I'm generally very sympathetic to anti-trust measures, but this strikes me as a situation where DuckDuckGo needs to stand on its own two feet. If your position is that privacy is more valuable to consumers, then you should compete in the auction. If your position is that it's not about the money, and privacy is an inherent good even if it can't compete monetarily, then you should be able to attract and retain your users without free advertising. But if your position is that your product cannot compete monetarily and also cannot compete without the advertising that money buys, then it might just be that you don't have as desirable a product as you think you do.
I'd phrase it as "DDG claim they unwilling to rob their customers as much as industry norms to be able to afford the fee" (a fee they're paying to who?) to be on the list.
Customers are not consulted at any point. Customers are largely unaware of what Google have done to them via surveillance. Customers never agreed in any meaningful way to what google have done with their massively succesful surviellance bait and switch strategy.
Controlling the sales infrastructure and selling in that infrastructure is a thing that would be exceedingly difficult for it not to be anti-competitive.
It's been a problem in this industry at least since Microsoft were known as the death star and anyone successful in software found out they had just done microsoft's market reseach for them. Maybe longer?
Doesn't matter how long, it's gotta go. Beyond a small size you do distribution and nothing else or you use that distrubution to get sales. You got big? Splin off one of those parts and sell it while counting the money from your immense success. There's no way the current system is better for anyone other than those that want market power rather than producing high quality stuff.
Honestly, most of the people I've talked with know about Google's business model. They give answers ranging around here abouts:
* I don't care about privacy; I have nothing to hide.
* DuckDuckGo are probably a honeypot; they gather as much or more information as Google, and lie about it.
* Even if I switch search engine, they'll probably get all my info some other way anyhow, and I don't have the skill or time to try to find everything that could be leaking information.
* Google supplies a better search engine, so it's worth it.
* Using DuckDuckGo as my search engine, when I'm using Android as my OS, seems like a waste of time, and I'm not buying a new phone.
Can I offer a variation of this one? I care about privacy. I wouldn't want a human to be looking over my searches. That said, if they're just using the data to serve me relevant ads and it's all either automated or aggregated so that I'm never personally identified, then I'm cool with it at the personal level.
I say "at the personal level" because I think there's still a practical problem when it comes to politics. It seems too easy to sway elections using it. Not even necessarily by shaping the results in any way. Simply by being able to identify the groups of users who will vote a particular way in particular electoral divisions, and then seeking to lift their voting rate above the average. (eg. by prompting/reminding them to vote)
Derived information may look like:
"Clojure programmers buy a new computer every 3 years on average"
"Women in medium socio-economic groups tend to have kids at 31 years old"
But maybe I'm a programmer that cares about waste, and use the hell out of my computers, until it is completely unusable, making them last way longer.
Maybe I'm a woman with trouble getting pregnant, and I won't have kids until much later.
Nevertheless, insurances and banks will use that information against me.
This information grouping you take part of, is de-humanizing. Humans are infinitely complex, ever-evolving creatures and categorizing us is profitable business. I do not want to be treated through the lens of the probability of a group I belong to, no matter how small the box.
What annoys me about google though, isn’t the personalised advertising, it’s the personalised results. Google obviously knows I play Blood Bowl and collect various things for it, but as a result, my first two google page results are nothing but advertisements. Even if I was actually searching for information. A couple of years ago I don’t think I had ever clicked beyond page 1 on google, these days I find myself turning to direct forum searches. Searches on DDG or even directly on HN, FB or Reddit because all google wants to do is link me to sale sites.
That's true. It's almost subconscious for me now go incognito prior to searching or visiting a website if it's something I'm aware that I'm only temporarily interested in, in order to avoid it becoming part of my profile.
I don't think personalisation is a completely bad idea, but I would like to have some way to interface with it.
1. "Google, what are the things you think I'm into?"
2. "Google, I'm actually not interested in _____."
3. "Google, you should know that I'm into _____."
Some people do not want privacy. They are on every social media network sharing everything about their life anyway.
Some people do want privacy but are not tin-foil hat about it. These people get their expectations of privacy met by other means, not being on every social network being one of them. Then there are the practical measures of running ad-blockers and other browser tools to prevent tracking. These tools are generally unobtrusive even if lifting the ad-blocker for a page is a daily occurrence.
