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As we discovered last week when we enquired what you would rather give up than the Internet What Would You Give Up Before the Internet? [We Ask You] What Would You Give Up Before the Internet? [We Ask You] Imagine creating a list with the key things in your life ranked in order of how much you need them. Where would Internet access rank on that list? What would rank above and below it? Read More , this series of tubes you’re currently travelling through seems to be rather important to many of you. But the Web is also rather epic, with too many sites, blogs, videos, social networks, and pictures (mainly of cats 10 Of The Best Funny Cat Tumblrs To Fulfil Your Feline Fetish 10 Of The Best Funny Cat Tumblrs To Fulfil Your Feline Fetish It's time for me to come out as a cat lover. I cannot hold it in any longer, I love the little furballs, especially my own little furball of joy that cuddles up to me... Read More ) to just blindly click around. Which is where search engines enter into the equation.

Search engines come in all shapes and sizes, with some indexing the whole Web, and others indexing a more niche collection of content. We’ve highlighted some of these lesser-known Google alternatives Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can't Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can't We probably know all the Google search tricks, but there are still things that Google can't tell us at first glance. Google's a Hercules, but we shouldn't be shortsighted not to spot the midgets. Yes,... Read More , and talked about the differences between the big search engines What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesn't? What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesn't? While Google has everything that you might need, it has its shortcomings when pitted against some of the features Bing and Yahoo! have. Google isn't perfect, and I'm here to tell you why. Read More . But it’s now time to discover your preferences.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Which Search Engine Do You Use, & Why? This question really is as simple as it sounds. We want you to tell us which search engine you use, either on a daily basis or just occasionally, and why you use that one (or those ones) in particular.

Google is a pervasive entity that you will encounter at some point on your journeys around the Internetz. The fact is many of us actively choose Google to help us find a route through the maze of content that makes up the Web, using Google Search as our tipping off point. But there are other search engines to choose from.

Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Wolfram|Alpha are just four examples of search engines you could be using right now. Bing is Microsoft’s powerful, attractive Google alternative that remains (sadly) underused. Yahoo is powered by Bing but has a different UI. DuckDuckGo 6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won't Find On Google 6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won't Find On Google In a world ruled by Google, at least where search is concerned, it’s sometimes hard to imagine a worthy alternative. DuckDuckGo is one website that is trying to offer such an alternative. If you’ve been... Read More is a pared-down, privacy-conscious search engine. And Wolfram|Alpha 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do I continue to be amazed by Wolfram Alpha and the way it crunches numbers around openly available data. The result – it shows us the world in a far more inter-connected and interesting way. It... Read More bills itself as a “computational knowledge engine.”


What made you choose your preferred search engine in the first place? What is it that keeps you coming back? Would you ever consider switching, say from Google to Bing, or from Bing to DuckDuckGo? Do you stick with what you know, as many people do with banks, ISPs, and hardware brands?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail the We Ask You Results. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Okko Pyykkö

  1. David Cornish
    April 12, 2016 at 5:40 am

    I prefer Google search engine. It provide accurate information compare to other and it works fast.

  2. Paul-kristjan A
    September 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I use only Google, it's easy and lightweight for me. As I need help with some of the things, Google gives me best websites for my search and even sends me to others, such as Yahoo, because Yahoo Answers has answers.

  3. Daniel Nordstrom
    September 28, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I use, with these settings:

    Sometimes I switch it up with DuckDuckGo, but while it looks pretty nice and clean, the search results tend to frustrate me a lot. Hopefully they keep improving it—I really like the community and API aspects of DDG.

    When I feel particularly revolutionary, I fire up Yacy: the peer-to-peer search engine. Read more at:

    I never use Google directly.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Yacy is another new name for me, so I'll check it out. I feel the same about DDG, the search results are letting it down in a bad way at the moment.

  4. Abhishek R
    September 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Google is my choice of search engine. When it comes to pure search google is the best, they have pretty much shaped the internet from its inception. It's minimal interface does't distract, and the page layout is good unlike DDG where result seems unfocused and the layout in general looks like something a decade or so ago. I have used duck duck go as my homepage for over a month or so and get super frustated by its lack of relevant result and just go to google. And i always get what i am looking for in the first five hits.

    They are really pushing it and this is why I think it is fair for them to be the best. Not only that but they have some really good intergration with your phone and other devices, overall it is just a better search egine.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:41 am

      I must admit I haven't been impressed by DDG's results so far, and Google and Bing beat it hands down on that score.

  5. Nazeem kai
    September 27, 2013 at 5:31 am

    what else its google only!

  6. Rob Hatfield
    September 27, 2013 at 2:03 am

    For research with Zotero runs in the background I have my students use SearchCredible :

  7. Rob
    September 27, 2013 at 1:28 am

    I use a meta-search engine that saves my search: Free Copernic Agent Personal - Has many features and allows you to add more search engines. Screens the ads and allows you to focus on your topic.

    Another free Learning Research Management tool to save your search with ANY search engine is Zotero. don't research without it. I use Copernic with Zotero running in the background.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:40 am

      Thanks for the tips, will check them both out :)

  8. Yodi
    September 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Google is my primary choice of search engine. I trust it above all others. However, now and again I find it necessary to use DuckDuckGo as well.

  9. John B
    September 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    (1) Zeekly, (2) DuckDuckGo, (3) when all else fails, Google. Bing is way too busy, and I don't need either Bing or Google to be guessing what I want or profiling me in order to guess better. I value clean design and privacy. I realize Google provides the backbone others are relying on, but I have as little directly to do with the company's apps as possible (which is to say, practically nothing). Maybe someday it will provide its own privacy-based alternative. Yeah, right.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Privacy does seem to be turning a lot of people off Google at the moment.

