Day Without Google, a one-day blog event organized by AltSearchEngines. A lot of people tried to last a day without using Google's ubiquitous search engine, and in this post we take a look at the results. TheRegister has already covered the event, in an article provocatively entitled Blog calls for Google boycott. WebProNews also had a good report. Note that our intent wasn't to "boycott" Google - Google is number 1 for a reason, which is that it's the best search engine around. The reason behind the 'Day Without Google' was purely to encourage people to experiment with and test out some of the hundreds of Google competitors; maybe even catch a glimpse of the future dominant search engine. Anyway TheRegister article included this great quote from AltSearchEngines editor Charles Knight:Yesterday was the
"Yesterday, Michael VandeMar tried to go eighteen hours without visiting the big five search engines. Taking up a challenge from search engine guru Charles Knight, he'd resolved to avoid Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask.com, and AOL from 6am to midnight. By 9:53, he'd given up. "Bah!" he wrote to Knight's Alt Search Engines blog. "I blew it."
"I immediately thought of the Seinfeld master-of-your-domain thing," Knight told The Register."
I have a confession to make. I too blew it. I used Hakia for the beginning of the day, but then sometime before lunch I subconsciously used Google again. I think I was so focused on getting my work done, that out of habit I typed something into the Google toolbar and pressed enter. Quick as a flash, the Google results page came up. I felt soooo guilty! It goes to show just how difficult it is to change ingrained habits on the Web.
Read/WriteWeb author Josh Catone got the job done though. He used Lexxe, Hakia and other 'natural language processing' search engines throughout the day. He reported mixed results, concluding that "my day without Google demonstrated to me just how far alternative search engines (at least those of the natural language set -- which is one of the most hyped variety as potential "Google-killers") have to go to catch up with Google and the other big 5 search engines.".
Other Read/WriteWeb and AltSearchEngines readers reported their findings via comments. Michael Clarke admitted "I lasted about ten minutes" (I can take some comfort in lasting longer than that!). Dan Grossman wasn't game enough to "switch to alternative search engines I've never heard of." He did however use Ask.com and was generally satisfied. Catherine lasted the whole day using Quintura, reporting that it "gave me useful results up front". Over on AltSearchEngines, Nick T used Clusty and said: "Very impressed. It came up with good results right off and the cluster controls were just what I need to be able to tweak the results to get where I ultimately wanted (as well as explore "nearby" results)."
So, were you a "master of your domain"? Tell us your results in the comments...