Taking control of your search

If you find yourself getting annoyed from too many of your search results being filled with ads, or the websites that do come up are little more than ads making up ~90% of the page, one can’t help but to start thinking that there has to be a better alternative.  It’s just not efficient, or at least does not measure up to some of your expectations.

So what happened?

It’s probably hard to say with any Searching with distractions.certainty what exactly does happen, but sooner or later the results seem to end up in the same place, at least for an advertising/media business, loaded with ads.  You know the story, they start out clean and simple to use, able to sort the available content a little better, or at least the user experience is improved, but as it gets traction, attention, more users, sooner or later things start to change.

Maybe it’s from as you get more popularity, you also get more advertisers knocking on your door, which in this business model, as advertisers are the customers, who are you to say no.  No other business does this, the more customers the merrier, usually not a bad thing.

The problem here of course is that more advertisers are exactly what users don’t want or are not looking for, with the lack of them being one of the main attractions in the first place.  That said, most people realize that somebody has to pay for these free services.  It’s only when it reaches some point of saturation, a tipping point, that you realize you’re spending too much time being distracted by ads rather than the original purpose.

What options are available?

For users, if it just gets to be too much, more baggage than needed, you always have plenty of options to do something different or at least adjust appropriately to the new change.

Try an Alternative

While perhaps not as popular, chances are the alternative options don’t quite have as many advertisers and thus a much cleaner solution.  Not to mention some the new features you might find, such as with the search engine Duck Duck Go.  Some initial differences noticed:

  • Privacy Policy (Don’t Track version): If looking for a laugh, check out their Don’t Track page, a hilarious example of different perspectives on the value of privacy and search.
  • Favicon/Logo Displayed in Search Results: Helpful for a little extra style and website recognition.
Searching with DuckDuckGo
  • Unlimited Scrolling: You don’t have to go to a new page to see additional results.   This makes it much easier to browse through a larger quantity of websites, finding your destination a little more efficiently without being bombarded with a new page of ads on each new page.

If you like the results, you can make the new search your default, or at least an easily accessible option, by simply adding to the drop down in your browser search box.

Searching with Duck Duck Go.

Reduce Dependence, Go for Quality

Another option if you have to use a solution without easily found alternatives is to start being a little more selective or limiting how much you need to use the tool or service.  From search, this could be using a website bookmarking tool to store/share the quality websites you find and have quick access for later reference.   Some advantages of using with an Odysen network:

  • Escape Repetition: For frequently visited websites, instead of searching for the same thing over and over, save it once and be done.   You can create a folder, call it Main Sites, for storing websites you use on a daily basis.  Or you can organize in other topical folders as appropriate.
  • Grow with Others: Besides saving your own websites for reference, you can share with others in your network.  They can follow your lead and add others that they know of.  Before you know it, you have a fairly comprehensive and organized list of websites, especially beneficial for new users to your network.
Efficient website bookmarking for less time searching.
  • Complimentary Ideas: By having a group of websites organized in your topical folders, under a general theme or project, you can add other types of content that compliment the websites.   This could be a blog or RSS feed from the website, important dates added to events, documents for storing PDFs or other types of content.


As frustrating as it can be whenever you feel stuck, there usually seems to be a few options to get control again.  Either trying a completely different alternative, adapting to the new change or a combination of both.

What other options have you been able to find?

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Founder and CEO of Odysen, involved with different writing and music freelancing activities, and have previously worked for larger technology businesses in the US, Europe and Asia.