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article imageOp-Ed: DuckDuckGo — Google Chrome updates list of default search engines

By Ken Hanly     Mar 14, 2019 in Technology
The new update to the chromium engine that underlies the popular Google Chrome browser has quietly increased the list of default search engines it offers, expanding the choices that users can make for searching around the globe.
Move may be in response to criticism
Google has been facing scrutiny from privacy and monopoly fighting groups and has been accused of market distorting behavior both in the US and abroad. The changes to the number of alternative browsers listed with the Chromium 73 stable release yesterday may help stave off some of that criticism. Many governments are questioning how competition policy needs to be updated to help smaller innovators compete with tech giants such as Google. I might add Microsoft also uses pressure both to use its browser Edge and its search engine Bing. Personally, I find it worse than Google.
As a PC World article puts it: "One of the great horrors of Windows 10 is that Microsoft forces you to use Bing and Microsoft Edge with Cortana. When you search with Cortana, any web searches are automatically sent to Bing and displayed in the Edge browser, no matter what your default browser is." Unlike other browsers you cannot uninstall Edge. You cant uninstall Cortana, either just disable it. I don't use either but I can't free the space they take up.
In a note on the change in Chrome's default search engine list Orin Jaworsky a Google software engineer claims that the changes are simply based on usage statistics from recently collected data. The choices in different areas and countries loosely line up with the top four market share.
DuckDuckGo  for anonymous Internet searches
DuckDuckGo, for anonymous Internet searches
DuckDuckGo benefits from the new listings
The pro-privacy search engine DuckDuckGo(DDG) is now offered as an option in more than 60 markets. Previously the search engine was not offered as an option at all. Even when DDG is not listed as an option it can often be set as such at least on desktop computers, and no doubt on laptops as well as shown in the accompanying video. However having it on a list will make it simpler and available on mobile devices.
DuckDuckGo has its own website on which it says among other things:' "With our roots as the search engine that doesn’t track you, we’ve expanded what we do to protect you no matter where you go on the Internet. Check out our story...We extended our privacy protection beyond the search box with the launch of our new mobile app & browser extension, available on all major platforms." The extension was in January of last year.
In its home market France, Qwant has also been added as a default option but only in France. However, DDG is now offered in numerous countries around the world including much of Europe the US, Canada, and Mexico and several Latin American countries including Venezuela. Eric Leandri, Qwant co-founder, said thanks to Google for adding Qwant as a default option in France. Leandri still recommends that people use the Mozilla Firefox browser or the pro-privacy Brave browser. Leandri also said that it would have been even nicer if Google had added Qwant to the list in Germany and Italy where the search engine also has a following. Leandri thought that Google's move would not stop further regulation because of market domination.
Global market share of different search engines
Statcounter has data on market share of different search engines, globally, by country, region and type of device. Globally Google dominates the market with 92.9 percent penetration. Microsoft's Bing coming second with 2.38 percent share. Yahoo has 1.79 percent and Baidu. a Chinese search engine has 1.03. DuckDuckGo has only 0.38 percent. The situation can vary greatly from one country to the next. For example in China Baidu has 74.6 percent of the market while Google only has 2.03.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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