If you remember the Internet before the domination of Google, you probably know Yahoo! was once a real contender in the search engine game. These days, in Australia at least, it’s a joint venture with Seven Network and is a strange web destination. Its search functionality is based on Bing.
Yahoo seemed to have no idea I was looking for a cafe, but a few links in the top 10 results might take me to relevant sites for details and reviews. While it was nice and succinct on COVID, it offered an even wider geographic spread than Bing: two stories from NSW and one from Kansas. Adding “Victoria” in the search helped, but recent official information was still hard to find.
Motto, measurements, and spelling suggestions were all quick and easy. The image results were identical to Bing, but the news offers were oddly American. He knew who I was, but linked the information to a photo of a British businessman who shares my name. Not strong overall.
As part of a suite of tools designed to protect your privacy and data, DuckDuckGo’s search engine works without collecting or selling any information about you. It still makes money from advertising, but strictly matches the words you type to the ads in its inventory.
He did a great job with the cafe, offering TripAdvisor details and reviews, although he always hedged his bets with a chat box about the Canadian guy. It also worked well with COVID, listing official resources for each state government before offering stories; it is clearly the only one so far without a news algorithm to feed. Conversions were good as long as I watched my phrasing.
He corrected the word but didn’t offer definitions, just links. He returned a mix of people with my name, but I wasn’t hard to find. Image results mimic Google as closely as possible and do a good job, while decent maps and directions are provided by Apple. Pretty good, all things considered.
Devoted to a different kind of social good, Ecosia is a solar-powered search engine that uses its ad profits to plant trees around the world. On average, it says every 45 searches equals one tree, and it keeps track of how many searches you’ve done so you can feel good about it.
Like Yahoo, Ecosia is powered by Bing, but what you get is a list of matching links without much curation. It didn’t try to pull up an address, reviews, or images about the cafe, and a Maps button just sends you to Google or Bing. It was better than Yahoo on COVID information, showing Australian news as well as official NSW and Victorian government sites.
No converting; you’ll want to bookmark relevant sites. He corrected the misspelling but didn’t offer definitions and provided a mix of people with my name. Images and news come directly from Bing, which is good. All in all, you give up convenience over Bing, in order to get trees planted.
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