  10. William B
    September 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm because the other features Google offers are on the search page i.e. News, Gmail, Maps, etc.

    • rbmartiniv
      September 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Google. It had all I need. Why try anything else?

  11. Glo O
    September 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Google mostly. I do use DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo sometimes. Only because sometimes I get different results depending on what Im looking for

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Do DuckDuckGo and Yahoo sometimes serve you better than Google does?

  12. TobiH8
    September 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Ixquick After I had personalized search results at DuckDuckGo I have switched to Ixquick. My Custom URL:

  13. Glenn
    September 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    We are just now beta testing our iPhone/iPad app search engine called AppSearch - obviously it is a specific purpose search engine, but when they fit your purpose, they can be better than a general search engine (such as Google/Bing).

    Readers of makeuseof are invited to take a look and let me know where we went wrong, where we went right, and what we could do to make it better. URL is


  14. Jerry L
    September 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm


  15. A&L
    September 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm


  16. likefunbutnot
    September 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I wind up using (anonymized by VPN/browser plug-ins when necessary) Google for almost everything. Its results include relatively few and easily differentiated commercial results and I'm fully familiar with all the query operators. Plus support is already baked in to my browsers. I'm also one of the very few people I know who makes frequent use of A9-style search plugins. The Firefox instance I'm typing on right now has 17 of them installed, and it's actually fairly simple to switch search services and direct a query to the proper service, rather than do something silly like search for the service, use the site: parameter or navigate to a site to search beforehand.

    There's a giant collection of A9 plugins at Mycroft was originally the search plug-in for Firefox, but A9 plug-ins are supported by every major browser. More people should know about that.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:21 am

      I guess your use of plugins means you don't really have to choose one or two services, they're all there just waiting to be utilized.

  17. Roosevelt Journigan
    September 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I use Google, and Bing, and for my dark side I use Startpage

  18. Devin L
    September 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I like using Bing and google. Bing is my native search engine for windows 8 so i prefer using it and google i use very often!!

  19. Michelle T
    September 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Google, have you seen my avatar? Yes, that is a tattoo.

  20. Adnan
    September 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I most frequently use DuckduckGo, I like the idea they have behind them. But I still get disappointed when I end up adding a "!g" at the end of my search.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:18 am

      I like the idea behind DuckDuckGo too. Do you find the results are any good though? I've been rather disappointed when I've compared them with Google and Bing.

  21. Scott B
    September 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Google its simplicity the best!

  22. CareyB
    September 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I use Google. I just don't trust Bing to give a reasonable result. I don't think they're lying. I just think they're useless.

    When I try to look up stuff related to Microsoft on Bing, the top page is always spammish. Why can't they even get their own stuff right?

    Just try "Microsoft Internet Security Essentials" on both, and see what happens.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:17 am

      You do have a point, but Google posts its stuff high up in search results too. Hell, they've been advertising the Nexus 7 on the homepage recently.

  23. Teab B
    September 26, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Google, because I use Chrome and it's automatically integrated into the search bar.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:16 am

      Ah, the trojan horse that is Chrome!

  24. Rob
    September 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Ixquick! After all stories about Google I simply do not thrust them anymore. Like the privacy, and never have any problems finding what I want.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:15 am

      Do you not use Google for anything now then? Android, Chrome, Maps, Earth, Gmail, Etc.?

  25. SVV
    September 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Google (on chrome) when I want to find accurate results; Bing on (chrome/firefox) when I want to have fun; (on SRware Iron browser), when I want the accuracy of google but without being tracked. And sometimes, I use IE, just to check what the darlings at Msn are up to. ;)

  26. Andreas S
    September 26, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I use Google as my primary search engine because the results are accurate and it's spell correction i stupid good. And I like the design it's simple.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:14 am

      You prefer Google's minimalist approach to the bright and bold one favored by Bing?

  27. Félix D
    September 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I use Google. Because It's more precise, even on images and I can Drag and drop an image, and I can find results very quickly.

  28. Brandon R
    September 26, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I use Google as my primary search engine as I find the search results more accurate compare to other search engines, however Bing is the best alternative search engine I believe as it's interface is very attractive and the search results are almost the same as when you search for something using Google.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:14 am

      I would agree with that completely. Most people would struggle to tell Google and Bing apart in a blind test.

  29. bety joe
    September 26, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Google. It works.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:13 am

      If it ain't broke don't fix it?

  30. Mattie Steffen
    September 25, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I use Bing. It's more visually appealing, doesn't block searches, doesn't remove things from auto complete and move my favorite sites to the bottom because the RIAA and MPAA told them so, doesn't force a dead social network on me (G+), doesn't force me to use my real name, I use Microsoft ecosystem mostly, I can see what news is trending quickly, Bing returns searches just good as Google now, and I get rewards every month ($5 Amazon cards).

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:12 am

      Bing is definitely more visually appealing, and I don't think Microsoft gets enough credit for that. I wouldn't say G+ is dead, it's still growing, though mostly through Google's insistence that you sign up to it.

      Certainly in terms of results I think Google and Bing are pretty much inseparable.

  31. Ron
    September 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Google when I want the most comprehensive search with most relevant results; DuckDuckGo for any searches where privacy is a higher value. I never use other search engines, though I have heard good things privacy-wise about both the Zeekly and Ixquick.

    • William
      September 27, 2013 at 1:16 am

      Yes,Google is my fav,the most important reason being it can sort hits by age.I can't figure out how to do that with other SEs..

    • david
      September 27, 2013 at 3:01 am


      Google is my fav but harnesses its power runs it through a Dutch server to santitise searches in privacy mode Given the long reach of the NSA I wouldnt garentee the war trolls arnet tapping into it somewhere given they have just been exposed hacking Belguim telecomunications

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Zeekly and Ixquick are new to me, so I'll check them out.

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