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    Google Shouldn't be a Verb culture web danschnau.com
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    Googling is at least more environmentally-friendly than xeroxing all of the results. But if you’re going to cry about it, I can hand you a Kleenex, or give you an aspirin and a popsicle.

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      There’s one interesting difference here. Even if Google loses their trademark, they still get to keep the google.com domain name, which is probably what matters to them most anyway.

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        Xerox still owns xerox.com, Kleenex still owns kleenex.com, Bayer still owns aspirin.com, and Popsicle still owns popsicle.com. So, I don’t think there’s any difference at all between Google and the other examples GP gives.

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          Though Bayer lost the trademark on aspirin long ago, after WWI, as part of the Versailles Treaty.

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            And yet, they still own the relevant domain, which was the point GP was trying to make.

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            They don’t operate primarily over the web, though.

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              Well, Xerox doesn’t make medicine, and Popsicle doesn’t make printer stuff, and Bayer’s aspirin isn’t something you can easily blow your nose on, and Google doesn’t make a cold frozen ice thing you can suck on. None of them are really operating in fields that the others are. Your point is irrelevant.

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                then you missed the point, somehow. owning a domain obviously gives more advantage to a web company than to a non-web company. those other companies have nothing analogous to a domain name which strengthens the link between the name and the product to a similar degree.

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            Some time ago Microsoft was trying to get people to ‘verb’ Bing. It doesn’t seem to have worked….

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              First response I heard was whether a straight guy would want to talk about “Binging Brad Pitt.” I knew the verb wasn’t going to take at that point.

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                And, perhaps more importantly, what is the past tense of ‘Bing’…..

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                  bung

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                    clearly bong

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                      no, that’s the past participle…

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                      I didn’t think about that. Yeah haha.

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                “I come to lobste.rs for productive discourse and insightful comments”

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                And we shouldn’t hoover carpets, or jet ski on holiday, or stick leftovers in a tupperware box…. But we do, and it’s fine. I mean, Dyson don’t seem to be worrying.

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                  The most odd instance of this — at least to my ears — is that apparently everyone in Australia’s Northern Territory says “Toyota” instead of “car”.

                  Although I was a child living in Sydney when I heard this, so it may be nonsense. I was also fooled into believing that a swirl in my friend’s hairstyle happened because a cow licked him there, but to be fair I have heard of far stranger things and I like to believe in the weird and wonderful.

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                    I suspect someone was having a go. (Certainly my Melbourne ears have never heard of such a thing.)

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                  I can only quote the great “Use of the Photoshop Trademark “ available at https://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressmaterials/pdfs/photoshop_guidelines_pr.pdf

                  Trademarks are not verbs.
                  For example: “The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.” not . . .
                  “The image was photoshopped.”

                  Please think of this with your next meme and don’t forget those ®s ;)

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                    I think it’s important to keep in mind that Google probably doesn’t want you to use their name as a verb synonymous with “to search the internet.”

                    I’m not an IP lawyer, but this news article explains it pretty well I think.

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                      I just wish that I could get DuckDuckGo to return the results I’m looking for more than 30% of the time.

                      I switched full bore to DDG for ~3 months and found myself being forced (after a reasonable amount of flailing) and found myself reverting to google 60+% of the time :(

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                        How long ago was this? I’ve found DDG now gives me what I want at least 90% of the time. When I tried a few years ago, it was much worse. Might be time to start tracking it, actually.

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                          I’ve been using DDG as my “first search engine” for five years or so (probably the only instance where I was an “early adopter”!) and find it’s consistently worse than Google. I regularly fall back to adding !g (maybe 15-25% of the time?)

                          For example, searching “Dunedin” on DDG gives me many results about Dunedin, Florida rather than Dunedin, New Zealand (where I live). Combine Dunedin with any other term (e.g. “Dunedin trash pickup”, “Dunedin concerts”, etc.) and it’s consistently worse.

                          I had the same problem when I lived in Bristol, UK. Because English settlers had the imagination of the average dinning table there are about 15 cities named Bristol in the United States, too. Google always gave me better results if I wanted to find out anything about the One True Bristol.

                          Trying to search for stuff in Dutch (rather than English) has always been tricky.

                          Occasionally DDG will give me “no results”, whereas going to Google will give me what I want. I can’t recall a specific search term right now.

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                            For example, searching “Dunedin” on DDG gives me many results about Dunedin, Florida rather than Dunedin, New Zealand (where I live).

                            While I think you raise very valid points I think the idea of DDG is to not create a personalized filter bubble, so just picking whichever Dunedin has the best SEO is sort of the idea behind DDG.