People in this category get the privacy concessions they want and are probably okay with Google knowing what it does. They are not going to go full tin-foil hat with some Tor onion browser on the end of a VPN. Using DDG takes you into this territory. Everyone knows their search results are just different, not the standard Google fayre. The secret sauce is just this claim to privacy that people are able to get enough of with other means, such as running ad-blockers.
With the limited offering that DDG is there has to be an overlap between those who are obsessed about privacy (tin-foil hat and probably 'preppers'...) and the DDG user base. They need to get out more and add to the internets.
I would like to see a search engine that offers people the option to raise their HTML game by using the semantic elements for content structure that Google and Bing ignore. Content matters but so does HTML. This could be easy to game with people getting rid of div style HTML to replace it with articles, headers, sections, navs, asides and footers, with inline elements such as dfn and abbr, but I would be quite happy if the web was written that way. Even better if there was a search engine that worked with it.
The amount of data collection is truly bad for people living in totalitarian regimes or have sensitive jobs but that's not the majority of friends for most of us. For the rest, the lack of privacy has no negative impact on their life and is unlikely to have in the near future, so there's no reason to change.
Wanting change to benefit all of us is what we try (and fail) with preventing climate warming.
If one allows them the thin end of the wedge, one will get the rest, slowly, and slowly accept it a la boiling frog, rationalising it all the way (maybe not you specifically, but many will. Why? It's the easiest thing to do).
You've already mentioned the problem of politics, in effect you've just acknowledged the rest of the wedge will appear. There will be other reasons.
That's a problem for a market.
Absolutely and you can say that about literally everyone who gets caught by a confidence trickster and some do.
It really hasn't worked out for too many indigenous cultures where that was used as the precise justfication, for example. Usuary is another one you can defend that way and people do. It's not so commonly held anymore by those not profiting from it.
When there is a tradeoff between what is good fo soceity at large being the people who live in it and what is good for for a big company's market dominance the latter is meant to come absolutely last and be tolerated if it doesn't infringe anything much else of value to the people. I can't see that as being the case here. No doubt Zuckerberg disagrees because he's convinced anything good for him and his company is pefection for society by the definition that he wants to do it.
Nobody understands what they are paying. Nobody understands their liability. Google et al all desperately hide it and have done a bait and switch to make it happen.
There is _NO_ informed consent to the contract and the contract is invalid.
No, you cannot. Because with a confidence trickster there is usually an element of regret afterwards. The folks we are talking about have generally been using Google for years and years. If the other shoe is going to drop it's sure taking its time.
Privacy and ads are an unequal marketplace where the consumer lacks information. And looking at VPN incidents, perhaps it is fundamentally unequal. A consumer can never verify if information freely given is stored or abused.
Probably zero, because absent a search warrant they aren't ever revealed to anyone but you.
Are you unaware of parallel construction or do you think it poses no real danger?
Do you have things you would rather not explain?
Do you want to be someone great? What about someone who stands up to these companies? If so, do you want to be doxxed, deepfaked, and your psychological weaknesses probed by your enemies, who can purchase your information from an unscrupulous Google employee?
Do you want rich kids to be able to get your information, like someone did to an Instagram account via a facebook employee?
I agree that Google is a better search engine.
You should suggest https://searx.me to such people.
> * I don't care about privacy; I have nothing to hide.
> * Even if I switch search engine, they'll probably get all my info some other way anyhow
Even if you make it just harder to them, it's a big deal on such scales, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_in_depth
> * Using DuckDuckGo as my search engine, when I'm using Android as my OS, seems like a waste of time, and I'm not buying a new phone.
Same as above.
I find that those people change their attitude immediately when responded with "OK, if you have nothing to hide give me your Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram/email username and password." All of a sudden, they do have something to hide.
Everyone latching on to this and providing counter-arguments in the HN comments section misses the point.
Most of the HN crowd realizes that this is a fallacy. You don’t need to prove your point here.
It doesn’t change the fact that (outside of HN) it is a very commonly held belief.
Funny, most people don't even share information about their salary or their bank balance with their friends.
If you're very sympathetic to anti-trust measures, then this shouldn't be decided in an auction. Obviously the most profitable companies will win the auction. And those are the same companies that you should be taking measures against (not because they're profitable in itself, but because by being profitable they can kill competitors).
So saying: "search engines should compete on a lawless free market" vs "search engines have to compete on an auction for users" is more or less the same thing. Anti-trust measures try to make the outcome slightly less sensitive to profitability.
