Dogpile is an illustrated and cute search engine that compiles the results of other search engines, like Google and Yahoo. According to the website, it gathers results from multiple search engines, determines which ones are most relevant to your search, and then eliminates duplicates before showing you your options.
The idea here is that you will get more targeted results for your search faster than if you were using any other search engine. The name “dogpile” is actually a rugby term, despite the brand’s dog illustrations (it’s Arfie the mascot, by the way), which refers to players piling on top of each other. . The branding here is confusing, as the name refers to a sport, but the illustrations and “Go Fetch!” search button are related to animals … but we can go beyond that.
The suggested searches – called Favorite Retrieves – seem to factor in what may be of interest to people right now. For example, in August 2021, Fetches favorites included “cheap flights”, “portable air conditioners” and “renting a car,” apparently because travel was on many people’s minds. It’s slightly helpful if you’re looking for any of those things, but the section isn’t quite necessary. Other search engines, like DuckDuckGo, Google, and Yahoo, haven’t suggested such searches, possibly because they don’t provide as much value to the user.
When it comes to your online activity in particular, System1 also uses trackers – cookies and web beacons, to be exact – to collect location, referral, and traffic data from your browsing actions. And while this information is not always linked to your personal information, it can be.
Does that mean the company does what it wants with your most personal data? No – they still comply with legal requirements for collecting and sharing data. But Dogpile is not as secure as those browsers and search engines that don’t even know who you are or what you are doing because they believe in the utmost privacy for its users.
The search bar is as basic as it gets, which makes it easy to use, but not particularly appealing. You can designate your search as web, images, videos, news, or purchases, which is pretty standard for a search engine.
When using Dogpile vs Google to search for the same topic, results were returned in the same amount of time (in seconds, so long). And while Dogpile’s layout puts results more in the foreground than Google’s, most of those top results are ads – there are a lot more ads than Google’s results right at the top, which will make it unattractive to some users.
The good thing about Dogpile is the way the results page is presented. Search type options and a list of recent searches are on the left side and suggested searches are on the right sidebar. This means that the main part of the page with the search results integrates a lot more than Google.
Dogpile is a browser-only tool, so all you need to do is go to dogpile.com to use it. The company’s search engine is mobile-optimized so you can use it on an iPhone or Android smartphone as well as a desktop computer.
Dogpile doesn’t look as good as one of the major search engines, and its ad-rich search results are an annoyance, even when compared to another ad-heavy search engine like Google. But its main competitor comes in the form of solving Dogpile’s biggest problem: privacy. DuckDuckGo is probably Dogpile’s biggest competitor in terms of online safety, as the service has no online tracking and provides users with an extremely safe browsing experience. It’s not clear if Dogpile is particularly dangerous, but it seems to track and use a lot of information about you and your actions online, which seems like a very modern way to go about it.
Its main drawback is that it doesn’t do anything particularly well or unique – and what it does is going from a little to a lot worse than its competition. Google results are more attractive and less advertising; Yahoo’s search interface is more modern and contains news headlines instead of those unnecessary suggested searches; DuckDuckGo lets you navigate without a tracker and has an intuitive mobile app. To put it simply, there is a big reason not to use Dogpile and no compelling reason to choose one.