Can we rely on Google: the alternatives
Apparently, Wikipedia, the BBC, gHacks and the White House are malware. Well, there were for about 30 minutes. Google decided to claim that they 'may harm your computer', no doubt due to some sort of bug with their system.
This may seem quite amusing, but it proved annoying as Google's links to webpages would not work. It also shows the power of Google; what is to stop them falsely branding websites as malware?
It makes you consider Google's power.
The vast majority of readers, like myself, will make use of Gmail. Once again, what would you do if it went down? There are scores of alternatives; Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, the increasingly attractive AOL Mail and perhaps the most reliable: hosting one yourself.
Services like Blogger are also popular, yet alternatives are a dime a dozen. The most popular must be WordPress, either self-hosted or WordPress.com. TypePad is also quite reliable, although a paid service, and MovableType is the good self-hosted version of it.
Google News and Blog Search are very useful for aggregating news and blog information. The most popular alternatives to Google Blog Search are Technorati and Icerocket. Alternatives to News are Yahoo! News Search and Altavista News (although they index much fewer sources).
Google Maps and Earth has many competitors too, such as Windows Live Maps, Yahoo Maps, TerraServer and OpenAerialMap. The latter two have much lower coverage and only aerial photos, but OpenAerialMap is interesting in that it relies on people to upload their aerial views to patch them together. It also integrates OpenStreetMap data; I was surprised to see my GPS traces of half my street on it!
Onto more minor services: Google Notebook can be replaced with Diigo or Clipmarks. Google Directory is just a mirror of the Open Directory Project. Google Code is effectively the same idea as Sourceforge. Kelkoo and Pricerunner compete with Google Shopping, and PayPal and Moneybookers with Google Checkout.
As for search, there's Yahoo!, Ask, Altavista, Live Search etc. Scroogle is another interesting option; it uses Google but anonymises it and doesn't keep logs, removing privacy concerns.
Have I missed anything out? Leave a comment!
Update: Scroogle has been taken offline.Advertisement