I’ll admit this post is a bit of a tangent, but after being asked to compare search engines for my uni course, I realised that searching is an important aspect in any field. Different search engines have different focuses and access. Which one will help you find what you’re interested in? Which one will help you find what you can’t name? Which one will help others find you? That’s an important question when you’re starting out in the content industry. I might produce videos, but if no one stumbles upon them during a search, those videos probably won’t be seen.
With that in mind, here are the search engines I tried out using the keyword ‘cinema’:
Varied content. Relevant. Commercial.
First thing that shows up is movie showtimes for my city. Knowing I can find movie times just by googling something so general is pretty cool. After that the results diversify into cinemas, maps of cinemas, and more cinemas. However, then come videos and news, along with related searches. Having multimedia content like this appear is a strong reason for content creators to be happy that Google has a monopoly on the search industry.
Simple. Varied results.
DuckDuckGo turned up no multimedia content, at least not with any kind of emphasis. A box at the top with links about the meanings of cinema is probably helpful as a jumping off point for research (rather than going straight to Wikipedia). Results are varied in that definitions, articles and commercial sites for cinemas are all included, but it feels very unordered. I was happy to see an article about the BlackMagic cinema camera only a little way down the list. Google seemed to think listing cinemas for a few pages was the most helpful thing it could do, although usually that would be correct with such a general keyword. It does state it collects no information which is certainly a selling point in comparison to Google.
Apart from the name that might turn off a few people, it is an interesting concept. Typing in cinema presented me with something akin to a mindmap. Lines from the ‘cinema’ node connect to other nodes like ‘camera’ and then results in the sidebar change to reflect the node selected. Again, some articles on the new BlackMagic camera. This is a great way to discover something you aren’t really sure about, but it does involve more effort and is therefore more of a research tool. It probably won’t help my videos be noticed for example.
In the end, Google isn’t going to lose its market share unless something very dramatic takes place. Its multimedia rich results, while having a commercial focus, are probably the best for content creators, but for research, on any topic, I think Instagrok has some promise as a specialised tool to bring out every now and again.
You can set these browsers as your default search engine using the links provided on their sites, unless you’re using Google in which case it’s probably already the default search provider.