My digital life transformation journey made me leave the Google Search comfort zone and try others. Since I switched from Chrome to Edge, I inherited Bing, and following my posts on the transformation, I followed readers’ advice to try out DuckDuckGo and Startpage. DuckDuckGo and Startpage use Bing and Google, respectively but add a layer of privacy on top. As of this morning, Startpage was my default search engine on Edge on Windows, while I used DuckDuckGo as the browser on my mobile.
I was aware of the limitations but was really taken aback by the empty search result from Startpage. I don’t remember the last time I got no results at all.
This led me to spend a few minutes comparing them, at least on this search, representing my work-life technical search requirements. The issue here is that I did not get the function name correctly.
So, let’s start.
Google, my default until recently, and probably what you are using, provided the expected result. It was able to identify my mistake and provided the correct answer. It also presented to me the error and correct value clearly.
My real surprise was Bing. It found the correct answer, enabling me to get the information I needed, and provided added value: explaining what an ipv4 prefix is, discussing IPv4 in general, and listing related user asks.
I found this added value on top of the search results one of the main innovations in the search experience in the last few years and was pleasantly surprised that Bing outdid Google in this case. I found Google added value content better in other cases, mostly in searches related to my local environment. Therefore, I sometimes revert back to Google for personal life-related inquiries in some cases.
While Bing did get me the correct answers, it did not present my mistake and correct search term, which can be helpful at times.
DuckDuckGo did present to me the correct answer. The search results were identical to Bing, which is not surprising given it uses Bing in the backend. That said, the added value information was missing.
Lastly, Startpage did not return any results, which was the starting point for the whole endeavor.
The comparison here, alongside the day-to-day experience with Bing and DuckDuckGo, proved that Bing is a viable alternative to Google. While also advertising-based service, it is good to know that there is an alternative.
When it comes to more privacy, I found DuckDuckGo acceptable, while at this time, I need to drop Startpage from my toolbox.