I fail to see how the remedy proposed by the EU (this bidding/auction method) is benefiting me, the consumer, when the most popular Google alternative is eliminated from the options because they don't monetize as aggressively.
1. Give it to the highest bidders (current method)
2. Give it to the highest ranking sites
From what I see, #2 is even worse for newcomers. Do you have a different suggestion that's better?
Chromium is a browser.
They could show a semi-random segmented ranking:
- split all companies into X buckets by ranking
- pick the top from each bucket from 1 to X, then the second best from each bucket etc.
I'm kind of very curious about some of the small names on it. Like how do they have more money than DDG. PirvacyWall seems to be using the Bing API like DDG, so I just don't see how they'd be about to outspend DDG so easily.
They probably are private-equity/venture-funded and are a bet on trying to capture some of the market which they can monetize for more than they spent on the auction.
e: well they appear to be a class B corp, so actually perhaps not
Every time I set DDG as my default search engine, I return back to Google after two weeks because I get fed up of using !g to get proper search results.
If I know the site where I can get what I seek e.g. Reddit, SO, HN then bangs on DDG are useful but when I don't know which site would get me the information I seek, DDG fails me 9/10 times in giving me a proper result and I have to resort to !g.
DDG needs to be a better search engine first than anything else if it needs to survive, just advertising Privacy wouldn't cut it, Hypothetically If Apple announces a search engine tomorrow most of DDG customer base would shift even if Apple had a poor search engine just because 'Apple sells Privacy better'.
On the other hand that's no wonder, from all search traffic I've seen, Google tends to crawl 5-10x as much as Bing (DDG bot is basically non-existant). Google's index is much broader and more current than others because they crawl basically the whole web constantly. It's no wonder that Bing lags behind Google if they crawl everything apart from the most popular pages irregularly.
In the same vein, if I want unbiased results, DDG is strictly superior to Google.
And if you want good results, without dumping every buzzword you know about your search, Google is strictly superior to DDG.
In my experience, Google now stuffs the results with everything they can think of that's even remotely related (or even unrelated). There's so much noise that specific searches are useless.
On the other hand yes, if you want to find a pizza near you, Google is still best. I guess they should rebrand to 'restaurant finder'.
Try searching the model of your TV + review on Google. Tell me what page the first actual review comes in. If there's any, and not only stores trying to sell it to you or machine generated pages.
DDG doesn't have accumulated personal knowledge of you, so you have to be explicit. I don't see that as a high cost given the benefits.
Every time I don't get a result I seek from a search engine, I think about making note of it for a 'search engine wall of shame', but I never acted upon that as the urge to solve problem at hand takes precedence. I will try to start making it a habit here on, so that I can provide some facts for such future discussions.
the difference being, for me, that DDG produces deterministic results, I can share search terms and get the same list.
With Google that's impossible
I also guess Google learns from my g! searches on DDG to rival with it and give the impression it knows better
Repeat the same search on another computer or with another user and complete different results appear, usually not better than DDG plus ads
DDG real weakness is localized content. Content in my language is way worse than what Google picks up.
And then you have non profits like Ecosia. Is it fair that Ecosia has to pay untold amounts in a secret auction to Google? That money could have gone to pay trees but instead is going to line Google's pockets and strengthen their dominance...
It's a classic case of network effects, one of the main reasons for Google's accurate results is the amount of data they have available, and that in turn depends on their userbase.
Quality of the product and popularity are correlated when it comes to most internet firms, so just appealing to consumer choice means little. Do we need to argue if Facebook without ads and more privacy would be better? Of course it'd be better, did anyone ever go "gosh I miss my Facebook ads"? The damn issue is that the value isn't in the product, but in the users already on the platform.
> But if your position is that your product cannot compete monetarily and also cannot compete without the advertising that money buys, then it might just be that you don't have as desirable a product as you think you do.
is really true. A free option not taking in great amounts of money, but offering substantial privacy just won't be as visible—especially when it's actively being drowned out by companies with for-profit motives.
This is a misunderstanding of the economics.
Every dollar you spend on something is a dollar of value taken away from you in value - 'low price' means more surplus and value to the consumer, all other things being equal.
A crapy search engine with 10 000 customers will make more money than a great search engine that is essentially free - but which one is better?
