When Yahoo partnered with a little known search engine called Google in 2000, they had no idea what would happen in a few short years. If Yahoo hadn't introduced their only real competition at the time to the world, maybe google would not have entered the Oxford English Dictionary as a transitive verb on June 15, 2006.
If the calls to have Google Search regulated like a public utility are any indication, this multi-national company and its internet-related services will likely be around for a long time. While wealthy investors may value the tech giant's global reputation as a stable brand for their own financial plans, everyday masses of consumers may not value the same things. Knowing that consumer trends can change, large tech savvy collectives have been known to rely on the data-mining and targeted advertising of unsuspecting users. Information about food preferences, political leanings, religious views, medical conditions, sexual inclinations, and more can be mined simply by monitoring search histories. Considering how approximately 97% of Google's revenue is generated by advertising, maintaining a large database of detailed consumer profiles to sell to vendors plays a significant role in their prominence. Understandibly, accusations of breaching wiretap and privacy laws have made their way through federal courts. However, when leaked documents by Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that some of the largest tech companies have been involved in PRISM, a surveillance program headed by the NSA, it's hardly surprising that pursuing legal recourse at the federal level hasn't amounted to anything substantial. As a result, seach engines who alllow you to browse anonymously have become popular to some.
More than ever, people have been depending on search engines to find blogs, websites, maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and others to answer their questions. Given what you value in a search engine, what information gathering software system do you think is the best? What search engines on the world wide web are the worst?