Google has risen to its position of dominance in the tech world on the back of its search engine, which has no effective competition. According to StatCounter, Google has 92.49% of the worldwide search engine market share, with Microsoft Bing second at 2.31% and Yahoo Search (based on Bing) at 1.53%. Is there room for a new search engine, such as the just-announced Brave Search? Perhaps, if it can combine quality search results with a focus on privacy.
That’s because Google’s business model revolves around tracking and profiling users and then using that information to underpin the targeting of ads. For some people, that’s become anathema, pushing them to switch to DuckDuckGo (also based on Bing, see “Search in Private with DuckDuckGo,” 20 August 2014). But DuckDuckGo has acquired only 0.6% of the market.
I’m not as perturbed by Google’s business model as many people are because I think Google services generally make the world a better place. (Unlike other companies I could mention.) To varying extents, I like and use Google Search, Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Photos, and Google Translate. Though I don’t use either, Android and Chrome OS have made a positive impact overall, too. Other subsidiaries of Google’s parent company Alphabet, like healthcare innovation company Verily and the self-driving car firm Waymo, offer a vision of a better technology-enabled future.
Nevertheless, there are times when I get tired of thinking about…