I [mostly] gave up on Google back in May 2010 when I started using DuckDuckGo, and eventually I switched to Startpage/Ixquick in June 2013. I still found myself using Google for a few things like maps and images, but I avoided The Big G as much as I could. My reasons for wanting to avoid Google are tracking and bubbling... anyone not having a clear understanding of what I mean by these things should make serious use of a good search engine to find out. Today I decided to try again to find a suitable search engine, and I thought you folks might be interested in the results. Here is what I came up with:
Bing is owned by Microsoft and is subject to the same privacy issues that Google suffers from, there is no way I would use this search engine.
Wikipedia says that Blekko is "a company that provides a web search engine with the stated goal of providing better search results than those offered by Google Search" but when I typed in snork.ca (a domain name that has been actively populated for well over a decade) it didn't find me. In the right hand margin of the search results were "images for snork.ca" which included images that I have never posted to snork.ca ever and had nothing to do with Flintstones, Snorkasaurus, or even the Snorks cartoon. There is no way to customize your search preferences such as whether or not to include previews or whether or not to filter adult material, whether to show search suggestions, or what location/language you want. When I searched for "Democracy Now" I was presented with a results page that has HUGE sections for each resulting link, there is simply no need for this and no way to turn it off as far as I can tell.
This one is supposed to specifically be for forums, so I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be of much use to me. So I searched for "automagically download their list and block spammers" which I lifted directly from this forums post which was posted almost three months ago... but it did not find the post for me. Fail.
Just before I moved on to my next engine I decided to type in snork.ca (seriously the second thing I ever typed in at boardreader.com) to see what I got and it was the URL http://boardreader.com/banned.html and this content:
The main page says in oversized font: "Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content". This just screams of SEO, advertising, marketing, tracking, and general scuminess... I didn't even type in a search query.
This does nothing but redirect you to other sites such as Google and YouTube so it is essentially just a "search engine selector" rather than an actual search engine.
This is just a database of company related material such as "startups" and "net worths". Useless as a search engine.
Demographics, marketing, advertising, SEO, scum, and junk.
The following picture is on their main page... nuff said.
The biggest and most prominent thing on their main page is a link to a story about "The 5 Facebook advertising tools every marketer needs". Junk.
This appears to be a site for searching just social network junk, which I have very little use for. Their main page also did not render properly in my browser (yes, with adblocking turned off).
This one doesn't seem to be a search engine and doesn't seem to work very well anyways.
Searching for snork.ca got me some results about the cartoon The Snorks but not the actual domain name. Searching for DemocracyNow yielded no results at all.
I hope viking60 is pleased about how I hid this one way down here. :-)
This just redirects to quinturakids.com - sorry, you lost me at "filtered".
Strange, when searching for "Democracy Now" it found Amy Goodman in the left margin over there but they didn't get democracynow.org in the first three results... how can that be right?
This appears to be the exact same as Yippy.
Couldn't find snork.ca, but could find democracynow.org. Then I tried "automagically download their list and block spammers" again and it had a lot of ads but didn't actually find the bjoernvold.com post. This one seems to behave a little strangely and will require more testing.
I wish they didn't have to include all that extra crap below the search results (toolbar download, copyright crap, rant, etc.) and I wish they would give you an option to remove the page previews in results... but I may test this one some more too.
This one let me search but just gave me a big empty hole instead of search results.
This one does not work either.
This one seemed to kind of work but I really wish I could turn off the page previews. Why are people so fascinated with seeing previews like that? Too much Facebook use? It came up with these awful search results for "whois 126.96.36.199" Anyways, I may not completely understand this one and may have to test it a little more as well.
Page loads, search box gives suggestions, but I can't actually get it to search.
Searching for snork.ca finds only me and no other links at all. Searching for "Democracy Now" has the official site listed fourth (and it is the "about page" rather than the root page). Removing the space and searching for DemocracyNow puts the official site fifth (and it is a story from 2012 rather than the root page which is actually listed eighth). These guys have some serious ranking issues, and their map search shows a blank page.
Frankly, none of these even come close to DuckDuckGo or Startpage/Ixquick. If anyone else has any search engine alternatives they they use I would love to hear about it.