There are other factors at play here, especially concerning scale, whereupon a smaller upstart, with a product 10x better would never be able to compete just on the basis of the cost of customer acquisition, which is arbitrary.
And of course, that search is free, it's a strategic investment on everyone's part to begin with.
'In Other Words' - the search engine with the most, crappiest ads, is going to get top place, but the search engine with 0 ads, supported by open source ... nobody would find out about?
They need to remove the auction, it makes the whole exercise pointless.
I have tried multiple times to use DuckDuckGo over the years but used !g so often for programming queries that I questioned why I was forcing myself to use a plainly underperforming (for my use case) product. In other David vs. Goliath stories like Firefox vs. Chrome the competing product had verifiable advantages for me. For DDG the only edge is an unverifiable claim that the company doesn’t track me? Other than that I am resolving myself to a product that performs less well for my use case.
Funny, I find google useless for programming queries lately.
Although, if you go past the beginner questions, all searches become useless. You want something exotic and android specific? Good luck wading through 3000 pages explaining you how to use Android. Even though you specified 'programmatically' or 'in code'. And 90% of the rest are SEO "tutorial" pages that don't answer your question either.
I recently had the misfortune of trying to learn Android app development and oh my GOD I can't describe how SEO-ridden it is. Basically any search that Google can surmise as being related to Android development (no matter if I'm searching for the fix for some error message, etc), I get almost a full page of results that are SEO'd "Android App Dev Tutorial For Beginners" that are all basically:
- 25 minute read of "how to install Android Studio"
- "Okay now that you have that, you can go off and start writing Android apps! Have fun!
It would be nice if some decent entrepreneurial academics could create a web browser that was better than the SEOers and would aim to do no evil. Sigh. One can dream.
Now there is no mass of people verifying the quality of random sites, and search engines lost they anchor.
Raph now works for Google AFAIA.
Yes, it's better than nothing, but don't expect it to keep the same quality of results we got earlier. Google killed the golden goose when they decided do concentrate their results on the large sites only, and it will be very hard to make similar algorithms work that well again.
Levien's reputation graph needn't be slavishly followed, though it does suggest an alternative.
Have you ever seen any study like that for reddit and twitter? Those have completely different characteristics. (SO looks similar enough, but it's not comprehensive.)
On how did Google kill blogs, looks like you haven't noticed they decided to concentrate their search results on a small number of sites a few years ago.Google just does not lead people to them anymore.
If Google's only priority was the best outcome for the Android platform they'd probably consider cutting DDG a deal. However, because Google also gets the top slot by default they have an incentive to fill the rest of the list with poor-user-experience search engines.
So the antitrust issue would be Google freezing out DDG from the exposure, giving it instead to search engines that Google doesn't feel threatened by. This situation only exists because Google has technical control of both the list of search engines and the first search engine that appears on the list.
I'm not a huge fan of antitrust, being a hardened capitalist. But I can see why if antitrust is a thing then this is a case where it would apply. The market maker also being the major competitor in the market is pretty seedy.
As a society, what do we want to see for the default search choice box on your smartphone ?
DDG's proposal is:
> Alternative search engines with the most market share in each market are shown on the first screen, randomly ordered. The remaining alternative search engines are available by scrolling, also randomly ordered.
Do we want to cram that with hundreds of random sites that want to be ? That amounts to a meaningless choice (nobody has really time to look through them all and compare). If people are willing to suffer that much through, they can certainly customize after the initial setup to pick whatever they want. So I think beyond the first screen is probably not a good idea - just put a search box or something.
Then, do we just put top N ? What would that N be ? Do we let the screen size dictate the number ? Do we use some fixed N ?
If you picked some fixed N, what the order should be ? From purely immediate utilitarian perspective, you'd want it to be according to the market share - to minimize the effort for people to pick what they want (with the assumption that the market share reflects the user's choice). DDG supports "random" order on the first screen - random would put them as the top choice more often than their current market share. This is not an unreasonable choice if you want to take advantage of "nudge" (of putting as the first choice) to "even out" the market share. As far as nudges go, this isn't THAT obstructive when looking from the lens of a single user, but this would still be a very direct intervention on people's choice and what companies can do - it's roughly equivalent to mandating grocery stores to pick top 5 soft drinks and display them in a random order on the top shelf. Generally we're bad at writing laws and regulations at this level of detail, so we try to rely on market to sort this kind of things out. But this question arises due to monopoly concerns in the first place, which is exactly about market distortion, so maybe this kind of intervention is OK ?
