I had previously sought alternative, innovative search engines, but none of the proposed options made me particularly happy. About a year ago, I came across DuckDuckGo, and today, I've been using DDG as my primary search provider for exactly 10 months.
The reasons why I switched included
my dislike of the Google information monopoly and the potential that a single, corporate entity with financial interests, gets to censor the information I see. I am sceptical of their "Do-no-evil" promise because there's nothing binding about it, and if it gets in the way of money-making, I am sure it'll be discarded at a whim — if it even still exists.
the awareness that my usage augments their database (although I am probably too far away from mainstream to provide useful data), which translates into more funds available to them to further strengthen their market position.
my belief that the days of index-based searches are over, given how 95% (or more) of user-generated content is bogus. Google undoubtedly optimises the results with obscure, secret algorithms, but that's just not enough for me.
Of course the name — DuckDuckGo — was perhaps the strongest reason to switch. :)
I am aware that DuckDuckGo is index-based itself, using the Yahoo API, which, in turns means that DuckDuckGo may already be using Bing data. Sounds a bit like out of the frying pan into the fire, unfortunately.
I am still investigating better search solutions, sticking with DuckDuckGo meanwhile.
Unfortunately, DuckDuckGo doesn't quite cut the mustard at all times, forcing me to go to Google instead. For this reason I am glad to find that the CustomizeGoogle Firefox extension has not been discontinued, but simply renamed to OptimizeGoogle.
Maybe it's time to rethink the way I use the web and lower my search needs.
If you are using Firefox, try it out! If you're still using Internet Exploder, you should not, and instead upgrade to Firefox. Users of other browsers might find similar functionality for their application, or might want to switch as well.
NP: Tunng: Comments from the Inner Chorus