This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks six library professionals, “Which search engine(s) (Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, DuckDuckGo, etc.) do you prefer?”
Jutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration
“I prefer Google mostly out of habit because I am familiar with it. I started using Google in 2000 and back then it performed superior when compared to other search engines. It was refreshingly uncluttered. I have tried other search engines on occasion, but none of them has performed as well as Google for me.”
Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre
“Google, only Google. Partly familiarity, I understand how Google works better than any of the others, which means that I can use that knowledge to produce better results through my searches. I also think Google has the best search metrics.”
Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian
“I personally use Google as my general-purpose search. It is fully featured with lots of search options (now hidden under the link “Search tools”) and will recommend results from other Google search products like Google Scholar when appropriate.
A few thoughts about the others: Baidu, sometimes called the “Chinese Google”, is Chinese language only so we don’t see much use of it here. Yahoo and Bing are the same search now. Although they are different websites, Yahoo Search has been “powered by” Bing since 2009 so their results will be the same. Bings results are very comparable to Google (so much so they have been accused of digitally “watching” users’ behavior on Google and using that data to adjust Bing rankings) and Bing is wildly with PC users popular due to its integration with Internet Explorer and Windows 8.
DuckDuckGo is a perennial favorite for people who are concerned about Google and Bing’s data retention policies as it promises to retain no data about you and show the same search results for any and all users. The results are generally as good as Google or Bing’s although it only searches webpages and has no image or map search functionality.”
Kristyna Carroll, research-support librarian for business and social sciences
“I prefer Google as my search engine. I like the way many tools that I use are integrated together through Google Chrome, and I only have to log in once (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive). I use all of these Google tools every day, and sometimes additional ones.”
Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications
“Mostly Google. Its fast and thorough, and it has features (word spellings if searching for a single word, Wikipedia definitions, built-in maps) I actually use. I know other browsers have their strengths (Bing for media browsing, Ask for whole question searching) but for what I need, Google is usually the best answer.”
Rob LeBlanc—first-year experience/humanities librarian
“I’m a hardcore Google search fan. It is still the most comprehensive, fastest, and most accurate engine. I also prefer its clear and elegant layout and advanced features (like Google maps). Bing is good for hardcore Microsoft users due to its MS Office Online interface options, and DuckDuckGo is the best for privacy (it does not track you at all) but Google works best for both PC and Mac in my opinion.”