied me with endless content about veganism. Listing the more renowned and popular websites first, I was able to find out the philosophy of Veganism within the first few websites.
To begin, I found many faults within the ‘DuckduckGo’ brand-name. Where Google is often turned into a verb (googling), is catchy and easy to pronounce, DuckDuckGo isnt. It is unnecessarily long, and ultimately forces the reader to initially Google it, before they have even used it. Where people understand what you mean when you are “Googling”, they wouldn’t understand if you were “DuckduckGoing” something. We no longer search something on the web, we Google it. The brand has replaced the initial word, which i don’t feel the underdog search engine: DuckduckGo is capable of.
Firstly, the homepage of DuckDuckGo, is remarkably similar to Google. Its search results also reflect those of Google, yet were not ordered by popularity, thus causing smaller websites to be listed before larger ones( Such as “happycow.com” over Amazon and Wikipedia). The one benefit I see, is it’s ability to change layouts, by ordering your results by either definition or category. The search engine has also mimicked Google’s easy to read and simplistic layout whilst also adding a definition of your topic, at the start of the page. Unrelated to my results, was DuckduckGo’s ‘goodies’ page. Although confusing me at first, this page allows users to search popular topics by genre, such as “Conversions,Calculations and Entertainment”. Overall I feel Duckduckgo would be a more successful search engine, if it concentrated on promoting these features within its page.
This search engine was remarkably different from Google and DuckDuckGo in both its results and its layout. With the use of diagrams and an interesting layout, I feel that this website is best suited to children. Hiding most of its content under clickable tabs, this website gives more control to the ‘web-surfer’. It also has the option of ‘Quizzes’, which i haven’t seen on a search engine before. Undertaking a quick survey on veganism, Instagrok allowed me to recognise what i did and did not know about my chosen subject.
Overall I still prefer Google’s simplistic, yet informative layout. Maybe it’s just been ingrained in me after so many years, but it will remain my default homepage after this analysis. If you have found that you prefer either the Instagrok or the DuckDuckGo search engine, you can choose to make them your default homepage by selecting ‘Set homepage’ on either of the sites. Otherwise, one can select another homepage by changing the preferences on your web browser. For Safari, select safari>preferences and enter you homepage. Unfortunately, each of the web browsers still included advertising. Each of these advertisements was also tailored to the user and their results. Conclusively, I feel it would be refreshing to use a search engine, that wasn’t trying to sell you something, unless you had selected that option.
Overall I feel i would use these search engines in this order:
- Google- simple, classic search engine that i am familiar with
- Instagrok- remarkably different layout of information from Google, kid-friendly and fun to explore
- DuckDuckGo – similar to google, yet has less options to choose from. Offers nothing substantially new or interesting