Comparing Search Engines

For this CMWP task I have been asked to analyse and compare three different internet search engines; Google, DuckDuckGo and Instagrok. Having never heard of DuckDuckGo and Instagrok I thought this would be quite interesting. I decided to search the term ‘Nelson Mandela’ after reading on Twitter that Mandela has been admitted to hospital with the recurrence of a lung infection.

Starting with DuckDuckGo I entered in simply ‘Nelson Mandela’. At the top of the page the ‘Nelson Mandela’ Wikipedia entry is bookmarked along with the official Nelson Mandela website. A single image of Mandela is also shown at the top of the page, yet I found trying to navigate through more images of Mandela was time consuming, and quite frankly irritating. There were only about four images listed and they were linked to the fotopedia.com site. The next thing I noted was that none of the search results I was given were recent. There was nothing what so ever listed about Mandela’s current health situation. From this I can only conclude that DuckDuckGo is not a good source to use if you are wanting the latest information on a topic, which in most cases you will be. I rated this site a 5/10.

Next was Instagrok, which again I had no experience with. I found Instagrok to be very interesting, very different to Google or DuckDuckGo. First of all I was a bit perplexed at how long it took to load the search results, I was then presented with a rather complex looking graph so I understood the time delay. On my left hand side I was presented with a graph with the word ‘Nelson Mandela’ in the middle and a bunch of related topics branching off with descriptions and information underneath. On my right side I had different tabs containing information such as website links, videos, key facts, images, glossary and even quizzes. There was a vast amount of information on the page and it was easy to navigate through. I was very impressed with the site and thought it would be extremely helpful if I were to be doing a research project. In saying that I think for general browsing this may not be the best website, the time delay would become frustrating and most times you will not have use for an informative graph if you are just looking for general information on something mundane like, for instance, a chocolate cake recipe. I also noted there was no mention of Mandela’s hospitilisation, so again the website did not deliver up to the minute information. I gave Instagrok a 7/10 and I will keep it in mind, mainly for future research.

Lastly I went to my regular search engine Google. Google told me that it had pulled up 15,000,000 results in 0.31 seconds – very impressive! At the top of the page were links to information about Mandela’s hospitilisation. Straight away I gave Google the advantage over the other two search engines simply because it has the most recent information available. I also found Google to be the simplest search engine to use out of the three and the various tools you can apply to refine your search like: images, news, videos, discussions etc. are extremely handy. I may be a little biased, having used Google since I was 12 but I have to give it the edge in this competition, with a solid rating of 10/10.

I managed to make Google my default search engine by following a series of steps from wikihow.com. First I had to find the search query URL for Google, which was handily listed on the page. I then had to access Firefox’s preferences editor – which I did by typing ‘about:config’ in my toolbar. Next I searched for ‘keyboard.URL’ in the preferences editor; and finally I had to modify my previous settings and enter the Google search query URL. Success! I can now type any old word I want into my tool bar and be rewarded with a Google search!

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