I have been using Google since the days they were still deja.com and were doing stuff like a shopping wizard which kicked butt against anything else out there.
Whenever I need some information about stuff, the first place I look is Google.
The results I have found from Google are better than anything out there by far for many reasons:
1)fastest response time,
3)redundant web sites having identical information and mentioning it as so
4)the ending result pages presented did not necessarily match all the keywords requested, but I always appreciated the content presented anyways and with time and patience I have found many perls of wisdom hidden on page 10+ when most people would abandon the quest probably after page 3.
5)Perhaps Google does place the paid-to-Google-ad-pages higher in terms of relevance on the Google results pages, but the fact remains non-paid result web pages are still presented in the Google results pages. I have a few questions to ask the so-called "WATCHDOG ADVOCACY GROUPS":
Do you buy your car at the first dealer you shop at?
Do you buy your food at only one grocery store?
Do you only look at the links on just the first page of Google results?
If the answer to this is yes, you guys are morons and shouldn't be representing anyone.
Microsoft's pre-html MSDN search engine was actually quite refined 18 years ago with their ability to use the keyword "near" and defining it with a distance of number of words between the keywords. When they made the switch to html however, MSDN search engine lost their mojo. The results returned were less relevant and the response time was atrocious considering the msdn data was on a local disk and had access to the net apart from that. GOOGLE saw the opportunity and grabbed it...end of story.
With respect to censorship, the Google team are doing a wonderful job. They do their best all things considered.
If I don't like the filtered results from Google China, no problem...I go to Google Canada or Google U.S.A.
When there is a wall, there is always a way around it. That's a Chinese proverb by the way.
With respect to PRIVACY and logging of keywords or other stuff, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!
THAT'S WHAT SOFTWARE DOES! It's a learning process to make the entire search engine process better.
Google can't make it better if it doesn't accumulate statistics.
I can see privacy advocates bringing it up as a concern, but I'm on Google's side with respect to this.
GOOGLE doesn't give personal emails to the highest bidder.
GOOGLE doesn't give personal keywords to the highest bidder either.
With respect to security breaches within Google, I'm sure they are doing their best.
Every company has issues with this so the PRIVACY ADVOCATES can go jump in a lake now.
Google have been constantly doing their best. I suspect the advocacy groups are in bed with other search engine competitors because my bullshit indicator is BLINKING VERY BRIGHT RED at the moment.