Or Qwant. It just doesn't have the same pun-ability as DDG, and therefore didn't make the headline. Sorry Qwant.
To “Google” something simply means that you’re looking it up on the internet. Google has created a digital empire that’s synonymous with internet use in general. Google’s algorithm has the ability to control what we see and, arguably, what we think, which is a little bit terrifying.
There are ways to keep what you see away from the algorithm-trenches of Google. Functionally, you can’t really get away from their behind-the scenes work (though you can lessen it with Brave Browser). You can take care of your front lines, “searching” by changing the search engine settings on your computer or phone.
I held a small experiment today. I grabbed screenshots of two devices whose regular users have different political views. Below are the screenshots I took.
The top two images are of a Google search for “Donald Trump”.
The bottom two images are for a DuckDuckGo search for “Donald Trump”.
As you can see, the results aren’t exactly the same. But the differences between the top and the bottom are striking. The top is polarized and emotional. The bottom searches, though still a bit political, are much more similar.
That’s because DuckDuckGo doesn’t track what you do everywhere on the internet and try to show you the same stuff you’ve already seen. The “YouTube Alt-Right Rabbit Hole” effect doesn’t exist on DuckDuckGo or Qwant. They are safer, more reliable, and private.
How to change your browser’s default search engine to Qwant or DuckDuckGo.
If you’re using Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, or Safari, please switch to Brave, Firefox, or Chrome. I recommend Brave.
(Chrome/Brave) In Chrome or Brave, type “chrome://settings/search” into your URL bar. Once you’re in your settings page, find DuckDuckGo or Qwant in the list of search engines. You may need to scroll down into the very long alphabetical list to find it. Once you do find it, click the menu dots on the right hand side of the entry and select “Make default”.
(Firefox) In Firefox type “about:preferences#search” into the URL bar. Find the dropdown menu under the title “Default Search Engine” and select DuckDuckGo. Qwant isn't an option without a bunch of work, unfortunately.
Now all you have to do to get an “opressive-algorithm free” search is type into your URL bar. If you’re used to having Google search in your new tab page you should change it there as well.
What about my phone?
DuckDuckGo has both iOS and Android apps available. Qwant has both iOS and Android apps as well. Though they're web browsers, on Android they each come with a search widget that you can put on your home screen.
In your regular browser app you may have to do some digging, but find the setting for (Chrome) Search Engine, (Firefox) Search, or (in Brave) Standard Tab and change those to DuckDuckGo or Qwant.
Getting quality, non-misleading information in today’s news environment is quite a challenge. Changing your default search to a privacy-focused search engine is a great step in the journey to creating yourself a digital environment of personal privacy.