Googling without Googling

StormcatPaperdragon

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Sometimes when you've got a little question you need to research for a story, like "How do you get bloodstains out of clothing?" Google can get a quick answer to you in less time than it takes to type the question out. At least... it used to be.

You see, Google has recently embraced the power of AI. Unfortunately, nobody told this AI that not everything on the internet is true and you may come back with a silly, inaccurate, or outright dangerous answer to your question. Decent Critical thinking skills can help differentiate between true and false answers, but not everyone is in possession of critical thinking skills.

So, I'd like to look for non-AI alternatives to quick questions that may pop up during my writing. Any good leads?
 
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Lex

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Google is still useful if you keep scrolling past the AI generated answer. You can also toggle what type of results you want. "Forums" is great for getting niche community answers which can be really useful if you want hobbyists/experts to weigh in.
 
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worrdz

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Try duckduckgo.com and startpage.com
 
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Tazlima

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You can also adjust your search terms to take time into account. e.g. "How to get bloodstains out of clothing, Reddit (or whatever forum), before 2021."

That should help pull older threads that predate the widespread rollout of A.I.
 
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StormcatPaperdragon

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I believe you might be looking for the Want To Opt Out of Google's AI Search thread.

Otherwise, as @Lex said, scroll past the first AI "answer" to the next sites with actual info.

Nope. I don't want to use Google at all anymore. I want something better!

(as I type this into my Chrome browser on my Chromebook, the Irony isn't lost on me at all.)
 
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Lex

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Nope. I don't want to use Google at all anymore. I want something better!

(as I type this into my Chrome browser on my Chromebook, the Irony isn't lost on me at all.)

Very valid. Unfortunately, google remains a pretty great search engine and it’s tailored (for better or worse) to your specific tastes/needs. Bing might be another good option in addition to the other recommendations above.
 

Chris P

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For what it's worth, the DuckDuckGo browser didn't work for me. It froze up my entire computer and I had to hard-restart each time I launched it.

I'm always for alternatives, though.
 
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Friendly Frog

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Try duckduckgo.com and startpage.com
Doesn't startpage use google, only with privacy filters on? Otherwise, I have had no complaints about startpage, have been using it for ages.
 

frimble3

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Isn't Bing the one I keep turning off, that describes itself as my 'friend'?
 

Lex

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For what it's worth, the DuckDuckGo browser didn't work for me. It froze up my entire computer and I had to hard-restart each time I launched it.

I'm always for alternatives, though.
That’s annoying! You can still use it as a search engine if the browser doesn’t work.

Isn't Bing the one I keep turning off, that describes itself as my 'friend'?
All I know was Bing definitely beat out Google at a certain type of search, ahem. I don’t know if that’s still the case, though. But ‘friend’ seems on brand in that context hahaha.
 

worrdz

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Doesn't startpage use google, only with privacy filters on?
Yes. The AI BS appears to be localized in a sidebar. The regular results are the same as always. (I've used Startpage for years, too.)

DDG is its own thing. And I will say that I get better results out of the combination of StartPage and DDG than with either by itself.
 
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