Most people stick with the default search engine built into their browsers. While this is not necessarily bad, you may want to branch out and see what else exists. Search engines each have their unique look, features and level of privacy.
One big difference is what you’ll see when performing a search. Search for a topic in one search engine and compare the results with the exact search from another. You won’t get the exact same results. Tap or click here to see how Google, Startpage, DuckDuckGo and Bing stack up against each other.
With a 91% market share, Google is the world’s most popular search engine. When you Google anything, it goes into an autocomplete algorithm, including searches from billions of people daily. The algorithm predicts what you’re looking for and offers suggestions. Let’s see what Google comes up with.
How Google’s autocomplete works
Besides looking for common queries from countless others, the autocomplete algorithm also takes the following into account:
- The language of the search query.
- Where the query came from.
- Trending interest in the query.
- Your past searches.
- Word patterns from across the web.
Results constantly change to reflect what is happening and where you are located. This, combined with your search history, means you won’t necessarily see the same results as your friend a few states over.
Want to turn off results based on your searches? Go to google.com/setting/search/privateresults and toggle off Show personal results.
Don’t take it too seriously
Google admits that “Autocomplete predictions aren’t perfect.” You may see something you don’t like, though Google does have systems to identify violent, sexual, hateful and dangerous predictions that can lead to related content.
In addition, predictions have nothing to do with facts or opinions — they just show what people are searching for. Google also tries to catch unreliable predictions, such as unconfirmed rumors following a recent event.
Even with those safeguards in place, autocomplete doesn’t prevent anyone from entirely typing out any search query to get the results they’re looking for.
Have some fun with autocomplete
It’s not all doom and gloom. Autocomplete tends to produce some strange and funny results. We gathered 10 of our favorite autocompletes for you to check out. Try the same searches and see what comes up for you! The autocomplete results are in bold:
- Is it illegal to drive barefoot
- Is it legal to own a capybara
- Do ghosts have teeth
- How do eels reproduce
- What does it mean when a bird poops on you
- What happens if a woman takes viagra
- Are babies waterproof
- Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a carrot
- Help I accidentally built a shelf
- I hate it when my girlfriend turns into the moon