                            I am not sure I am on board with that idea either, I always get frustrated when GMaps suggests me places on the other side of the world when for the most part it is painfully obvious I don’t actually want to cycle through the Atlantic ocean to buy ice cream.

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                        As a Googler who’s often critical of the company, I agree with this point. It’s too much prominence for any one company or other entity to be trusted with.

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                          I use DuckDuckGo, so in honour of Father Ted’s second greatest character, I Dougal.

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                            How do you make it return useful results? I can’t seem to get what I want. Either my search requirements are more stringent than yours (and the many others who cite success with DDG) or I’m doing it wrong :) I’m open to either answer.

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                              When I’m not happy with my DDG results, I throw a g! on the query and hit enter.

                              Half the time, I’m not happy with the google results, either. (Maybe whatever I’m searching for doesn’t exist.)

                              There is a specific class of queries that DDG doesn’t support well: those written in English. If my query is going to be “What was that thing John Smith was publicly embarrassed about a few years back?”, I might just go straight to Google.

                              Wait a minute, do you search for “What is a client-side plugin for XYZserver to make thumbnails?”, or do you search for “xyzserver thumbnails clientside” ? DDG can’t handle the first option, AFAICT.

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                                Again I admire your adherence to principle. I do not have that much life to spend that I’m willing to have each query take 3X the time.

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                                  I have not had the same problems with ddg which you complain about. I never use “english language” queries, and usually ddg has good results on the first page. Google tends to be much more verbose, so I often try it when there are few results on ddg, but it’s not my first choice. This is reflected in my history where I visit ddg around 4x as often as google.

                                  sqlite> select rev_host, sum(visit_count) from moz_places group by rev_host order by sum(visit_count) desc limit 15;
                                  ...
                                  'moc.ogkcudkcud.',13981
                                  ...
                                  'moc.elgoog.www.',3537
                                  ...
                                  

                                  (as an aside, why does firefox open places.sql exclusive?)

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                                  Half the time, I’m not happy with the google results, either.

                                  That mirrors my experience. I don’t think the problem is DDG. I think if people can’t find what they want using Google, they conclude it doesn’t exist or is simply hard to find. If people can’t find what they want using DDG, they blame DDG.

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                                  I’ve been using it for a few months and I’d say I get what I want about, hmm… 70 or 80 percent of the time? I can usually predict what searches will be too specific or niche to produce reliable results. imo it still makes me feel better about using Google when I really need to, almost like “well ok I will actively trade a tiny portion of my privacy for this data because it really is the only way to get it.” Feels more explicitly transactional to me.

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                                    I just use old tricks. I guess what words writer is likely to use, put quotes around what should definitely be there, minus in front for filters, “site:” if I know domain, and !G if that doesn’t work. Rarely have to use Google.

                                    I miss being able to do advanced, boolean stuff to narrow it further. Wonder if it’s still there somewhere but hidden.

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                                      Yeah I miss the boolean stuff from the old days too :) I wonder if it didn’t scale well?

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                                        Yeah, I thought it might be heavy on their servers. My other thought is that virtually nobody used advanced search. So, they simplified it into some common operators (eg time range). Two birds with one stone.

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                                      Yeah, I’ve always found DDG’s results to be… pretty substandard. Have you tried Startpage? It uses Google’s search for its backend, so results great and at the same time, doesn’t invade your privacy.

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                                        I haven’t I’ll give it a look. Thanks!

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                                    Google employees call themselves Googlers – but if anybody using Google Googled they’d be a Googler, too – So, really, lets keep the Googlers at Google, and everyone else can “search the web” or whatever…

                                    Also, never heard of https://wiby.me/ - good find - I especially love the suprize me button

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                                      Unless they’re older. In which case they call themselves “Greyglers” which I find endlessly amusing :)

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                                      They’re accomplishing the same thing with the Google Home appliance, where every time you use it you must say the word “(Hey) Google.”

                                      The company could absolutely let you choose a different wake word like Amazon’s Alexa, but it’s advantageous to keep the company on people’s lips.

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                                        I’ve started telling people to “websearch” things instead of “googling” them.

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                                          Let’s say (and use) searx[1] instead. I suppose it should be pronounced as per German.

                                          [1] https://www.searx.me/

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                                            Inspired steveno’s comment (thank you), I have decided to let people know that these days, when I want to google something, I turn to DDG, because according to their marketing materials, they violate my privacy less than the competition, and that is a trait that I tend to look for whenever I’m shopping around for a google provider.