First off, you have to remember that Google doesn’t consider end users their customers, instead its advertising buyers are their customers and so that drives a lot of what Google does. If they can better identify your preferences to advertisers by combining more of you private information that you give them then that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
I’ve used Google as my default search engine for quite a while, however I never created a Google account for my searching and even now that I have one for the Ad’s here on JumbleCat, I don’t login to it while searching with Google.
I don’t use Docs, + or other services from Google so my privacy footprint inside of Google is pretty small in comparison to many others I’m sure.
However even this I believe is too much, searching should NOT be personal, searching needs to be impartial and I no longer believe Google delivers this.
The options to replace my searching boiled down to two options:
While Bing has made major strides over the last few years and I do believe it is at least as good as Google, they too try to personalize searches.
Duck Duck Go is, on the other hand, specifically created to NOT invade your privacy and return NON personalized results.
Their link database isn’t as big as Bing or Google, but so far I’ve found it returns pretty good results and when they don’t have enough results they provide an easy way to use the other search providers.
All of the major browsers can be setup to use Duck Duck Go as a search provider and so there’s no functionality lost or having to switch between search engines just because you are using a different browser.
Overall I’m quite happy using Duck Duck Go.