Has Google done enough annoying stuff to drive users elsewhere in search of other, less privacy-trampling search engines? Security focused rival DuckDuckGo apparently got a post-Snowden bump, as some users switched to punish Google for participation in the NSA’s Prism data collection program. So there would seem to be a degree of scope for user churn away from search category leaders. Perhaps more scope for alternative search engines than in a long time.
Add to that, privacy-trampling isn’t the only complaint people have about Google either. Its penchant for self-focused spam by seeding organic search results with its own vertical services has drawn ire in Europe. The European Commission is currently undertaking an antitrust probe to consider whether Google’s search results are biased — i.e. by the company injecting its own content at the top of results, and pushing down rivals’. ‘Don’t be evil’ never looked so sardonic.
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