DDG also implies other search engines can bid more because they have higher profit margin due to sacrificing privacy. But this ignores two important aspects: 1) people are willing to trade off privacy for more "return" in the form of more features and free services (companies with higher profit tend to develop more, better stuff than companies with less profit) 2) companies who can't auction higher might be fundamentally less efficient than competitors, thus has higher cost structure. In that case, as a society we do generally want to use more efficient one.
So, at least part of DDG's request is not unreasonable, and does merit some discussion, but it's not as straightforward, and the answer likely will depend on how comfortable you are with how deep and detailed intervention you're willing to have the government / regulatory body decide.
90% of the users will pick a site on the first screen, those that don't actively want that glut of choice. I don't understand how anybody would be suffering from this, maybe people who have never used a search engine before?
> In that case, as a society we do generally want to use more efficient one.
The money spent on these auctions is advertising money, and it's hard to argue that the companies spending the most on advertising are the most efficient.
There's no direct metric that would measure "efficiency", as no single metric would be able to capture such complex question in a very meaningful way. As far as ways to choose, auction isn't that bad of a method to maximize the efficiency of resource allocation. That's why e.g. spectrum gets auctioned off. It's not just to generate more money - it's one of the easiest ways to ensure a relatively efficient resource allocation.
Auction does have downsides, but "advertising money" is not a convincing one.
It has nothing to do with auctioning. As your point about how random distribution of those slots being unfair towards DDG shows, those slots are advertisements.
When buying a tangible resource at auction, like part of the spectrum, what you said is more likely to be true. Being willing to spend the most in advertising does not make it likely you're providing more features and services, and it doesn't mean you're an efficient company. It means you're able to generate more revenue per person, and a company that respects your privacy will be unable to compete in that metric.
No. It means they are able to generate more profit. And that is an indirect reflection of efficiency.
> a company that respects your privacy will be unable to compete in that metric.
That's a common opinion, but I think this remains to be proven - see e.g. https://apenwarr.ca/log/20190201. The choice quote:
"That's a lot about profiling for ad targeting, which obviously doesn't work, if anyone would just stop and look at it. But there are way too many people incentivized to believe otherwise. "
I think there's a lot of truth behind that - that I suspect targeting adds small, marginal difference, not existential difference, and thus it's entirely possible that the advantage is all or mostly due to factors other than privacy.
The result of this would mean all the most profitable companies are the ones that spent the most on advertising, which just isn't true.
It doesn't matter if targeting ads is actually worthwhile, as long as people are willing to buy tracking data a company that ignores your privacy will be able to generate more pee view.
After a decade and flipping from Apple services & DDG-only to Google over time: I'm really annoyed by DDG's histrionics about Google, from the silly domain fight they imagined, to having blinkered arguments about how they just need a free spot in the Android setup wizard and their market share would be 20%, and they should be the one blessed search engine who doesn't have to pay.
You don't use DDG because it's better than Google. You use it because it's not Google. So of course they remind people of that constantly. And... Google can take it.
I do think it's fair to complain that duck.com redirects to google.com if you're DDG. It's also fair for Google to do it anyway! Both sides are playing their part and that's okay. (Google did sell it to DDG, though, so good on them.)
I used to work at Mozilla, and it's crazy how easily a large company can crush you by... just existing. Google can funnel people to Google Search from Android, Chrome, Gmail, etc. Google is the defacto default, and DDG has to fight desperately for anyone to care.
Google having a decade of my search history just makes for really relevant results, even if I don’t like the company’s practices.
And gmail, and YouTube, and gsuite, and google meet, and blogger, and in the past bundled in other installers as a drive-by installation (Flash for instance), and ... the list probably goes on.
Clearly monopolistic abuse.
I use Qwant primarily and DDG on mobile. But that's a personal choice and it works for me. I think with Chromebooks given away at schools to kids, Google will become synonymous with internet. Heck, I think Chromebooks will be synonymous with computers to them. It's what it is.
By redefining privacy as "we don't know you" instead of "we keep your stuff secure" their doing a clausewitz style offensive.
There's limitations to this technique and that's what they keep hitting. They're not going vertical on their beachhead, so yeah, this is what happens.
