Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google search?

Marcel at Monday Evening today has written possibly one of the most important posts that I have read for some time.

Google grew and profited because it was useful. It made finding stuff on the web easier, it made email easier, and it made a good rss feed reader. Then Google became a threat to privacy, or people like me who should have known finally saw the threat they had always been. So using Google became a tradeoff, but I was usually willing to accept it because Google made things easier.

Now Google is becoming an obstacle to overcome. Google Reader has got to be too much trouble to use, so I’m back to open-all-in-tabs. Gmail keeps moving stuff around (recently the log-out button), and they’re always pestering me about something: give them my phone number; read their privacy policy; sign up for Google+. It was creepy when they started asking me if I wanted to cc random people, but I put up with it. Interposing these nag screens between me and my email is going to be the last straw that sends me back to Thunderbird.

Their search results page is increasingly crufty, and I have to watch that they aren’t “customizing” the results just for me. I use DuckDuckGo whenever I can, then Bing, and then Google search if I must. …

I was not even aware of DuckDuckGo, but I tried it out this evening and the results were no worse than Google’s, and probably a bit better.  And at least they aren’t fiddling with the results to show me what some wretched algorithm imagines I wanted to see last time I searched, as Google is.

The privacy concerns are real, and I worry about them more.

And yes, Google is getting very careless. 

I don’t like the new Google Mail interface, so I am using the old one, and putting up with the nagging.  I don’t like the new Google Groups interface — the first version, indeed, was buggy and didn’t even allow you to search! — and have stuck with the old one and, of course, the nagging.  I don’t really like Google Reader’s interface, although I can live with it.

I don’t like the way that I can’t even find some things any more in the main search engine.  I don’t like the way that they broke the Google groups search, and barely bother to fix it.  It’s often broken, and slothfully repaired.  I hate the Google Books searches, which are so bad that it is often better to find books through Archive.org.

You know, Marcel has a point. 

I’m not anti-Google.  I remember loathing directed at IBM, when it was dominant.  When IBM’s star waned, and that of Microsoft rose, somehow Big Blue became cuddly, while Micro$oft became the Great Satan.  Now it’s Google’s turn.  Such opposition is not meaningful.

But Google are getting lazy and sloppy.  And … now they don’t subscribe to their old motto, “Don’t be evil” … how far can we trust them with all our data?