I’m not a fan of Google these days. They were the most awesome company in the universe 5 years ago, but their search results have become really crappy (thanks to Panda and Penguin), and their desperate efforts to drag everyone into Google+, remind me of the bad old days of Microsoft trying convert the web to a mess of ActiveX.
But much as I think they’re making some big mistakes, they’re still getting a lot right. I really like my new Nexus 7 tablet, and while I dislike Google’s actual results, their search interface is still awesome.
I’ve been trying to move away from Google over the past 6 months, but each of the alternatives has issues:
Bing: Great results, but the interface is very poor. No easy filtering of recent results is a big problem.
Yahoo: Their homepage is such a mess. And they’re really just a proxy for Bing.
DuckDuckGo: I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my default Chrome search for the past 6 months. I love the purity of their search, and their bang syntax is awesome, but for finding recent results that are skewed towards the UK, they’re not really competitive with the big boys.
My new solution: I’ve just realised, that if I set my Chrome search to Yahoo! UK & Ireland, I get results from Bing’s index, I get UK targeting and the ability to filter the results by date, and I never have to see Yahoo’s homepage. The results page even looks more like Google’s results than Bing, and now Marissa Mayer is running the show, Yahoo might actually be going places.
Plus, having recently contacted Google, Bing, and Yahoo about various issues, Yahoo were by far the most helpful of the three.
So here in 2012, I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but the best search experience is Yahoo, powered by Microsoft, through a Google browser!