Eh, whatever, it's not like I work there so best of luck to them.
When companies offer you privacy they usually mean privacy from others, not from the company itself.
This is the hard reality of what these companies mean when they use the word privacy.
This is a business purposing claim and that's it.
When a hotel offers privacy for instance, they aren't saying they'll wear a blindfold to check you in - their data retention policy is identical - they're talking about privacy from others.
When a plane offers privacy in first class, they're not saying they'll shred your fight record after landing, it's privacy from others.
When uber is offering privacy, they're not saying you can anonymously book and crypto pay the amount, no, it's privacy from others - they know the same amount about you as any other user
I have a friend here in LA that does privacy centric medical services (hiv, drug rehab). The target demo is celebrities who are shying away from paparazzis and gossip columnists. He still has the customer list however
You mean they know the difference between privacy and security?
Granted this isn't the definition of "privacy" that corporations will use, but that's hardly an accident.
People don’t take kindly to gigantic corporations punching down on tiny little companies whose sole existence is to highlight the big corp’s lack of privacy. It’s not a good look.
Using an 'auction' model is a very easy way for Google to undermine the credibility of the anti-trust legislation.
Any upstart that would theoretically 10x better wouldn't ever be able to get any material market share.
Imagine if there were only 4 car dealerships allowed in America and everyone had to 'bid' on the distribution. There would be no Tesla.
It's tantamount to a wireless spectrum option - enormous costs involved.
I've noticed that if I don't find something on ddg and go to google I usually don't find what I'm looking for there either.
In this case, “!g” means search on google.com. So you get redirected to Google for that search. You can search on Startpage with !s, Wikipedia with !w, IMDB with !imdb, Amazon with !a, Google Images with !gi and so on. There are thousands of bang commands.
On the other hand, Google seems to be now playing the old Microsoft game of keeping competitors alive so as to keep the regulators at bay.
I don't remember to be the case. Google won because the existing search engines at the time (altavista, excite, etc) paled in comparison to its search results. Same for its other services like Gmail that offered 1gb space when Hotmail offered only 2mb.
I can understand the Google hate but they did many things right also to capture the top spots.
What do you suppose them to do? To somehow magically grab the surveillance capitalism profit with just a search engine?
Without that profit, they'll have to play some silly moves.
For anyone who has even just superficial understanding of the market mechanism behind google, you'll see that there is no space of another search engine, as long as Google still needs a search engine.
It worked when Microsoft had to implement browser choice. No reason why the spots should need to be auctioned this time.
FYI, DDG's point is that they cannot win the auction because they are less profitable relative to other search engines. They proposed a new way to determine the set of default candidates by search engine market share rather than running auctions.
The EU's ruling was that Google needed to defuse the situation where their market position of Android was furthering their search engine dominance. The EU did not demand that Google give up the economic benefits of developing a popular phone OS. So Google even though Google must offer choice of defaults, it still has the right to sell spots on the list, so long as there is choice.
So the perspective that matters in choosing spots on the list is Google's, subject to obeying the EU ruling to offer alternative choices. Google's economic interests are aligned with getting the highest price for the spot. There is no reason why DDG ought to get the spot for free.
That method naturally favors the bottom feeders in terms of privacy. It’s like awarding school lunch contracts to the company with the largest marketing budget. Probably not going to be many vegetables on that menu.
But I think google is making a long term strategic error here. They are feeding the privacy advocates free ammunition. Google could easily comply with the law and still have at least a token search provider that understands privacy.
In Madrid, Spain, Ayuso (The autonomous community leader) gave a contract for feeding the kids during the pandemic, to Telepizza, LOL.
So yeah, not much vegetables on that menu!
The price being paid is company revenue, which is a function of how much value is not going to the consumer!
Imagine the best search engine in the world, that was maybe free (!) or provided by some government, it wouldn't be there!
Every dollar in profit a company makes, could be in the pocket of consumers in terms of lower price or better features.
Ergo - you literally get the scammiest winner.
If all search engines were free and low-profit, the winners of this contest would be McDonald's and GM, merely interested in talking about their brands all the time.
This is really bad, the EU needs to track a list of classes of search engines (i.e. A, B, C rating) and have Google organize them so A's appear before B's.
But what I can say is that I turn to Bing and Yandex on a regular basis because they are simply better for some searches.
