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How I dumped Google before it dumped me

How I dumped Google before it dumped me


John Davidson

It looks to be that transferring on from Google is a lot, great more straightforward than which that you just too can ask.

Early Newspaper

John DavidsonColumnist

The element I’ll recede away out about Google is the font location.

My Google search outcomes page traditional Arial fonts, and the DuckDuckGo search engine I’ve been the usage of somewhat than Google these past 12 days – ever since Google acknowledged it would shut down its Australian search engine if it didn’t salvage to dictate the terms of Australia’s proposed data media bargaining code – makes use of a font location known as Proxima Nova.

I definitely pick Arial. Proxima Nova, appetizing as it will doubtless be, merely looks unhealthy on a search page.

DuckDuckGo search page

DuckDuckGo, a privacy-oriented search engine, guarantees to never note its users’ online activity. 

However here’s what has bowled over me about dumping Google before it dumped me: other than the font – the most trivial of serious facets in the scheme of issues – I’ve no longer overlooked Google search one bit.

I anticipated I would give DuckDuckGo a recede, salvage some vital characteristic missing (esteem the “site:” characteristic, the attach you limit your search to one website; or the “measurement” characteristic, the attach you salvage to specify the scale of pictures you’re attempting to search out), after which come working relieve into Google’s loving comprise after about a days.


It looks to be that transferring on from Google is a lot, great more straightforward than which that you just too can ask. A couple of clicks for your browser, changing your search engine to the privacy-oriented DuckDuckGo or the tree-planting Ecosia or to some other engine, and you’re out of the matrix for factual.

I will be able to’t focus on to Ecosia, other than to level out that (on the time of writing) it claims to trust planted nearly 120 million trees with the income it has generated from its search engine, however I will be able to uncover you that DuckDuckGo is a lot, seriously better than I anticipated, and balanced against Google’s pernicious surveillance and marketing practices, it’s a more-than-decent replacement for Google search.

Also, Bing is okay too. I switched to Microsoft’s very supreme Edge browser a few years ago – totally on myth of Microsoft, having modified its CEO and having learnt some traumatic lessons from its maintain antitrust ordeal in the 1990s, is now one in every of the more ethical skills giants in the enviornment (even though that’s no longer asserting great) – and whereas which that you just can change the default search engine in Edge, it does restful steer you to Bing an awful lot.

So I’ve been unintentionally the usage of Bing for years, too, and even though I sometimes restful salvage myself repeating a search in Google to salvage the suitable consequence, that’s an increasing form of rare.

That which that you just can call to mind choices will make stronger

The element about search engines is, they improve the more they are traditional – linking the ranking of a search consequence to its popularity used to be Google’s immense insight in the first position, which that you just too can grab – and so that which that you just can ask that, whatever weaknesses Google’s competitors trust now for that reason of their underneath-use, they are going to rapidly make stronger if and when Google leaves and all of us originate the usage of the picks.

To make certain, it’s no longer going Google if reality be told will shut down its search engine in Australia. However esteem so many other folks all around the enviornment, I’ve been deeply panicked by Google’s industrial practices anyway, so when the company acknowledged ‘It’s our procedure or the toll road’ to our elected representatives – proving, if additional proof used to be wanted, that it’s each bit the unsavoury monopolist it’s accused of being – that used to be all I desired to contrivance the switch to a more ethical search engine.

What I won’t recede away out about Google, successfully that’s a lengthy checklist that starts with the time period “Surveillance Capitalism”. I won’t recede away out the procedure it extorts Australian companies into procuring for the hunt rights to industrial names and trademarks they already maintain. I won’t recede away out the deceptive advertisements Google shows when companies don’t pay that extortion rate, or don’t pay sufficient. I won’t recede away out the advertisements that shadow my thoughts.

And, if reality be told, now that I’ve switched to DuckDuckGo, I haven’t if reality be told overlooked the customized search outcomes as great as I anticipated, either.

There’s something to be acknowledged for search that isn’t distorted by each online activity you’ve ever engaged in. If nothing else, transferring to a search engine corresponding to DuckDuckGo – which doesn’t surveil you and thus doesn’t skew its outcomes against your biases and secret predilections – makes it less doubtless you’ll salvage yourself in an echo chamber of some algorithm’s making.

And, to the extent that non-customized search outcomes are sometimes no longer what you’re procuring for, call to mind it as a diminutive designate to pay to sprint Google’s ever-hunting survey, on the least for a moment. (Google will restful note you somewhere else, in reality. It takes more than changing your search engine to fully free yourself of its surveillance.)

Now that I’m writing about it, I’ve regarded into the fonts in DuckDuckGo, and it’s if reality be told quite straightforward to change them, too. Suitable three clicks from a DuckDuckGo outcomes page (Settings|Font|Arial) and DuckDuckGo looks loads esteem Google, utterly without the creepy and fraudulent advertisements.

So I private that means there would possibly be nothing I recede away out about Google search. Nothing at all.

Goodbye Google. Don’t let your baggage of unpaid taxes leisurely you down on the procedure out.

John Davidson is an award-a success columnist, reviewer, and senior writer primarily based in Sydney and in the Digital Existence Laboratories, from the attach he writes about private skills. Join with John on Twitter. Email John at jdavidson@afr.com

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How I dumped Google before it dumped me