The development of Alt Tech (all those technological solutions that compete with the big tech corporations, i.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft) is continuing.
It is true that, roughly speaking, the largest market share still corresponds to Big Tech solutions. At least as far as online search engines are concerned. According to Statcounter, last May, Google’s user rate (globally) did not fall below 92%.
Nor can we dispute that despite its usability, it has been virtually impossible for alternatives such as Bing (Microsoft’s alternative) and Yahoo to overtake it. Certainly, Google’s information retrieval indexes are much more sophisticated and accurate (although I don’t want to insert too personal reviews).
However, we have seen some interesting moves. For example, DuckDuckGo, a search engine whose main advantage is that it does not collect personal data (nor does it need cookies), experienced, between July 2020 and January 2021, a trend that would be more typical of an exponential distribution.
It went from having 6.327 million searches in July 2020 to 9.527 million units in January 2021 (in previous periods, with a six-monthly interval, the difference usually had much narrower margins. For example, compare July 2016 and January 2017).
Brave users will no longer need external browsers
It was already said at the time that the famous HTTP/HTTPS Internet protocol was facing a new rival called IPFS, which was inspired by peer-to-peer (usually useful as a content distribution network), trying to operate on the basis of a storage architecture as dispersed and distributed as possible.
This is exactly what was being implemented by a browser whose popularity continues to grow, even though it is outside the mainstream. We are talking about the Brave browser, whose use would not necessarily be based on issuing GET requests to centralized servers. It is also blockchain and Tor anonymous networks friendly.
Well, it turns out that users will already have access to a native web search engine developed by Brave, which is currently in a beta development phase, where testing is open to a fairly broad spectrum of users, not limited, as is usually the case with the alpha phase.
This will also be the default search engine. Although it is true that it will still be possible to use Google or DuckDuckGo (it should be noted that this entity was considered as a partner, to the point of incorporating, by default, to searches in incognito mode, this engine).
Its operation will not only stand out for not obtaining private information from users, but also for having a collaborative search engine. Indexing will not depend on any internally programmed algorithm, nor on any other kind of arbitrariness. Everything is entrusted to open and anonymous communities of Internet users.
At the same time, there will be a metric of independence that will corroborate that the searches have not been previously biased. We know that, for example, Google’s algorithm tends to penalize those portals that question the “official truth” of the “woke” or refuse to support the establishment we all know.
How long will Google hold out?
If Brave’s search engine manages to deliver sophisticated results, then the choice between Google and it may be as easy as the one between browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, whose market shares are not so abysmal in reality.
Some would choose it for privacy and others for various reasons (openness to novelty or appreciation of the user interface). However, the important thing is the message that this solution can send through the market, which has not only technological implications.
Whether Google will fall or not is something I cannot take for granted right now, out of prudence, logic and common sense. However, we can see how technological solutions are being developed to punish the lack of respect for privacy and the corresponding collaborations with the problematic modern States.