Bing is great for image search. Yandex is great for finding streamed movies, p* and reverse image search.
Generally speaking Google seems to handicap itself by two forces: censoring content (for moral and legal reasons) and monetary optimization (like preferring click bait content over actually useful content).
Over the years my approach towards protecting my data moved away from aiming for anonymity (DDG, Tor, OSM) towards pseudonymity and data distribution over competitors. F.x. neither Fastmail, nor Dropbox, nor Telegram, nor Firefox, nor Office 365 etc are perfect but at least I don't have all my data on Google and the rest of it on Facebook.
Sadly Google is rolling out or maintaining mostly unrivalled products like Search, Maps, Android, Youtube. I try to mitigate this by using separate fake Google accounts for youtube.com and google.com (via Firefox Containers) and LOS. Also I add an obstacle into the mix with uBlock Origin. Of course they can figure that out but if everybody does it then this would significantly increase costs. Also it's completely transparent for me - not adding any effort.
So, at the end of the day it seems that the fight for my data became some sort of guerrilla war fare.
Not sure if promoting click bait is Google's intent. But pretty much all SEO is geared towards Google. No one really targets SEO towards Bing and Yandex so it's easier for them to rank by other parameters.
Monetization certainly is Google's intent but I don't think pure click bait pages are beneficial to Google in the end.
I try to not be biased here but Googles move here is brilliant from a bullys perspective.
And besides: The whole idea that they should be allowed to extract any money from this deal is questionable IMO.
Naturally Bing has outbid them considering DDG are serving Bing ads minus Bing's cut. They were always going to be in that position.
They are quite outspoken about it, maybe forgetting that they are a meta search engine! Perhaps the search menu should have "Google based search engines", "Bing based search engines" etc with sub-menus.
searchenginemap.com is handy to indicate the "brands" of alt-search people are using are just really Bing results re-skinned, though DDG are quite clever into having folk believe their crawler is for indexing more new pages.
Often see comments about how people done a search for X on DDG and compare to Google, surely part of the taste test is to go look at Bing as well.
FWIW I think the search preference menu should not be a bidding system and perhaps free, but unsure how to keep the size of the list of entrants small.
In practice though, their search is mostly unusable. Google’s results are 99% more accurate for me, even without being logged in. Anecdotal, but I’ve heard similar feedback.
But any time I need to search for exact sequences of strings (usually error messages), then DDG fails miserably and Google comes through.
Here is a recent example:
Your query (even without the quotes).
* If you're searching something not in english. I'm french and DDG is my default search engine, but I have to switch to other search engines a lot when searching in french.
* When searching very technical things, like a very specific and rare error message. Good luck finding anything relevant with DDG.
As much as I'd like to use DDG for 100% of my research, I just can't.
I think the word you’re looking for is hyperbolical.
Not sure who is providing their results but I would assume Bing.
Their Google Play app has 10K installs so it appears people are using it.
Not much chatter about them on the web.
Googling, ironically, didn't work. But that's because I was keying off of "clearing price", which appears not to be published(?).
Because it is meant as a punishment for Googles abusive practices.
It is less of a punishment if Google can extract money from it.
Nobody is owed a business model.
I see this particular requirement more as a corrective action - to actually give back to users the choice that Google took away through abuse of their market position. Users don't particularly care who is making money in the process, while their rights are not infringed.
I am perfectly fine with the corrective action being dollar-neutral for Google, or even slightly positive. There is nothing wrong with incentivising good behaviour, as long as those incentives themselves don't become abused. If the right thing to do by your users is also the better thing to do from a business perspective, we might not have to wait for a court decision next time.
The article has a link to this page, which describes it:
SEO is the cancer that killed the web.
> Google will use a fourth-price auction to select the other general search providers that appear in the choice screen. ... The three highest bidders will appear in the choice screen for that country. The provider that is selected by the user will pay the amount of the fourth-highest bid.
My gut reaction to this auction system is that it would be vulnerable to abuse by a small number of bad actors. For example, what is to stop a company from bidding an artificially high amount in order to win the auction, knowing that they will most likely end up paying a more reasonable sum by the other fair bidders?
Because there is no incentive to bid higher than your true value.
Suppose you derive $N value from acquiring a user on the search screen. If you bid $N + x (where x > 0), then there are three cases:
1. Others bid more than $N + x, so you lose the action. In this case, the price was above the value you would derive, so not paying is the best choice.
