This isn’t directly about water rights or devices, it is about how to find the information you need. In the past I suggested using the Google search engine to find a specific past blog post on a subject. For example on losing water rights, I might try Googling lose my water right. The first result would be my blog post, Can I Lose My Water Right?. Most people love Google – it is part of the language – “Google it!” – and it searches blazing fast.
Now, however, Google‘s search algorithm may find it, or may NEVER find it. A big part of the reason is that Google tries to give you “the answer you really want” – their engine makes assumptions for you. That’s nice when it is right, and can make you tear your hair out when it is dead wrong. Also, Google is better than the NSA at storing every fact about your life, forever, so they can make a profit from you. That’s fine, I am a big fan of capitalism, but it means Google may skew your search results or remove certain results altogether. Sure, Google will list it first if I quote the search: “lose my water right”, but how many times are we sure of the exact phrase?
For more reliable search results, I use Microsoft’s BING.com nowadays. BING is
more literal in searching the words you enter. As the Avis car rental company used to say, “We’re number 2, so We Try Harder!” BING does try harder to answer the searches actually entered into the box.
DUCKDUCKGO.com is another good search engine, that gives more literal results. Apparently, DUCKDUCKGO is also not keeping a huge database to steer you to purchases. As they say on their About page, “Take back your privacy! Switch to the search engine that doesn’t track you.“
As a check, I tried each search engine on the unquoted phrase lose water right. I thought it might show up on the first page with Google, but it did not. Since my blog post is ONLY about losing water rights, I thought it might at least be in the top 10. As a matter of fact, when I had searched 6 or 7 times on Google, it blocked me from searching for that phrase at all, thinking I might be a robot. That’s funny, since I am using a Google Chromebook which uses Google‘s own operating system!
Who would have thought that the Internet tools you use can make such a big difference with the information you find? As I just told my wife, I am using BING more and more to get what I actually requested! BING is not just the name of a famous crooner or a kind of cherry anymore.