Data on search engine market share is available, but I wonder what that looks like for Lemmy users in particular, who I would assume lean more technical than the average user, so probably use DuckDuckGo and alternates more than Google.

I use a mix of DuckDuckGo and Kagi. I’ll also use ChatGPT, which can be good if you’re careful to verify the answers it gives you as a check against hallucinations. It’s useful for short, direct answers without ads or SEO bullshit.

This article on Ars (and if you’re not a subscriber, you absolutely should be, as they are the best tech journalists out there) inspired the question: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/06/google-admits-reddit-protests-make-it-harder-to-find-helpful-search-results

Fucking Reddit. Enshittification ruins everything.

I use Ecosia. It works quite well, and if I ever need to search something on Google instead (like a coin flip/stock ticker) you can just do #g or #yt for Youtube They also plant trees and are carbon negative

I am a long time DuckDuckGo user. I came for privacy and stayed because of the features.

Duck Duck Go is the only search engine I use. Switched away from Google for privacy reasons and haven’t missed it a bit.

I run my own searx instance

As someone who’s only recently heard of SearXNG, why searx and not SearXNG?

SearXNG is a fork from searx, and improved a lot over the past 2 years (UI, translations, config options, …)

Bing and DDG.

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo since, at least 2010, maybe earlier. If its results aren’t up to snuff, I’m not aware of that because they’re what I’m used to. I fall through to Google ( !g) if I think there might be more out there. The bang commands are so good. I use DDG as my main search in my search bar and then I can use the bang commands to get to whatever specialized search I want from there. It’s a meta-search-engine.

davehtaylor
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They’re all garbage. Content farms and SEO nonsense has been flooding search engines with useless garbage for years. Either that or pages that simply copy forum threads over and over and over so you get a whole results page of what appears to be different sites, but are all a copy of the same forum thread from 2007. Or they grab your search string and then you have a page that looks like it’s exactly what you need, only to find out it’s scammy bullshit. But AI is making that whole problem exponentially worse.

I’ve tried DDG many many times over the years. Sometimes it’s ok. But overall, most of the results i get just aren’t relevant, and it seems like over the last year or two DDG’s results have gotten way worse. I always end up back on Google. As crappy as Google is, the results still end up being more relevant overall.

As often as I hear others with the opposite opinion, my experience is very similar to yours. If I want to find the answer to a question fast, I just use Google. If I’m just browsing a new topic, I try DDG first and much of the time end up using Google anyway.

Thalestr
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Used to use SearXNG but got increasingly frustrated with it, so I mostly use DDG these days. Although, that being said, most search engines these days are filled with SEO clickbait trash which makes it basically mandatory to do site:reddit.com

Might have to try Kagi some day, despite my reservations about their pricing.

Leigh
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What frustrated you about SearXNG?

Thalestr
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Many SearXNG hosts alter your search results without any easy way of opting out. For example, several will change Reddit links to Libreddit or use another frontend for Wikipedia and so on. Doing this, and not giving an accessible option to disable it, is unacceptable in my opinion. A search engine has no business in tampering with someone’s results like this. If someone wishes to use Libreddit then that is their choice to do so - not the search provider’s.

I’ve been using Ecosia for a while and liking it. I think the results are usually better than Google and the image search is way more useful, still gives you direct links to the image files. Though most importantly I like planting trees.

@Fizz@lemmy.nz
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Duck duck go. Google for maps

I use my selfhosted Whoogle instance for search

I use DuckDuckStart (https://duckduckstart.com/). It searches Startpage by default and uses DDG if you include a bang.

Thalestr
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Huh, interesting. Never knew such a thing existed or even imagined it.

https://www.marginalia.nu/

Currently down for updates, but does a great job of avoiding SEO abuse/blog spam/etc. Takes you back to the earlier days of the internet when it felt like there were more forums/individual sites/etc. They’re still out there, just hidden under all the junk.

Thanks I look forward to trying this.

Are you using DDG in addition to Kagi because of Kagi’s limited number of searches per month, or because DDG does something better?

I’m a bit conflicted about Kagi because $5/month is a plausible price, but the limited number of searches seems like it would add an extra step of, “Do I want to use my limited search resource on this search?” to every search, which is an unwanted extra bit of friction.

Sev
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I’ve been using Kagi for a couple weeks. I’ve so far found it to be excellent. One thing to note is it supports DDG-style bangs, and those don’t count against your search quota, so getting used to using them for wiki, youtube, IMDB, etc., is worth it. I also bumped up to the $10 plan, just to wash out any second-guessing on searches, although the price even if you exceed your quota is pretty cheap, and it seems like most people probably do far fewer searches than I do.

I still find DDG to be pretty terrible, but I have very occasionally fallen back to google, mainly for specifically searches for businesses / services near me, that kind of thing, or for searches for very recent things - somebody had posted a screenshot of an article on IIRC Fortune Magazine’s site. I wanted to read it, and it turned out the article was only a few hours old at that time. Google had it indexed, but Kagi didn’t yet.

For more general searches and technical searches I do for work, though, it’s been very very good, and those are the most important searches, to me.

Leigh
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I use DDG because I’m still not decided on whether or not Kagi is worth it. If there’s no significant difference in the results returned by DDG, why pay for Kagi?

Yousef
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