2. Others bid between $N and $N + x. Let's call the action price $N + y. Then you win the auction. You pay $N + y for the user, but you only derive $N value, so you lose $y. This is a bad result; you shouldn't have paid.
3. Others bid less than $N. Let's call the auction price $N - z (where z > 0). Since you derive $N from the user, you gain $z, by paying, which is the best choice.
As a bidder, you want to avoid scenario 2. The best way to do this is to minimize the value of $x — that is; set $x = 0. So it's optimal to bid no higher than your true value, $N.
By analogy, you can also prove that it's suboptimal to bid below your true value by considering the three cases when you bid $N - x (where x > 0).
If the goal is to prevent Google from using its Android dominance to also dominate search engines, a random sort of the most popular search engines in a given country sounds like a better option.
An auction is a fair and objective method to determine which search providers are included in the choice screen. It allows search providers to decide what value they place on appearing in the choice screen and to bid accordingly.
The auction revenues help us to continue to invest in developing and maintaining the Android platform.
I have spoken to a huge range of socioeconomic classes and the people that knew what DDG was explicitly said they could not care less. Obviously my sample size is minuscule but in EU generally people are perfectly aware of the spying yet don't really care (which I disagree with but that's how it is).
This just goes to show how suspicious DDG is acting which isn't surprising considering Mr. Weinbergs previous business.
Also I kind of trust huge companies like Google more than smaller ones. Yes, I know Google is collection lots of info on me, and I know they will show me ads and try to sell me something or get me to use more of their services, but I don't feel like it's such a big issue, and I don't think it's in their self interest to abuse this data or that anyone there cares about me personally. What is some smaller company going to do with my data and who are they going to sell it to? Who knows. Can I really trust they are not collecting any data? Who knows.
I'm personally alternating between DDG and Ecosia. I do use Google Images, once in a while, in a private tab.
Aside from Telegrams own insistence that their crypto protocol has been independently verified, do you have another source? My understanding was that nobody has actually bothered to verify telegrams source code: https://security.stackexchange.com/a/49802
So that localization criteria is... just not enforced?
The article doesn't bother bringing up Google's side, or if this action is unique.
"We designed the system so that we can't control the content on our network" doesn't mean you get to abdicate responsibility for what users see when they open it. The implementation details of how your app works don't matter when reviews are based on what the user actually sees.
The discovery page for me is about 75% really obvious MAKE MONEY FAST crypto scams and fraud, 10% weird alternative medicine or antivax stuff, 5% programming videos, 5% non-scam crypto stuff but largely oddities like "world hunger can be solved by bitcoin, fuck fiat", and the rest is misc/uncategorised stuff. Bunch of tutorials that offer free game cash/game cheats but are actually just offering malware and keyloggers.
If anyone here thinks this is a ridiculous outcome to fear, then tell me what is tempering deplatforming, censorship, and abuse of walled gardens today? Very little - and so I expect it to keep going. This is why we need alternatives to the big tech companies in things small AND big. We need alternative phone platforms, search engines, maps, chat apps, the full stack of hardware, all of it.
Aka "The war on general-purpose computing". Far too many people in the tech industry are fighting on the wrong side of the war.
Also Mr. Weinberg (DDG owner) who has built himself a reputation for abusing user privacy for profit (his previous company just bulk seller private information it got from unsuspecting users).
Not a perfect solution since the small search providers still end up left out of almost all preference selections by users, but it's definitely better than the auction model (and ofc perfection is the enemy of progress). I think a slightly better model is an infinitely scrolling list, with the first 5 or so (or effectively 75% of the first page) being the randomly-listed high-marketshare providers and the rest being random low-marketshare providers. The UI should also require the height be set so that it indicates that more search options are available by scrolling by cutting off the bottom result halfway.
I agree, that this would be the best solution from the end-user point of view. But Google is not an NGO. Android is a free product that is being developed and maintained using revenue that comes from ad sales.
It seems logical for Google, or any other company in a similar situation, to expect a compensation for giving up even a tiny percentage of its revenue. Otherwise, from the business perspective it would mean that Google is simply subsidising its own competition.
Also, as unlikely as it sounds, having an auction system a kind of democratizes the entire search engine market for new players: now anyone can build a search engine for their own country and make it the top option for all local Android users.