I made the switch, in all of my browsers. Bing is now the default search engine for me. No, this isn't because of Google's long and sorry neglect of American patriotic holidays, although that's always been an annoyance.
It's because I don't trust the search results.
Ever wonder why Wikipedia comes up very high (top 5) results for just about any Google search? Even for very obscure search terms, where the number of web sites discussing the term is so low as to make the statistical algorithm become unreliable? Well, Google has a mechanism where they can manually tweak Wikipedia's score, raising it artificially (and arbitrarily).
Think about that. What can get dialed up can also get dialed down, right? So does Google selectively, artificially, and arbitrarily downgrade certain sites in the search rankings?
Consider the term "Global Warming". You would think that this would lead you to the major climate science blogs. Using Google, you'd think wrong.
The site Watts Up With That is probably the most important - and most visited - skeptic web site. It gets what is simply enormous traffic: Alexa has it's rank in the top 16,000 web sites. Think about that - less than 16,000 Internet sites get more traffic than this one does. By way of contrast, I'm not quite in the top 800,000.
So where is wattsupwiththat.com in the Google rankings for the search term "Global Warming"? Not on the first ten pages. It may not be in the top twenty pages - I gave up looking. Just to level set, a site called the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine is on page ten, ahead of wherever Google has wattsupwiththat. OISM's Alexa ranking is higher than mine, meaning that I beat them for traffic. And yet somehow, Google has them as a more authoritative source than wattsupwiththat.
Bing has wattsupwiththat.com on the second page of search results. Lower than I'd put it, but plausible.
And so, I no longer trust Google to give me the best search results. Even worse, I suspect (but cannot prove) that they have chosen to arbitrarily change results in pursuit of a political agenda, one that I do not share. Like I said, I cannot prove this, but the fact that I wonder is all that matters. I wonder, what other topics are unreliable?
It's exactly the same reason that I stopped reading the New York Times and listening to PBS: I developed the suspicion that they were poisoned sources of information, and that they were distorting my world view. Were they? It doesn't matter - once the suspicion forms, once trust is lost, there's simply no getting it back.
Essentially, I'm comfortable using Google for trivial searches of no import; for anything actually important, I can't afford to take the chance. And so, hello, Bing.
In Internet Security terminology, this situation is called "Denial of Service via Resource Poisoning". I don't know whether Google thought they could poison the resource, directing traffic away from wattsupwiththat.com. It's very hard to see how they could not have intended exactly this. What they don't seem to realize is that they've poisoned their own resource.
So go ahead and keep being evil, Google. You'll do it with one less user whose searches you'll no longer be able to sell.
A homework assignment for anyone so interested: compare what turns up for the search term "Gun Control".