A while back, I decided to switch from Google as the default search engine to Bing. I did for a while and was forced to switch back because of Bing’s censorship policies.
I hate monopolies. They’re generally bad. It seems that every time a company gets an unregulated monopoly in a market, the market stagnates. That applies to search too. Google seems headed to a monopoly position in search as it now has over 70% of the search market. And so far they seem to behave like a monopolist. If your site get blacklisted by Google, there is no recourse for you. You can’t really know why and there is nobody to appeal to.
In May of 2010 I decided to start using Bing as my default search engine to do my tiny bit to help with the situation; so I switched my Mac, my iPhone and my iPad to use Bing by default. However, soon enough, I had to change my mind.
See, in the summer of 2010 I travelled to the middle east on business and while there I was shocked by Bing’s censorship policies applied to searches initiated from the area. I understand when a company complies by local laws, including censorship. For example, when they censored their search results in China, I understood that it’s the price of doing business there. But, I was in Lebanon. Lebanon has no censorship laws and the government does not censor the internet and yet, the search results from Bing were censored for adult contents in Lebanon the same way as all the Arab countries.
Why? What is the reasoning behind this? Why censor a country that has no censorship?
Bing even goes beyond the censorship requirements of many of the Arab countries that do have some censorship like Egypt, Algeria and Libya.
Since I hate censorship more than monopolies, I’m back using Google as my default search engine. When the underdog is worse than the big guys, there is not point in supporting that underdog.