I’ve long been in the camp saying that Google’s search was way ahead. I’m not sure what’s happened, but in the last few months I’ve noticed a huge decline in the quality of its results. I now regularly repeat my searches with DuckDuckGo to make sure I’m not missing something. Sometimes the problem is SEO spam, where the page I want isn’t on the first page or two of results, but perhaps if I clicked Next enough times I would eventually see it. Other times, I’m searching for something rare, Google only finds a handful of matches, and it appears that the page in question is not even indexed.
I don’t use Google as often as I used to. I switched to DuckDuckGo a handful of years ago and most recently switched to SearX early last year. I still fallback to DuckDuckGo and Google, though, when I’m having a hard time finding what I’m looking for.
Here’s the thing, web search isn’t good anymore. It doesn’t matter what service I use, the results are peppered with SEO spam and mediocre links. What I think I want is a search engine that only gave me results from small, independent weblogs.
More often than not I just want to find information from a normal person that’s writing about something because they care deeply about it. And that’s very difficult to find in search engines today.