Qwant is a search engine launched by a French-owned and managed start-up. You enter your search query and Qwant provides results based on web pages, news, videos, images and also social networks.
Below the search bar you will also find trending topics of the day. Although, I haven’t managed to discover what this algorithm is based on.
We are all aware that Google has (almost???) monopolized the world of search engines by integrating the most used services world-wide under one big umbrella (Google searches, Google maps, gmail, Google earth, Google docs). Ergo, you would think that challenging such a giant should come from a very revolutionary product.
According to their brand, Qwant’s goal is to revolutionize the way a user conducts research on the Internet. I admire the attempt and boldness of a small start up to challenge a giant in a David vs Goliath like battle on the other hand I must point out a few factors:
Here is for instance what happens if you enter “European Commission.”
It is indeed an interesting overview. On the other hand, let’s try to analyse these results from the user’s point of view.
- Experience matters. I remember when I was 13 or 14 years old (I’m 27) and had this wide range of search engines Altavista, Virgilio, Yahoo, Arianna. Even looking for the most common term was like wandering on a J-STOR list of papers on neo-liberal international relations theory. It is indeed hard to get accustomed to new ways to look for and filter information. This should not however be a point against Qwant.
- Where’s the added value? The integration with social media seems to be their USP. However, Google does the same, and does it pretty well to. If we take the example of Twitter, I think Google does it even better than Twitter itself especially when it comes to looking for profiles. I use Google and type “twitter [name]” and, wow, it’s right there.
- Quality vs Qwantity: In an era of information overload, users will be looking more and more for accurate search results. Qwant provides broader overviews but still lacks of targeted result display.
- Qwant powers its search with Bing. Bing!???
Google are just smart. 15 years or search experience smart, and it’s hard to think another search engine is going to ‘dethrone’ them or even take 0.01% of the search market. As my coach says “good effort” but Qwant is not going to bring the game home.